Saturday, May 21

Education. Since the reform of the Blanquer high school, fewer girls choose to do math

Increased inequalities between girls and boys in high school math class? This is what associations and research institutes in mathematics denounced on Tuesday, targeting the high school reform led by the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. The share of girls who study this subject would indeed have dropped drastically.

“Learned societies and mathematics associations are warning of the worsening inequalities between girls and boys in mathematics in high school, brutally destroying more than 25 years of effort”, lamented in a press release the APMEP (Association of Mathematics Teachers of the public education), the Women and Mathematics association, the French Mathematical Society (SMF), the Union of teachers of scientific preparatory classes (UPS), the Irem (Research institutes on the teaching of mathematics) or even the Association for Research in Mathematics Education (ARDM).

“While the proportion of girls in terminal S has been progressing steadily since 1994, the proportion of girls in mathematics specialty teaching in terminale has fallen below the level of 1994, falling by nearly 8 points after 2 years of implementation. place of the reform”, deplore these organizations, relying on figures published in 2021 by the Department of Evaluation, Foresight and Performance of the Ministry of Education (Depp).

They point out that “this dropout is even more edifying in Première générale, where nearly half of girls drop out of mathematics at the end of second in 2021, whereas until 2018 around 83% continued to study mathematics” .

“Disastrous” consequences

In view of these figures, these associations believe that “the consequences of this rupture are disastrous, both for the future of girls and for the training in mathematics of all citizens”. Because, they explain, “girls close the doors to most scientific studies, which lead to jobs and careers among the most valued”.

And, they add, “the teaching professions, very strongly feminized (…) are also at risk of suffering the full brunt of the lack of training due to the massive abandonment of mathematics by girls in Première”.

“While in the most recent international studies, France is currently among the last of the OECD countries in mathematics at school and college, we can only worry about the future”, estimate- they.

As a reminder, with the high school reform, which put an end to the traditional series (L, ES and S) at the start of the 2019 school year, mathematics is now taught as a specialty, outside of the common core. Students now choose three specialties for the Première, reduced to two in the Terminale class.

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