Re: Reading and Writing

Date: Thu Feb 10 2000 - 17:32:31 EST

I'd like to respond to Stephanie's post since I've just finished reviewing
a manuscript for a Canadain journal that suggests that, in fact, there is
current literature available and the interest in this area is increasing
dramatically just recently. I can't think of a conference that I have
attended recently where this hasn't been a topic of conversation. Of
course, the gender gap in language is not something new but it has not been
taken up in any substantial way until recently. My own reading is that a
closer examination of this phenomenon suggests that the gap is particularly
wide with working class boys and since there were jobs that required
scientific expertise more than language expertise available to working
class boys in the manufacturing sector, etc., it just wan't seen as
terribly important. Now that the economy is switching to an information
base, language skills are more important in the workplace at all
economic levels and I expect that this change will drive more attention to
the issues. We'll see. In the meantime, the example of proactive change
around girls in science, math, and technology serves as a model for change
which can't be allowed to be eclipsed but perhaps can be emulated.
Janice Wallace
Faculty of Education
The University of Western Ontario

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