Gender and Diversities Institute

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GDI News

Spring 2002 Issue # 2
Making a difference for everyone

Front Page

Since 1976, the WEEA Equity Resource Center at EDC, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) Program, has promoted gender equitable education for all students. Our mission is to create and distribute gender equity tools to transform educational standards, policies, and society, so that girls, boys, women, and men of all races, ages, ethnicities, and abilities can thrive. In addition to the Resource Center, which serves the entire nation, the WEEA Program has also provided funding for over 700 projects that implement equitable education on the grassroots level.

While the mandate of the WEEA Program is to focus on educational opportunities for women and girls, the projects supported by WEEA grants have a positive effect on education for both females and males. For example, the extremely successful Mother-Daughter Program for Latinas, which was started by a WEEA grant directed by Josie Tinajero at the University of Texas, El Paso, has served a model for a Father-Son Program for Latino boys in Texas. Several WEEA grants have also specifically included the participation of boys and young men in their missions. In some cases, the target populations were boys and girls of color, or students with low socio-economic backgrounds. The "Native American In-Home Science Enhancement" grant directed by Donald Daugs at Utah State University, worked with 5th and 6th grade Navajo boys and girls and their families and communities. The "Equal Access in Practice for Girls in Science and Mathematics Education," directed by Sharon Worsham at Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia, included 5th and 6th grade boys and girls in a female scientist/mentor program to increase interest in science in the middle grades.

Other programs have chosen to specifically address the development of coed settings that are inclusive of all students. An example of this is the 1993 grant titled, "Equal Partners: Making Coed Programs in Math, Science, and Engineering Work for Girls," directed by nationally recognized researcher Patricia Campbell, which applied research on effective strategies in single-sex settings to coed programs. A similar technique was used in the "Learning by Peer Tutoring" grant, directed by Dennis Martinez, which paired average and at-risk boys and girls in a peer tutoring program for math. Finally, other programs have made partners of the genders to work on issues that relate to all students. A grant titled, "Gender-based Bullying and Teasing in grades K-5," directed by Merle Froschl and Barbara Sprung of Educational Equity Concepts in New York, examined the views of both boys and girls on this topic as the antecedent to sexual harassment, and developed strategies for addressing the issue for parents and teachers. A grant titled "Sexual Harassment and Gender Violence in Schools: A Research and Development Project Linking Schools and Community Based Organizations with Title IX" directed by Nan Stein of the Wellesley Center for Research on Women was working on curriculum and training development for "collaborative intervention models" for bullying and sexual harassment. All of these projects are just a few examples of how the WEEA Program has reinforced the goal of making gender equity work for all students.


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