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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.2.4 Top-performing math students’ achievement and achievement motivation around the world: A meta-analysis

We meta-analysed gender differences in achievement and achievement motivation among 15-year-old students scoring in the top 5% in mathematics in their respective countries, using representative international samples (80 countries, N = 175,835, 41% female). Boys slightly outperformed girls in mathematics (dMedian = 0.15), whereas girls had better reading skills (dMedian = –0.61). Gender differences in science were negligible (dMedian = 0.01). Boys demonstrated a distinct mathematics-oriented achievement profile, whereas girls’ profiles were more balanced across achievement domains. Girls held more positive attitudes towards reading. This multipotentiality of top-performing female math students may offer them wider choices of future careers.


Lena Kristina Keller
Free University of Berlin

Since October 2015, Lena Kristina Keller is a doctoral student at the Free University of Berlin and fellow at the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE). In her dissertation, she investigates students’ achievement and achievement motivation profiles with regard to gender differences among mathematically top performers, functional relations, and life outcomes. She received her Master’s degree in psychology from the University of Trier in July 2015. Her main research interests are cognitive and non-cognitive educational outcomes.

Franzis Preckel*

Franzis Preckel is full professor of Giftedness Research and Education at the University of Trier since 2006. She received her diploma in psychology and her doctorate from the Westfaelische-Wilhelms-University, Muenster. From 2003-2006 she was assistant professor and head of the Counceling Center for the Gifted and Talented at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich. Her main research interests are intelligence, giftedness, factors influencing talent development, and psychological assessment. She published her research in more than 200 papers, chapters, books, conference presentations and in highly ranked refereed journals (AERJ, Intelligence, JPSP). She is on the editorial board of Diagnostica and Gifted and Talented International.

Jacquelynne Sue Eccles*

Jacquelynne S. Eccles is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of California, Irvine and formerly the McKeachie/Pintrich Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Michigan, as well as Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Gender and Achievement Research Program at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Professor Eccles has conducted research on a wide variety of topics including gender-role socialization, teacher expectancies, classroom influences on student motivation, and social development in the family and school context. She has made seminal contributions to the study of achievement-related decisions and development.

Martin Brunner*

Martin Brunner is full professor of Evaluation and Quality Management in Education at the Free University of Berlin since 2012. He received his diploma in psychology from the University of Mannheim and his PhD from the Humboldt University of Berlin. Martin Brunner was at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin as a doctoral student and post-doc. From 2006-2012 he was post-doc and associate professor at the research unit Educational Measurement and Applied Cognitive Science at the University of Luxembourg. His main research interests are quantitative methods, educational assessment, teacher education, and cognitive and non-cognitive educational outcomes.


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