The Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) conducted a research to analyze the potential of academically talented youth. The study claims that girls perform better in languages whereas boys had a better performance in math. However, girls have been narrowing this gap.
Although the research was US-centric, Indian students were also part of the set of students on which the study was conducted. It was discovered that academically gifted boys perform better than girls in the field of science.
It was also concluded that the performance gap between girls and boys is wider in India than in the US. Boys dominated in the top performers in math while girls dominated the top segment of language performers.
Matthew Makel, Lead Author of the research said that these significant disparities in the performance of girls and boys raised a question – whether we are allowing our students to develop their talent or not? He further said that the performance gap between girls and boys of US was much wider in the 1980s and has been reduced by tackling this issue properly.
Indian education system can benefit from the policies used by the US to close the performance gap, added Makel.
The study was conducted on a set of 320,554 US students studying in seventh grade in U.S. and 7,119 Indian students of seventh standard between 2011 and 2015. The aim of the study was to identify talented youth of 12 to 13 years of age by offering them above level testing with the help of exams like SAT or ACT in the U.S., and the ASSET test in India.
The study also reveals that there are no major performance differences at average levels. The major gap is at the top score levels.
In the US, 28% of the top level scorers in math are girls whereas in India only 11% girls Indian girls make it to the top level. In the language section, 60% of the top performers are girls in the US whereas 62% of the top language performers in India are girls. The research also stated that in India girls are largely underrepresented and contribute only 36% of the participants.
According to the report, U.S. and India contribute 75% and 82% boys respectively to the top scoring student pool in the science sections of the ACT and ASSET tests.
The study was conducted to look for highly talented youth because they are the ones who will lead the future and can solve global issues such as poverty, ecological changes, cancer and other.