Rachael Denhollander: What’s a Girl Worth?

Jesus Creed | 9/10/2019 | Staff
Celtics2212 (Posted by) Level 3
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She’s worth more than power and protecting a name.

I work in the field of primary education, and I am constantly aware of the complexities of educating girls. Don’t quote me on this, but I read research in the not-too-distant past that highlighted an inherent difference between boys and girls in maths and sciences: When a boy gets a C in a math or science course, he counts himself a success and moves on to the next class. When a girl gets a C in a math or science course, she considers herself “not good” at the subject and discounts it entirely and moves away from any interest in the field.

Trend - Educators - Topic - Girls - Fields

So the trend educators are seeing, and again don’t quote me on this and I know I’m simplifying a far more complicated topic, is fewer and fewer girls entering the fields of math and science. The decline is connected to girls’ lower self-esteem and false impressions of intelligence and ability.

I tucked this research into my mind but mostly my heart years ago, using it each day to motivate and nurture and encourage the first and second-grade girls in my classroom, particularly in the math classes I teach. (Fortunately for my students, I don’t teach science.) It’s not that I ignore the boys. I don’t. But I know girls are less likely to raise their hand, they want to fit in with their peers more than boys, and they are more susceptible to anxiety and depression. I watch them and talk to them and encourage them and try to do my part in the development of healthy self-esteem. I guess you could say I have a heart for young girls, and I care about their emotional health — not just because they are girls, but I know my gifted girls tend toward...
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