Publication Date



Mathematics achievement, Gender differences, Neuroscience, Educational psychology, Brain research, Student engagement, Student motivation, Student participation, Females, Males


Changing minds: Discussions in neuroscience, psychology and education Issue #1 April 2016


Research in neuroscience, psychology and education explores gender differences in achievement and learning in many different ways with different implications for educators and policymakers. This paper presents some of the literature from these three research fields. Rather than being an exhaustive review, This paper provides a brief synthesis of relevant issues when considering gender in education. The paper has three main sections. The first section presents data on gender differences in mathematics participation, achievement and engagement in Australia. Note that for the purposes of this paper, the term ‘engagement’ will be used to describe students’ motivated involvement with mathematics, particularly in relation to motivational beliefs. The second section of the paper presents research from neuroscience that delves into the issue of whether there are differences in the brain according to sex. Finally, the third section of the paper discusses research from education and psychology that offer frameworks to conceptualise how gender differences in mathematics might develop.

Place of Publication

Melbourne Vic


Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)