PISA 2009: Explaining the Gender Gap in Reading through Reading Engagement and Approaches to Learning – Research Paper (2013)

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While Canada has always ranked in the top quarter of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) evaluations in reading, the statistics also reveal a significant gender gap, with girls outperforming boys by the equivalent of a full year of formal schooling. This paper uses the PISA 2009 data to investigate and isolate the factors contributing to that gender gap in Canada.

The paper begins with a short review of the available literature about gender differences in literacy, and the factors related to them. The authors pay particular attention to differences between girls and boys when it comes to reading habits and learning strategies, which could potentially be improved through changes in educational practices.

They then focus on the PISA 2009 measurement of student engagement in reading activities and approaches to learning. The results for Canada show that girls read more diversely and generally enjoyed reading to a greater extent, and were more aware of the most effective strategies about knowledge acquisition, compared with boys.

The authors use a special statistical technique to decompose the gender gap into contributing factors and to reveal how different strategies might explain gender inequalities in reading. Based on that analysis, they conclude that nurturing an enjoyment of reading will not be enough to improve boys’ skills in reading, if it is not accompanied by an understanding of how different reading strategies can be used to learn effectively.

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Added: 
2013-11-27
APA citation
Maria Chuy and Roy Nitulescu. PISA 2009: Explaining the Gender Gap in Reading through Reading Engagement and Approaches to Learning – Research Paper 2013. Web. 30 Sep. 2020 <http://www.cmec.ca/Publications/Lists/Publications/Attachments/302/PISA2009_Research_CMEC_HRSDC_EN.pdf>
Maria Chuy & Roy Nitulescu (2013). PISA 2009: Explaining the Gender Gap in Reading through Reading Engagement and Approaches to Learning – Research Paper. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from http://www.cmec.ca/Publications/Lists/Publications/Attachments/302/PISA2009_Research_CMEC_HRSDC_EN.pdf
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