Engaging Middle School Girls in Math and Science

From: edequity@phoenix.edc.org
Date: Mon Dec 06 1999 - 11:07:59 EST

Hello All,

     This has been an incredibly interesting dialogue and I hope that it
     will continue on EdEquity after the completion of this panel. Clearly
     the issues raised are global, and we need to link educators,
     researchers, families, students, busnesses....everyone committed to
     improving education--for math and science, for females, for males...

     A number of you have mentioned middle school years as critical. You
     might be interested in our online course, "Engaging Middle School
     Girls in Math and Science," which explores ways to create classroom
     environments that are supportive of girls' success in math and
     science. The course pays particular attention to diversity, helping
     educators in formal and informal settings examine beliefs, behaviors,
     and experiences related to gender, race, ethnicity, disability,
     socioeconomic status. Building on what teachers already know about
     good instructional practice, this course attends to the unique social
     and academic needs of girls and builds on the premise that maths and
     science represent useful skills and approaches to address life
     experiences--regardless of whether they lead to careers in these

     As part of the course, participants work as peers within a community
     of learners to: explore the out-of-awareness biases into which we are
     socialized and that permeate instructional practice; examine hidden
     gender-based assumptions in the math and science curriculum; examine
     good instructional practice that attends to the unique needs of
     students; explore resources and tools that allow teachers to be more
     inclusive in their representation of effective math, science, and
     technology practices; and learn how to build family and community
     support that values girls' successes in math, science, and technology.

     We are now offering the course online and it will again be offered in
     February. In addition, several of our collaborating partner
     organizations will also offer the course. For example the Eisenhower
     National Clearinghouse will also offer the course, perhaps in March.
     Our hope is that we can use this course as a springboard to an ongoing
     leadership for gender equity in math and science network, linking
     practitioners and researchers who participate in the course and then
     continue the dialogue via a listserv.

     We are also in the preliminary stages of looking for funding to
     develop a similar course for primary/elementary school and for
     secondary school. We'll let you know more about these as they

     In the meantime, check out our website for information on the course
     and the schedule

     <http://www.edc.org/womensequity> or contact us at weeactr@edc.org or

     Katherine Hanson
     Sr. Project Director

     WEEA Equity Resource Center
     Education Development Center, Inc
     55 Chapel Street,
     Newton, MA 02458

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