Q&A #1690

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Gender equity in mathematics

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From: Suzanne Alejandre

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000080309:55:29
Subject: Re: Gender equity in mathematics

Dear Ian,

>1. Do you have any idea why this should be more true for girls than
>for boys?

I can answer this for that specific case but I hesitate a little
because who knows if this can be generalized or not? When I described
the activity to Noreen, I was just pointing out something that I had
observed with my students that year. When we did the activity
(pictograms) the girls in my class spent about twice as much time
(sometimes coming to class extra - before/after school) to create nice
pictograms. The boys completed the task but they just didn't "get into
it" like the girls did. As I say again, though, this was just my
observation with this one group.

>2. Do you have any reason to believe that this approach results in
>girls learning more mathematics than they would otherwise learn? 

No. I can guess, of course. I just hesitate to write my opinion
because I have no formal reason to back it. As a teacher I try to find
activities that are engaging. If a student (male or female) is engaged
in the project whether it be that they like the graphics or what, I
"think" I can hook them more into the mathematics that we are doing.
Who knows, though, unless a test case is set up with a control group
and all of that. Classroom teachers don't have time to try such things
without a lot of support and help and I in this case that was not

I'm not intending to sound negative. I just want to make it clear that
my statements were not research supported and as a T2T Associate I was
just sharing some friendly, teacher advice.


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