New research by Nicole Else-Quest, PhD and her team have determined that previous assertions that girls are inferior in math to boys were grossly overestimated.
What was discovered through this research? Well, it is quite interesting because aptitude aside, confidence and value systems from those around students is what plays a significant role. The encouragement from others in their environment along with sound curriculum and instruction impact a girls view of her abilities in math.
I am so happy for girls all around the world that this research has come out. Males for decades have parroted this idea that they were smarter than females in an attempt to secure a competitive edge in the academic domains that society feels mean and pay the most. Girls and their mothers should feel a bit liberated by this new information because it allows for new dreams to bloom. And, though this is great news moving forward…it’s got me looking backward…
Why is it that we can fly to the moon, come up with i-phone apps for breathing, and computer chips to track man’s best friend, but we need research to tell us that valuing another human being might impact their lives positively? Normal males and females understand this premise and that is why we, collectively, take the time with life’s little details….they matter!
The message I hope that boys and the men in their lives take from this research is this…model the attitude and behavior you would like in return and you will be paid two-fold;
1. The females in your lives will greatly appreciate openness and support from you.
2. You will receive the emotional support you so desperately want, even if you don’t know it, at school and at home.
Boys and girls have it hard enough in our schools…the least we can all do is be supportive of our abilities and individual approaches. Competing with others can serve as motivation when it is fair and desired by both parties. Competition in an effort to rise above while knocking down others does nothing but perpetuate the stereotype that boys and males are bullies when they don’t get their way.
We can all win and this research tells us that in order to do so it takes a shift in perception by both the students AND adults in their lives.