Early learning activities matter for girls’ and boys’ mathematics and science achievement

Autor(es): Hencke, Juliane; Eck, Matthias; Sass, Justine; Hastedt, Dirk; Meinck, Sabine; Kennedy, Alec; Liu, Tianyi

Organisation(s): International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement; UNESCO

Date: 2023

Pages: 9 p.

Serie: IEA Compass: briefs in education

Series Volume: 21


Using IEA’s TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) 2019 data, this brief examines gender differences in parental involvement with their child’s education measured through participation in early home learning activities. We find that engaging children in home learning activities before entering primary school is associated with increased students’ fourth-grade mathematics and science achievement, with a significantly larger positive relationship for boys than girls for numeracy activities. Parents engage girls significantly more than boys in early learning activities such as singing songs, drawing shapes, writing letters and words, saying counting rhymes or singing counting songs, and writing numbers,and only one activity listed on the TIMSS questionnaire where parents engage boys significantly more which is playing with building blocks and construction toys. The brief concludes with a discussion of the potential policy implications.

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