What really helps girls do better in school, according to science
While it’s been long-proven that girls are outperforming boys in everything from test scores to percentages of students who get a college degree, a new study reveals another factor that is directly contributing to girls slaying it in academia.
Jonathan Meer and Jaegeum Lim, two economists from Texas A&M University, reported through their findings that female students perform even better than their male peers when they’re in a class taught by a female teacher. By reviewing the test scores of middle school students in South Korea, which assigns its students at random to a classroom, Meer and Lim found that in those classes taught by a woman, girls’ test scores rose to 10% higher than boys. They also discovered that girls’ scores measurably improved if the class switched from a male to a female teacher.
In an interview with Quartz, Meer suspected that the improvement in scores is related to the comfort level that female students likely experience when taught by a female teacher. “Female students report feeling that their female teachers are more likely to give students an equal chance to participate,” he said. Additionally, female teachers were “more likely to encourage creative expression” among their students.
Granted, teaching is a job that is still heavily dominated by women. In their study, Meer and Lim reported that 68% Korean language, 73% of English language, and 61% of math teachers were female — and suspected that the “gender imbalance may steer men away from the profession,” which would definitely open up the field to super-qualified female teachers. However, if that were the case, then the study would show a drastic increase in male students’ test scores based on being taught by a woman — and there was no evidence found to support that.
It makes complete and total sense that girls would do a better job in school when taught by a female teacher — there’s nothing quite like ladies supporting other ladies. If this study proves one thing, it’s that.
(Featured image via Paramount Pictures)