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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Don't tell girls they can't do calculus

Calculus was challenging and empowering, writes Emily Hoeven in the San Francisco Chronicle, who'd thought she "wasn't a math person." She's glad her school didn't shunt girls and "students of color" on to an easier path.

California's newly approved math guidelines encourage schools to provide alternatives, such as data science, to help underrepresented “students to ‘see themselves’ in curriculum and in math-related careers.”

It won't build confidence, writes Hoeven. Everyone knows when they're on the low track. And it won't prepare students to earn four-year degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) and go on to high-paying careers.

That's why state universities will no longer allow data science courses to fulfill the advanced-math admissions requirement.

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4 comentários

22 de jul. de 2023

Yeah, there certainly didn't seem to be tracking by sex or "students of color" back in the late '70s Tennessee schools I attended. There was tracking but not by sex or race. You could go half day to the vo-tech school where they moved the shop classes but it was impossible to do that and take the "college prep" academic classes. I tried.

But this could have value as NYU did a June 2020 study and found that of low-achieving math/science students in high school, males didn't let that keep them from trying Physics, Engineering or Computer Science (PECS) in college, with many succeeding. The women who pursued PECS majors were high-achieving math/science students in high school.

When the researchers…

21 de jul. de 2023

Uh.. who said girls can't do calculus in the first place? Back when I was in high school, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the calculus class was about half girls and a couple of them were among the sharpest students in the class.

I'm beginning to think, more and more, that history is being "pink washed" to make the past more discriminatory against women than it was. No one who was there argues that there wasn't discrimination, but now just about every woman you see interviewed on television has some personal story about being told that "only men can do that" or "only men can have that job". There may have been a time in the US when that w…

23 de jul. de 2023
Respondendo a

"Uh.. who said girls can't do calculus in the first place?"

That was my first thought, too. I teacher younger high schoolers (primarily freshmen -- algebra 1 and geometry) and son of a gun if it isn't teeming with girls who are among the best math students I have ever taught. "Students of color", too. (I guess that's as opposed to "students of pallor" or "translucent students"?)

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