Gender: Girls in Science Day – Equality in the Classroom

“On this International Day, I urge commitment to end bias, greater investments in science, technology, engineering and math education for all women and girls as well as opportunities for their careers and longer-term professional advancement so that all can benefit from their ground-breaking future contributions.” —

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

Why


In 2008/9 I was invited to complete some action research after reading the ‘Girls into Physics’ report from the Institute of Physics.

“I don’t treat girls any different to boys in the classroom, I’m a feminist. Surely this will be reflected in my practice.”

This was the first thing I said post report. Being a scientist I don’t operate on conjecture.

How

I completed a quick video analysis of over 5 classes. All I did was complete a tally of interactions with girl and boys. Shockingly my interaction totals were 90% boys 10% girls.

Madness!

What

What is going on? Regardless of the quality of the interaction (I’ll blog on this later) I was favouring 50% of the class. This can’t be fair;

Post analysis I now plan my quality interactions with girls and complete a video analysis at least once a term. Last set of results boys: 60% girls: 40%. Not their yet but battling this unconscious bias.

Try it out … If you don’t have recording equipment just get someone use a tally chart in the classroom.

There is more to come but I’m getting this out there 🙂

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