Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Math in the Media: Gender Bias in Teachers?

Yes, it does take a village to raise a child....  (H/T to The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton.)  But it seems it also takes a village to discourage girls from achieving their full potential in math and math-related fields....  (Sigh!)

In a new study, headed by Edith Sand, an economist at the Bank of Israel and an instructor at the Tel-Aviv University’s Berglas School of Economics, teachers themselves contribute to the problem of too many female students shying away from higher-level math courses as they progress in their education.  The study found a gender bias in performance evaluation;  Teachers who knew the identities of their students tended to grade girls more harshly and boys less so on exams than teachers who did not have any information about the students.   Unconscious or not, our influence as teachers on students always goes far beyond the content of our lectures and exercises.  But this influence may not always be constructive.  What care we need to always take....

The article, reported by Linda Carroll for Today, is  here:
Teacher Bias May Help Discourage Girls from Math, Study Finds
The study is published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass.

Depressing...?  Yes.  Hopeful?  Also.  Knowing of an unconscious bias can contribute to its cure, eh? 

Remember School House Rock?  "Knowledge is Power"

1 comment:

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