girls and math

Girls and Math: Busting the Myth (from Mind/Shift)

Girls Are Bad at Math Myth

I thought this was an important article on girls and math from Mind/Shift:

Do girls need special attention when it comes to science, math, and technology topics? In response to last week’s article about Techbridge, the after-school science program specifically geared to girls, some readers strongly refuted the notion that girls need the extra nudge.

“‘Steering’ something suggests directing it in a path it would not normally, of its own inclination, go!” wrote reader Julian Penrod. “The very title connotes a program to give an impression of female overall interest in the hard sciences, even though it wouldn’t necessarily, on its own, exist. In other words, a fraud.”

The reader raises a subtle but important issue — but it goes much deeper than that. According to Claude Steele, author of Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, it’s not that girls aren’t necessarily interested in science and math, it’s whether they’re discouraged from following their interests because of the persistent stereotype that girls aren’t good at that sort of thing.

rest of article here.

image from sciencemediacentre

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Andrew

    Awesome read.

  2. tinafreysd

    The impact of being stereotyped can be dramatically reduced, Steele adds. Schools should practice this strategy, and parents should create an atmosphere at home that learning math and science can be as challenging for girls as for boys — and that the fun lives in solving the challenge.
    tinafreysd recently posted…How to Get Rid of Acne on Your BackMy Profile

    • To Tina.
      Yes, I agree that there is a lot that can be done at school and at home to encourage girls that math is a learned skill not a gift and break down other stereotypes of girls and math.

  3. Ann

    Very interesting! I think this is so interesting. I excelled at math and science maybe because the obstacle of being a girl was less than my dyslexia obstacle with reading…

    It would be great if we were all more open minded and didn’t begin defining ourselves so young.
    Ann recently posted…Field TripMy Profile

    • To Ann,
      It’s such a subtle thing to change our thinking about math being a gift versus a skill. But it is amazing how differently it affects kids. I guess that is why there is the same emphasis on calling PE Physical Education versus gym …

  4. Nicole Anderson

    Well, that gift-that-girls-don’t-have thing is pretty upsetting. But it’s something that pushes them to strive and prove that it’s all wrong. This post is very helpful by the way. Thanks!
    Nicole Anderson recently posted…MSDSonline Teams up with ASSE and Jennifer Silk for GHS Webinar on April 19My Profile

    • To Nicole,
      I agree with you! I am glad you found the post helpful! It is upsetting how stereotyping can prevent girls from pursuing math and science, especially since this is such a great career path!

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