Engaging Girls in Math & Science

Mon, 28 Dec 1998 13:33:36 -0500 (EST)

We hope you'll participate and invite your colleagues to participate, in an
upcoming On-line Course:


Reach out to the biggest population of math and science underachievers--Girls.
It's not that they're incapable. It's just that they have been unwittingly
discouraged from succeeding in these fields.
Achievement tests through fifth grade show that girls' and boys' scores are
nearly identical. In the sixth grade, however, girls' math and science grades
plummet. Middle school is the critical transition. Starting in the middle school
grades, girls are less likely to take elective courses in math and science. This
downward spiral is especially severe for girls of color, girls with
disabilities, girls living in poverty, and first who are learning English as a
new language.

Without the prerequisite math and science classes, it is impossible for women to
pursue over 30% of college majors. After college, math and science knowledge is
crucial to an increasing number of careers, especially at management levels.
Frances Rosamond of National University has shown that, on average, starting
salaries across all professions increase $2000 for every math course taken after
the ninth grade.

Women aren't the only ones being cheated; our whole society is! The United
States cannot afford to lose half of its talent and the fresh perspectives they
could bring to such critical fields.

WEEA Equity Resource Center and the New England Comprehensive Assistance Center
at EDC invite you to participate in the NEW ENGLAND PILOT of the ON-LINE COURSE:


This on-line course will explore ways of creating classroom environments that
are supportive of girls' successes in math and science. Building on what
teachers already know about good instructional practice, this course will attend
to the unique social and academic needs of girls at this point in their
development. The long term goal of this course is to understand how to increase
the interest of middle school girls in math and science, impact their
achievement levels so that they continue to pursue
math and science courses in high school, and provide them with the foundation to
pursue a variety of options at the college level. The math and science focus of
this on-line course builds on the premise that these disciplines represent
useful skills and approaches to addressing life experiences regardless of
whether they lead to careers in these fields.

Specifically, participants in the course will:

Explore the out-of-awareness biases into which we are socialized and that
permeate instructional practice
Examine hidden gender-based assumptions in the MST curriculum
Examine good instructional practice that attends to the unique needs of students
who are girls of color, English Language Learners (ELL) and/or have disabilities

Explore resources such as tools, materials, role models, that will allow
teachers to be more inclusive in their representation of good math, science, and
Learn how to build family and community support that values girls' successes in
math, science, and technology

The course will be offered over a nine week period, with each of eight class
sessions posted for two weeks at a time. The eight sessions are as follows:

     Gender in math and science classrooms (Jan. 18-Jan. 31)
     Equitable expectations and interaction (Jan. 25-Feb. 7)
     Equitable Teaching Strategies (Feb. 1-Feb.14)
     Counteracting bias in math and science curricula (Feb. 8-Feb. 21)
     Assessment for diverse students (Feb. 15-Feb. 28)
     Power, empowerment and competence (Feb. 22-Mar. 7)
     Family and community support (Mar. 1-Mar. 14)
     Final student presentations (Mar. 8-Mar. 21)

Explore the subject with colleagues. Examine ways of including different
perspectives. Share research information, relevant web-links, reflective
exercises, and lots of good discussion. Get in on the ground level with this New
England field test of a course that will be offered nationally later in the
year. All you
will need to participate is access to the Internet, an e-mail address, and your

START DATE: The week of January 18, 1999
COURSE LENGTH: Nine weeks (from Jan. 18 through week of Mar. 15), comparable to
16 hour course.
FEE: $25 (course fee will increase after the pilot) Includes course materials

ENROLLMENT: Limited to 35 participants (preference is for teams of 2 teachers
from the same school), teaching in one of the 6 New England states (Connecticut,
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont). See enrollment

COURSE COMMITMENTS: 1) a minimum of 2 hours on-line per 2 week session; 2)
prepare and present a final project on-line; and 3)participate in an on-going
evaluation of the course.

PDPs available for Massachusetts.

For more information, call Susan Carter at (800) 225-3088 or E-mail Maria-Paz
Avery at <MAvery@edc.org>.

Offered by the WEEA Equity Resource Center, in collaboration with New England
Comprehensive Assistance Center at EDC. WEEA Equity Resource Center is funded
by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary
Education, Women's Educational Equity Act program to promote effective education
and opportunities for women and girls. The New England Comprehensive
Assistance Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the
Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (IASA), to provide technical assistance
to IASA grantees in New England, assisting them in developing high performance
schools for all students.

Fill out the registration form below, OR register on our website,

Last Name:

First Name:

School Address:

Mailing Address (where you want to receive information):

E-mail address you will be using for the course:

Telephone number where you want to receive messages:

Grade(s)/Cluster(s) in which you teach:

Subject area(s) you teach:

Number of years you have taught:
Do you consider your school
         - urban - suburban - rural

Please check those teaching/assessment strategies/tools you have used (check all
that apply)
   - cooperative learning
   - inquiry-based science
   - math manipulatives
   - calculators
   - portfolio assessments
   - project-based learning
   - other (please describe)

Do you use computers in your classroom?

If yes, for what purposes? And how many?

Will you be using a computer at school or at home or both to participate in this
on-line seminar?

Have you previously participated in any on-line discussions?

If yes, what did you find useful?

What difficulties, barriers did you experience?
Thank You!

WEEA Equity Resource Center
EDC - 55 Chapel Street
Newton, MA 02458
(800) 225 - 3088

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