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Winter 2002 Issue # 1
WEEA: Engaging Middle School Girls in Math and Science

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Math and science are useful skills in approaching life experiences regardless of whether they lead to careers in this field or not. However, math and science have traditionally been dominated and geared towards boys more than girls. To address such issues of inequity, the WEEA Equity Resource Center, under contract with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Women's Educational Equity Act, developed the "Engaging Middle School Girls in Math and Science" online course.

This course provides a way for middle school educators to explore ways to increase girls' interest and participation in math and science, and to develop equitable classrooms that support learning for both girls and boys. It incorporates online discussions, activities, and reflection into the course structure. These online discussions between the course participants, building on course readings and activities, and guided by a facilitator explore the various methods to create classrooms that support girls' involvement in science and math subjects, by building on their knowledge of good instructional practice to address the unique social and academic needs of girls.

In line with the goals of the course, participants:

  • explore unconscious biases into which individuals are socialized and that permeate instructional practice
  • examine hidden gender-based assumptions in math and science curricula
  • examine good instructional practice that recognizes the unique needs of students who are girls of color, English language learners (ELL), and/or have disabilities
  • try resources such as tools, materials, and role models that enable teachers to be more inclusive in their representation of good math, science, and technology practices
  • learn how to build family and community support that values girls' successes in math, science, and technology
  • meet and explore the subject with colleagues, share research information, reflective exercises, and lots of good discussion
After participating in the course, participants form part of an online network of course graduates. This network offers ongoing professional development and peer exchanges, and provides a community of support for building equitable, and excellent math and science classrooms. Graduate or undergraduate credit though Antioch University is available. For mre information click here


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