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Teachers must tell girls they 'belong' in science, says NASA's chief scientist

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  2. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Teachers should be responsible for encouraging all pupils in whatever subject they teach.
    Coming from a time where I was told I had to improve at HE or how would I cook my husband's dinner and that there was no point teaching girls science so I may as well stand back and let the boys see the experiment, I welcome any encouragement given which breaks down those gender barriers.
     
    TCSC47 likes this.
  3. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    There are so many external factors, it's not just teachers. I read somewhere (but didn't keep the link), for example, that if mothers tell their daughters that they weren't very good at Maths when they were at school, that the daughter's performance in Maths declines in the same term.

    My nine-year old daughter consistently says that she wants to be a scientist when she grows up - is that lack of confidence something that will come later?
     
    wanet likes this.
  4. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    This is where pure honest research comes in. Trying to tease out some of the more important factors which affect student choices.

    Unfortunately, the state of education research is such that it is not clear whether we are getting the quality of research needed.
     
  5. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    When it comes to girls taking a subject how much they like those teaching it can be very important. I remember several girls telling me that they weren't going to take maths in the sixth form because they didn't want to risk being taught by some nasty teachers in the maths department: and, in fact, the HOD was indeed an extremely nasty individual, who seemed to enjoy belittling her students.

    So, one way of encouraging girls to take up science is to try and make sure they are taught by charismatic teachers. From my observations this is much more important for girls than it is for boys, who seem more prepared to put up with a grumpy old git.
     
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Grrr. What have I spent 3 decades doing?
    Science teachers have always told girls they belong in science (apart from the ones working in boys' schools).
    Admittedly there were some girls we didn't encourage post 16, but that was ability and interest related and we discouraged a similar proportion of boys.
    I'm so cross, I fell down the stairs and am now lying at the foot of them.
     
    TCSC47 and Middlemarch like this.
  7. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Likewise. Do they really think we deliberately prevent girls from taking our subject.
     
  8. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Not mine.
     
  9. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    People who enjoy or want to study science "belong" in science, thats all !. It doesn't matter if they are male, female, transgender or android.
     
  10. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    WHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT! They'll be giving them the vote next, and letting them drive cars.
     
  11. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Domestic?
     
  12. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Totally agree!

    I remember one thing I would do, which was to insist on using the term "human made" rather than "man made". It went down quite well with both girls and boys.

    I would add that I was always careful to not put down any other subject, but to try and show where science could help the pursuit of that particular subject. One interesting example was that I used to copper plate leaves and flowers with yr9 using a technique demonstrated by the "fragrant" Mary in a video I had (google her if you don't know who she was). One of my students went on to use the technique to copper plate a cow's heart very successfully in her Art A level project. It did rot and start smelling by the time moderation came around, but she got a very good mark for it. The copper plating held in place.

    I suppose it was lucky for her that I did not know about her project until it was over, or I think I would have had to put a stop to using a cow heart.

    And yes, a lot of it is outside our control due to the external baggage that some kids bring into class. But, hey! Isn't that still our job! Nobody (and of course NOBODY!!!) said it was going to be easy!!
     

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