[EDEQUITY] Gender Equity & Math Prerequisites

From: Donna Milgram (dmilgram@iwitts.com)
Date: Thu Sep 07 2000 - 12:55:24 EDT

I need some help

1)identifying some key pieces of literature that make the case that
adult women and minorities learn math more easily through contextual
non-traditional methods;

2) examples of programs that's have used these methods successfully with
adult women and minorities;

3) off-the-shelf curriculums that compress the pre-algebra/intro algebra
timeline into a short timespan - say two or three months;

4) off-the-shelf curriculums that teach pre-technology skills.

I am working with three community colleges (I'm a PI on an NSF Project
called WomenTech) that are very willing to consider a math module of
some kind - that will enable their female and minority students to get
through the math prerequisites to their technology programs - but they
need some background and some "how to's."

I've been doing some searching -- even tracking down some model programs
for their curriculums -- but nobody has anything formal or
"off-the-shelf" to share who is doing this kind of thing. I find lots
of "soft" info on about attending to students equally, overcoming
stereotypes -- all important and valid -- but I'm looking for something
to hand to a Department chair who wants to schedule the course and
prepare the instructors to teach it.

Please e-mail me with any info you have.

For those wanting to read on here's the background:

IWITTS is directing the WomenTech Project assisting three community
college sites in increasing the number of females in technology
certificate and degree programs. IWITTS conducted an Assessment in each
of the three sites and there are high math prerequisites for the
targeted programs. Most women (and minorities) would not come with these
math prerequisites and thus would have to take courses to qualify for
admission to the programs.

Elementary Algebra or Intro to algebra is most common but several also
require technical and advanced math. For most students this would mean 2
consecutive semesters of math at least - almost a year's time. Few would
be motivated to take that long route before entering a one to two-year

Additionally, the courses offered in the community colleges are very
traditional - classroom style, non-contextual. They would not be
engaging to a non-math oriented student.

The targeted programs with the prereqs include:

Telecommunications, Electronics, Engineering Design, CAD, Computer
Networking, Process Control Technology, Chemical Technology, etc.

Again, thanks for your help on this.
Donna Milgram
Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science
www.iwitts.com * donnam@iwitts.com
1150 Ballena Blvd, Suite 102
Alameda, CA 94501
510-749-0200 ext. 101 (phone) 510-749-0500 (fax)

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