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How to reduce the reading performance gap between boys and girls?

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada recently released a research note from the Assessment Matters! Series. It discusses possible strategies to reduce the reading performance gap of boys compared to girls.

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The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) recently released a research note from the series Evaluation… it matters! It discusses possible strategies to reduce the reading performance gap of boys compared to girls.

Note " What is the possibility for boys to catch up with girls in reading?? First highlights the significant gap between reading results attributable to gender. Girls stand out with better scores on reading tests from PISA, a large study conducted periodically among 15-year-olds. The gap between the sexes is equivalent to a full year of schooling, which represents a difference considered significant and motivating the search for strategies to compensate for this inequality. This margin grows as the children progress in their educational path. In children, it appears less observable.

The CMEC note explains the gender gap in reading in light of engagement in reading and learning processes. Recent studies state that engagement in reading is decisive, even more so than socioeconomic status. Girls usually walk a greater variety of documents and take more pleasure to read. In this regard, young Canadian women are well above the OECD average. However, in practice, such a committed boy in reading that a female comrade will obtain results similar to this one. The pleasure of reading thus becomes a primary factor for reading success, since it directly influences reading results.

The pleasure of reading thus becomes a primary factor for reading success, since it directly influences reading results.

In addition, the strategies associated with readers diverge from those of young readers, who tend to use a wider range of strategies, while their peers aim for the rapid extraction of information while often sacrificing deep understanding. In addition, girls use "control" and "memorization" strategies more often than boys. They also demonstrate a higher level of awareness of effective metacognitive strategies than their peers. The best capacities of control (focus on understanding the purpose of a task and its main concepts) and to summarize (having effective ways of condensing information) girls explain the gender gap. It is therefore in the interest of teachers to encourage the use of these strategies among readers of both sexes in order to reduce the gap between them.

For more information, see the CMEC note (9 pages) available by clicking on this link:
What is the possibility for boys to catch up with girls in reading??

 

About the Author

Anik Lessard Routhier
Anik Lessard Routhier
Anik is a freelance writer and lecturer at Collège Lionel-Groulx and Cégep Marie-Victorin.

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