The University of Montana
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Technical report #23/2009

Mathematics Achievement and Gender:
A Case of “No Difference” from Turkey

Safure Bulut
Middle East Technical University

Bekir Gur
Yuzuncuyil University

Bharath Sriraman

The University of Montana


The canon of literature in gender studies points to the fact that culture and socioeconomic circumstances affect the mathematics education of individuals. Accordingly, girls’ mathematics achievement shows some variations across different countries. Unlike popular misconceptions about the roles of males and females in Turkish society, in this commentary we will show that the majority of studies conducted in Turkey have found no significant mean difference between mathematics achievement of boys and girls especially in primary and high schools. Hence, we do not think we need to offer an alternate pedagogy for girls. We briefly point out some points of convergences and divergences with the Jacobs’ article. And then, we give some background information on Turkish education. Subsequently, we discuss the literature related to mathematics achievement and gender in Turkey. The discussion includes the results of TIMMS, national exams in Turkey in addition to articles, theses and dissertations.

Keywords: education in Turkey; meta-analysis of gender studies in Turkey; mathematics achievement; mathematics achievement and gender

AMS Subject Classification: 97

Pdf: Preprint of chapter to appear in B. Sriraman & L. English (Eds). Theories of Mathematics Education- Seeking New Frontiers. Springer Science, Berlin/Heidelberg