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Achievement and behaviour in undergraduate mathematics: personality is a better predictor than gender

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journal contribution
posted on 29.04.2014, 13:23 by Lara Alcock, Nina Attridge, Steven Kenny, Matthew Inglis
We investigated two factors that predict students' achievement and behaviour in undergraduate mathematics: gender and personality. We found that gender predicted students' achievement and behaviour when considered in isolation, but ceased to be predictive when personality profiles were taken into account. Furthermore, personality accounted for significantly more variance in undergraduates' achievement and behaviour than did gender, but the converse was not the case. We therefore argue that personality provides the more productive lens through which to understand the behaviour of undergraduate mathematics students. We relate this finding to recent research emphasising gender differences in mathematics education, and suggest that researchers wishing to promote equity in participation at and beyond the undergraduate level should consider shifting their focus to individual differences in personality.

Funding

This work was partially funded by a grant from the National HE STEM programme (to SK) and by a Royal Society Worshipful Company of Actuaries Fellowship (to MI).

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Citation

ALCOCK, L. ... et al, 2014. Achievement and behaviour in undergraduate mathematics: personality is a better predictor than gender. Research in Mathematics Education, 16 (1), pp. 1 - 17

Publisher

Taylor and Francis / © British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2014

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in Mathematics Education on 28th January 2014, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14794802.2013.874094

ISSN

1479-4802

eISSN

1754-0178

Language

en

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