According to the last international assessments, Italy has the highest gender gap in math (GGM), which is increasing with age and is most significant at high percentiles of the ability distribution.
The presence of a substantial female disadvantage in math is of particular importance, because it is likely to be a cause of the critically low share of women choosing STEM disciplines at university, of gender segregation in the labour market, and gender pay gaps.
Within the “MathGenderGap” project, the researchers design and evaluate an innovative teaching practice that aims to narrow the GGM in Italian primary school. The treatment significantly improves math performance for girls, with no impact on boys, reducing the gender gap in math by 39.5-46.2%. The results indicate that adequately designed innovative practices can reduce the gender gap in math and call for further research on the role of teaching practices in math learning.
The project has been financed by the University of Torino, Compagnia di San Paolo, and Collegio Carlo Alberto.