Okay, so I concede right off the bat that by posting this link, I am cementing my status as a geek. I guess the good thing is that among this crowd, that ain’t such a bad thing.
From Wired’s GeekDad section, I came across this post citing a University of Wisconsin Milwaukee study write up on PhysOrg.com that links instilling confidence in young girls with success in math and science. No surprise there, of course, but certainly nice to have the hard data. The three year study looked at the barriers and supports for girls in learning and pursuing math and science.
While interest is certainly a factor in getting older girls to study and pursue a career in these disciplines, more attention should be given to building confidence in their abilities early in their education, says UWM Distinguished Professor Nadya Fouad. She is one of the authors of a three-year study aimed at identifying supports and barriers that steer girls toward or away from science and math during their education.
“The relationship between confidence and interest is close,” says Fouad. “If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest.”
Do our teachers and parents get this?
Are they not only providing opportunities for ALL students to learn, but also help them become confident young people?
If kids, as GeekDad’s Vincent Janoski suggests (and most of us believe), that a secure child does better in all things, then how much of what educators do is directed at this part of the child?
If we KNOW this works, why isn’t making kids confident and secure a bigger part of our curriculum and the needs of a 21st Century Learner?