Math--Where the Girls Are?
I went to an all-girls high school, so I never had a good sense of whether boys actually do call out all the answers or are pushed harder in math classes (two commonly cited reasons why families choose single-sex high schools).
In the Algebra II class I'm taking now at Fairfax High, the teacher is a woman and it's the girl who sits behind me who gets all the answers right and who often gets approached by the boys (and by me) for homework help. So, I'd like to know...how are girls faring in math these days?
A new study shows girls are making some headway. In 2000 they made up about half of those who earned undergraduate math degrees. And in 2007, they constituted more than a quarter of U.S.-born math PhD's. The stats show that large numbers of women show the interest and aptitude to handle higher level math. But relatively few women are labeled gifted in math and on-track for top-flight math competitions.
The study looked at math competitions such as the International Mathematical Olympiad, and the
William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, and found young women were under-represented. Those who did participate were often born in other countries in Eastern Europe or Asian, where math is more highly valued, and women are more encouraged.
For more, here's a New York Times story on the study.
Posted by: ggartner | October 20, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse
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