Mathematical thinking of kindergarten boys and girls: Similar achievement, different contributing processes

Pnina S. Klein, Esther Adi-Japha, Simcha Hakak-Benizri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Scopus citations


    The objective of this study was to examine gender differences in the relations between verbal, spatial, mathematics, and teacher-child mathematics interaction variables. Kindergarten children (N=80) were videotaped playing games that require mathematical reasoning in the presence of their teachers. The children's mathematics, spatial, and verbal skills and the teachers' mathematical communication were assessed. No gender differences were found between the mathematical achievements of the boys and girls, or between their verbal and spatial skills. However, mathematics performance was related to boys' spatial reasoning and to girls' verbal skills, suggesting that they use different processes for solving mathematical problems. Furthermore, the boys' levels of spatial and verbal skills were not found to be related, whereas they were significantly related for girls. The mathematical communication level provided in teacher-child interactions was found to be related to girls' but not to boys' mathematics performance, suggesting that boys may need other forms of mathematics communication and teaching.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-246
    Number of pages14
    JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 2010


    • Math talk
    • Mathematics instruction
    • Performance
    • Sex differences


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