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Does video gaming enhance or hinder academic performance

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 05/03/2015. Does video gaming enhance or hinder academic performance Tags: Parenting

Girls are doing better than boys in school, and the disparity between gender is widening, says a new report on education.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published a report that shows that boys and girls are becoming more divided in education performances and this is having effect on their career choices.

The report called, The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour and Confidence, shows that although societies are closing gender inequalities in education, employment and the labour market, there is a growing gender bias in education performance of young students.

Researchers found that boys are increasingly more likely to become disengaged with learning and that girls are doing worse at mathematics and science.

According to the report, ‘15-year-old boys are more likely than girls, on average, to be overall low achievers, and even high-performing 15-year-old girls underachieve in mathematics, science and problem solving compared to high-achieving boys.’

The report explains why,

‘...gender disparities in school performance stem from students’ attitudes towards learning and their behaviour in school, from how they choose to spend their leisure time, and from the confidence they have – or do not have – in their own abilities as students.”

According to OECD, they believe these gaps are partly caused by teachers, parents and employers who expect their sons to enter into science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) sectors rather than their daughters. It also finds that young girls are lacking self confidence in mathematics and scientific in schools and so this affects their career choices in later life.

Researchers believe that these gaps can be narrowed if educators adopted new teaching strategies that would help boys and girls. They also believe that parents and teachers should ‘recognise their own gender bias’ and not differentiate between subjects and should encourage all school work as equal.

The report also found that playing occasional video games can help to boost students’ performance in maths and other test results. However the association between academic performance and video gaming depends on the types of games students play and how often they play them.

Students who play one-player games appear to perform better in mathematics, reading, science and problem solving, on average, than those who play collaborative online games. The report states that "because boys tend to be daily users of video games and are more likely than girls to play online collaborative games, the gender gap in video gaming tranlates into a performance advantage for girls"

Read the full report here.


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