Gender Equity in Math and Science Essay

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Gender Equity in Math and Science

From the research I have read while there is a disagreement on when and how much of a gender gap exists in math and science, there is definitely an equity issue that needs addressing. There seems to be an abundance of information about equity issues and as a future teacher I feel that it is important to examine these issues. If gender equity issues exist in today's’ classrooms why do they and what can be done to help correct it. Everything I've read so far states that a gender gap exists in science, while opinions about math vary. I found a paper on the Internet from the National Center for Education Statistics called “Trends In Educational Equity of Girls & Women.” Using information
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However, the National Center for Education Statistics (2000) reports that females are now doing as well or better than males in school and college and the gender gaps that have existed in most cases have been eliminated. From looking at the graphs presented in the NCES report if there is a differences in males and females scores the difference was very slight. This leads me to question how big a gender gap actually exists.

The NCES report (2000) on science is a little different. It reports that between 1973 and 1994 nine to thirteen year old females were more likely to score lower than males and that seventeen year old females always scored lower. In the early grades girls and boys are equally as interested in science and math as boys and their achievement is comparable, it is in middle school when girls begin to fall behind (M. Sadker, D. Sadker, and Stulberg, 1999). In every article I read there is agreement that there is a gender gap in science and I am convinced that one exists.

Why do these gender gaps exist? Researchers believe that cultural and social factors, as well as educational, and attitudinal factors contribute to this gap. Cultural beliefs that boys excel in math and science and that girls excel in the arts can be passed down through generations and adults who may not even realize it are acting on these beliefs (Sanders, 1997). “Subtle and unintended messages can create the idea among girls and boys that there are fields
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