Thursday, November 1, 2007

More Girls = More Learning

Does the gender composition of a classroom affect how much both girls and boys learn? A new paper by economists Victor Lavy and Analia Schlosser says yes. Here's what they find:

* Both boys' and girls' academic achievement improves when classrooms include a higher proportion of girls.

* A higher proportion of female peers lowers the level of classroom disruption and violence, improves inter-student and student-teacher relationships as well as students' overall satisfaction in school, and lessens teachers' fatigue.

These findings confirm those of an earlier paper by economist Caroline Hoxby, who finds that both boys and girls perform better in math when there are higher proportions of girls in the classroom.

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