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The Gender and Science Digital Library (GSDL)

Mission

The Gender & Science Digital Library is a cutting-edge project from the Gender, Diversities & Technology Institute at EDC, in conjunction with the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF has established the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) program a massive, international initiative which will result in a network of learning environments and resources for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. The program is aimed at meeting the needs of students and teachers at all levels--K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and lifelong learning--in both individual and collaborative settings, as well as formal and informal modes.

The Gender & Science Digital Library (GSDL) aims to provide high-quality digital resources to 1) help educators promote interest and engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education by learners of all ages, particularly females, 2) encourage learners to pursue science education and future careers in science, 3) provide an inter-disciplinary examination of the role of gender in the creation, teaching and learning of science, and 4) build community among all interested users for the purposes of inquiry, information exchange, best practices development and mentoring.

The collection will offer exceptional resources and services that help educators in promoting and implementing gender-equitable science education in both formal and informal settings, to both male and female students, and assisting in increasing female involvement in the sciences. In addition, it will provide resources to researchers and others working to understand the link between gender and science, including how gender influences the development of science and the role of women within science.

Audience

Educators and learners of all ages and in both formal and informal learning environments (K-12, community college, university, teacher preparation programs, women's studies programs), gender & equity researchers, practitioners, parents, and community members.

Significance & Need

Today's technology-based, global economy places an increasingly high premium on STEM education. Yet, international studies show that male and female students in the United States routinely rank below world standards in math and science achievement. Educators and researchers committed to increasing science interest and achievement in students struggle in their efforts to find materials that will enable them to understand issues surrounding male-female dynamics and roles in relation to science education and practice, increase male acceptance and support of women as scientists, and male and female students in the study of science.

As a global and cross-disciplinary resource, the GSDL is a leader in this unique and ground-breaking digital library initiative. The primary objective of the GSDL is to create a high-quality, interactive library of gender and STEM resources for K-12, higher education (community college and university), women's studies, teacher preparation programs, and informal learning environments.

The GSDL will assist educators and researchers in promoting and implementing gender-equitable STEM education in both formal and informal settings, to both male and female students, and assisting in increasing female involvement in the sciences. In addition, it will provide resources to researchers and others working to understand the link between gender and science, including how gender influences the development of science and the role of women within science. While focussing on gender equitable STEM resources as the core of its content, the GSDL will also develop a number of related categories such as gender fair science curriculum, teacher guides for integrating gender equitable instruction into existing curricula, resources on women in science, and strategies to bridge gender and racial divides in the sciences.

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