Re: Questions for the Discussion

Date: Thu Dec 02 1999 - 09:05:50 EST

WECE Staff -

Thanks for your questions - I'll tackle an answer to the first set.

I would say that the key time to make sure that girls don't slip away is
during the middle school years when research shows they are most likely to
do so. If they don't take the math and science classes that they need while
they are in grades 6/7 - 12, it is less likely that they will undertake
these classes in college. It is at this time that girls have less
self-confidence in math and science classes, and they need role models and
to be encouraged to continue studying sience and math.

girls and young women. It is less likely that teachers, parents, or
guidance counselors will encourage a young woman who wants to drop
pre-calculus to continue and take it anyway, than a boy who says the same

I recommend that educators who want to encourage young women to stay in
science and engineering understand the issue of gender equity in science
and look at research that has been done. They can do so through various web
sites and books mentioned in the opening statements. In fact, I'll plug the
one for my organization again that includes a compendium of articles and
research on gender equity in math, science, and technology -

In addition, as I said in my opening statement, many of the methods that
are good teaching strategies for girls are just plain good teaching
strategies. So, I would recommend that educators learn more about a
standards based approach to teaching that is inherently more equitable for
all students.

A question for you - what did you have in mind when you asked about K-12
engineering programs? An intervention or mentoring program where girls have
some contact with engineers?

Gay Gordon

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