Girls and math
When it comes to gender gaps in math, culture matters. That's what an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found when digging deeper into his own observations made while volunteer coaching his daughter and her friends on an all-girls math squad for their school.
Expanding the question into a larger research project, Glenn Ellison and PhD student Ashley Swanson found the best female students chosen to represent the U.S. in international math competitions came from about 20 high schools that had elite math squads.
The top boys came from about 200 schools more evenly distributed across the country.
The analysis, as outlined in MIT News Nov 4, points to the need for further research on school environments and their influence on academic acheivement.