An Investigation of Gender Differences in Third-Graders’ Strategies for Solving Double-Column Addition
The nature-nurture argument of girls not doing so well as boys in math persists. How early these differences show up and if teachers play any role in changing the outcome are of particular interest to elementary school math educators. This investigation examined both the students’ answers and the strategies they used to obtain their answers for double-column addition. The subjects were 22 third-graders from a Virginia Title I school and 24 third-graders from a private school. No conceptual differences were found between the two groups. However, when the combined group was divided by gender, significant differences were found for the choice of strategy used to solve the problem. A follow-up study between constructivist taught and traditionally taught third-grade math students is planned for May of 2006.
Keywords: Gender Differences, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Third Grade Math, Elementary Math Strategies
Dr Alice P. Wakefield
Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood, Special Education and Speech and Language Pathology, Old Dominion University