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Clever girls' stories: the girl they call a nerd

Foyn, T and Solomon, YJ and Braathe, HJ (2018) Clever girls' stories: the girl they call a nerd. Educational Studies in Mathematics. ISSN 0013-1954


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In this paper we explore the issue of gender and mathematics participation, focusing on the ways in which “clever girls” self-author within the discourse order of a high ability group, which has particular significance in the Norwegian context in which this study took place. Contrasting the cases of three girls, only one of whom (Anna) chooses to continue with a higher level of mathematics (mathematics for science), we consider the ways in which they manage being members of the “smart group”. We analyse in particular the storying of Anna as a “nerd”, and the social cost of being a “clever girl” against the backdrop of a public discourse of equality of opportunity in Norway.

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