A new study has revealed that gender biased teachers put girls off Math and Science, which ultimately leads to discourage them fields of computer science, engineering, and mathematics later in life.
The study found that elementary school teachers’ unconscious biases significantly influence female students’ academic choices later on. According to researchers Dr. Edith Sand, an economist at the Bank of Israel and an instructor at TAU’s Berglas School of Economics, and Prof. Victor Lavy, a professor at Hebrew University and University of Warwick in England, the classroom teacher’s unwitting prejudice was a key factor explaining the divergence of boys’ and girls’ academic preferences.
The researchers concluded that, in math and science, the teachers overestimated the boys’ skills and underestimated the girls’ abilities, and that this had long-term implications for students’ attitudes toward these subjects.
The researchers also monitored the advanced math and science courses that students chose to take in high school, concluding that the girls who had been discouraged by their elementary school teachers were much less likely than the boys to opt for advanced courses.
The studi is published in the National Bureau of Economic Research.