RSI Corporate - Licensing

Girls Outperform Boys on NAEP Tech, Engineering Sections

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“According to results from the NAEP exam, also called the Nation’s Report Card, American eighth-grade girls were found to outperform their male peers in technology and engineering literacy tests. Overall, girls were found to score three points higher than boys. This information is a reversal of gender expectations, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as boys tend to score higher than girls do in math and science testing. “We did not expect this pattern and the pattern does seem to be pretty clear from the data,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, a data arm of the Department of Education that evaluated the test results. “Overall it looks like girls have the ability and critical thinking skills to succeed in the fields of technology and engineering, and that’s worth noting.”…The test also discovered that students who participated in after-school activities that were focused on design and systems, such as a robotics club, or spent time creating their own design concepts typically scored higher than their peers who did not.”(more)

Boys in the classroom: Why gender matters

The Orange County Register – KELLY ST. JOHN REGIER

“Is the modern-day elementary school a hostile environment for boys in particular? According to the data, it can be. Research shows that boys are more likely than girls to face disciplinary actions, including such punishments as suspension and lost recesses, due to behavior. They suffer from a literacy gap too, demonstrating lower reading and writing levels at the elementary and high school levels compared with girls. Boys also are more likely to drop out of high school and less likely than girls to go to college. A 2013 study in the Journal of Human Resources illuminated a finding about why boys are less likely to get good grades or take advanced classes, despite scoring as well as girls on most standardized tests. It found that teachers of classes as early as kindergarten factor good behavior into grades.”(more)

Access To Education Does Lead To Gender Equality: Just Slowly

Forbes – Tim Worstall

“There’s a new paper out there looking at the progress on gender equality around the world. That paper, in the Journal of African Development, looks at three essential points. How much of the gender gap in education is being closed, how much of it in employment (and thus pay and income) and how much in political representation? Note that this is a global study so the numbers are going to be rather behind those of the UK and US. The way the paper is being read is that increased female access to education does not lead to greater gender equality of the other two. Yet this isn’t actually what the paper, properly understood, is saying at all. The important concept we have to add is of age cohorts. And once we do that then we can see that what we’re really being told is that greater access to education does indeed aid in closing those other two gaps. The point is though that this happens by age cohort: exactly the same as has happened in the UK and US in recent decades. There’s much greater gender inequality among 50 and 60 years olds in our own societies than there is among 25 year olds. And no, this isn’t solely the result of child bearing and rearing. It really was true that women had fewer career choices and less access to education 40 years ago than they do now. And some (please note, some) of that difference is reflected in the positions of those who were educated or not 40 years ago.”(more)

New Report Makes a Case: Build Your STEM Program Around Diversity and the Students Will Come

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“The statistics about the lack of women and girls interested in — or ultimately pursuing jobs in — science, engineering and other technical fields are well known but still startling: Women earn only 18 percent of engineering and computer science degrees and under-represented minority women, who make up 16 percent of the U.S. population, earn only 3 percent of engineering degrees and 5 percent of computer science degrees. The way to fix this, advocates say in a new white paper, is simple: Prioritize girls, particularly girls from underserved communities, from the first moments of designing a new STEM program.”(more)

Researchers tackle gender bias in STEM education

E-School News – Laura Devaney

“Researchers are tackling the stubborn question of how gender bias impacts STEM education. STEM education at the K-12 and university levels has seen its share of headlines, as industry experts and policymakers tout its importance in the nation’s economy and workforce. Despite the focus on engaging students in STEM education and encouraging them to pursue STEM majors in college, the STEM industry is still male-dominated. In fact, a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce study revealed that women hold approximately 50 percent of jobs in the country, but only fill just 25 percent of STEM jobs. That same study revealed that 17 of the top 20 highest-paying occupations require STEM skills.”(more)

Sexist bullying ‘can make bright girls feel unfeminine’

BBC – Judith Burns

“Girls feel they have to choose between being attractive or clever because of sexist name calling in schools, a teachers’ union leader has warned. It can lead to lessons “with boys talking and girls listening”, said Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Girls too often feel they are on a tightrope, Dr Bousted added. Students at both mixed sex and all-girls’ schools were internalising society’s views of women, she warned. “There are so many names girls can be called – far more than for boys,” said Dr Bousted, speaking ahead of the ATL’s annual conference in Liverpool next week where the issue will be discussed.”(more)