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The impact of age and gender on Prep children's academic achievements


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Boardman, M 2006 , 'The impact of age and gender on Prep children's academic achievements' , Australian Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 31, no. 4 .

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Within the current climate of heightened interest in the education of young
children, it is essential that consideration be given to different factors which
may impact, either positively or negatively, on the achievement of young
learners when their academic progress in literacy and numeracy is
considered. The research study reported in this paper aimed to investigate
whether age and gender impacted on the academic results of five - and six year -
old students in Tasmanian state schools. The dual-method study
considered the children's development in the area of early literacy and
numeracy, at the commencement of their year in Prep (following their
previous year in kindergarten). Results for 884 students from the PIPS
(Performance Indicators of Primary Schools) testing procedure (mandated by
the Tasmanian Department of Education for all children at the start of their
year in Prep) were used to inform this study. Quantitative results revealed
that children's age had a significant impact on the results they receive in
PIPS at the commencement of Prep. Younger children (aged 5.00 - 5.03 years
at the time of the test) within the Prep class cohort were found to be
performing at significantly lower levels of academic achievement than their
peers who were six to 11 months older in the areas of maths, reading and
phonics. Likewise, girls achieved statistically higher results in reading and in
the PIPS total scores, when compared to the scores of boys. This study
provides key evidence that there are children who, because of their age or
gender, are achieving lower test scores on PIPS. These children and their
needs in literacy and numeracy must be more fully understood and acted

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Boardman, M
Keywords: early literacy; early numeracy; impact of age and gender on student attainment Background to the study
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Early Childhood
ISSN: 0312-5033
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