Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE credits
This is a study of gender difference within the field of mathematics between 857 twelfth grade students (355 boys and 502 girls). The data sample contains a small group of students within two of the 34 provinces in Afghanistan. Ten of the schools were girls’ only, and twelve were boy schools. In this study the data collected was analyzed by comparing the results of test scores of 12th grade math high school students.
The question to be answered within this research: To what extent differences are in mathematics achievements between male and female students at the high school level? The results show that math achievements in grade 12th were different among female and male students. Females’ achievements were lower than males.
Teachers’ teaching experience had no significant influence on the average scores. In regards to students’ exam scores in relation to teachers' education level. The average score of students taught by teachers with grade 16 and grade 14 was not significant different, thus a very small difference.
Additionally, this study concentrated more on factors that affect girls’ math achievements. It also pointed to parental support, self-confidence, students’ interest to math, and cultural issues. As teachers were asked about ability of learning math, it does not relate to student s’ sex. The teachers added those learners who make more efforts have better achievements in mathematics.
The research is based on a small sample which does not cover the whole country. To get a clearer understanding of females achievements in high school math classes, a full country study with thousands of scores to compare, would perhaps bring this small study to the eyes of Ministry of Education and large donors. It would seem that good teaching methodology in math may have better result for females test scores.