Results by Gender – Trends in Reading Acheivement – PIRLS 2021

PIRLS 2021 International Results in Reading

Trends in Reading Achievement

Trends in Average Achievement by Gender

Exhibit 2.3 contains the trend results by gender for the 43 countries that assessed fourth grade students at the same time of year as in previous assessments. Although 21 countries had lower average achievement in 2021 than in 2016, for the most part the decreases in achievement were similar for girls and boys such that there was little narrowing (or widening) in the gender gap favoring girls. The Czech Republic, Iran, Israel, and Spain narrowed their gender gaps, while Macao SAR and Portugal showed a small gap in 2021.

Exhibit 2.4 contains the trend results by gender for the 14 countries with delayed assessment of the fourth grade cohort at the beginning of the fifth grade. Although nearly half these countries (6 out of 13, see Exhibit 2.2.1) had increased average achievement overall between 2016 and 2021, the gender gaps favoring girls remained relatively stable. Considering the results in both Exhibits 2.3 and 2.4, it seems that little progress has been made in closing the reading achievement gender gap favoring girls.