Re: Geary Commentators: Hammer, Kimball, Kornbrot

From: Darling, Andrea (
Date: Thu Feb 12 1998 - 12:05:31 GMT

[ m> = Elliott Mark]

>>teachers of both sexes pay more positive as well as negative
>>attention to boys than girls in class, and encourage higher-order
>>thinking skills in boys more than girls.
>>High achieving girls get the least attention of any group, even less
>>than low-achieving girls, while high-achieving boys get the most
>>teacher attention. This is an environmental variable which must be
>>considered in claims as to greater biological superiority in solving
>>mathematical word problems.

m> Maybe older teachers would behave this way but younger
m> ones are less likely.

I agree in some ways, (especially that the author appears to
have no empirical evidence for this
statement) but in my experience it is the better child
mathematicians at senior school that get ignored (male and
female) and is the disruptive, bad mathematicians that get
all the attention. However this situation appeared to
disappear at college where everyone appeared to get equal
treatment. This situation obviously needs research to
clarify this, but I'm pretty certain. If this is true, the
implications are that there should be no sex differences in
maths ability due to classroom attention factors. The fact
that the ignored kids usually still go on to do well in maths
supposes a biological influence? or another social influence?

Darling, Andrea

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