New Report on girls’ interest in math and science

Posted by on September 15, 2008

Girls’ interest in math and science shown to benefit from adults’ support

Contrary to a widespread view that little can be done if middle- and high-school-aged girls show no interest in science or math, a study at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has found that encouragement and confidence instilled in young girls about math and science by their parents and teachers is more important than girls’ initial interest, Science Daily reports. “For the last 20 years, there has been all this work done on boosting interest of girls early on. But I don’t think that’s it,” says Nadya Fouad, a vocational psychologist who was one of the authors of the National Science Foundation-funded study. Instead, support — or its absence — and perceptions play heavily into whether girls follow and develop their interest, and gender-based preconceptions are still common in teachers.


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