Preschool Children's Early Mathematics Achievement Based on Gender and Ethnicity

Rohaty Mohd Majzub


Achievements in Mathematics are said to be influenced by several factors including gender and ethnicity. The purpose of this study was to determine the overall early mathematics achievements of preschool children and whether there were significant differences in those achievements based on gender and ethnicity. The instrument used in this research was the Early Mathematics Achievement Test(EMAT) which was adapted from two preschool mathematics modules and the National Standard Preschool Curriculum Malaysia. The research sample consisted of 138 preschool children from six Ministry of Education preschools in Malaysia stratified according to gender and ethnicity. The data was analyzed descriptively and inferentially. The t-test and ANOVA were used to test gender and ethnic differences in the mathematics achievements. The findings showed that the level of preschool children's early mathematics achievements was above average. There were no significant differences in their mathematics achievement based on gender. However, there were significant differences in their early mathematics achievement based on ethnicity. We therefore argue that ethnicity is a factor that can probably affect preschool children's early mathematics achievement. The role of gender in mathematics achievement needs to be further examined in future studies to clarify the inconclusive findings of past research.

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