Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 257–273 | Cite as

Students’ and teachers’ perceptions of single-sex and mixed-sex mathematics classes

  • Léonie J. Rennie
  • Lesley H. Parker


This study examines students’ perceptions of the learning settings in single-sex and mixed-sex mathematics classes, and teachers’ responses to those different classroom contexts. Nearly 300 students in four coeducational secondary schools gave their views of the nature of their participation and interaction in their mathematics classrooms, and data were also obtained from their teachers. There was congruence between students’ and teachers’ perceptions of the environment in the two kinds of classrooms. Overall, it was perceived that single-sex classrooms provided a more supportive environment for girls, but a rather less supportive environment for boys. Teachers used different strategies with the two kinds of classes and, although many experienced initial difficulty with unruly boys’ classes, these problems were overcome. The single-sex environment provided opportunities for teachers to address apparent shortcomings arising from boys’ and girls’ previous educational experience, which resulted in improved attitudes and performance.


Mathematics Classroom Professional Development Program Mathematic Class Classroom Context Student Support 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Léonie J. Rennie
    • 1
  • Lesley H. Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.Curtin University of TechnologyAustralia

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