Imagine a world where schoolgirls are told that they are incapable or not as effective as their male counterparts in engaging in math and science, be it in studies or a related career. Sounds awful? But that may be happening at the school nearest to you. And it all boils down to teachers who may be contributing to this mindset, and consequently frustrating our daughters and altering their career paths.
As parents, we always want the best for our daughters and the thought of subjecting them to a gender-biased system is, well, unthinkable.
But news portal Vox tells us that such bias is alive and well in our schools.
Citing a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, it says that among the subjects tested by researchers, girls performed poorly in math when teachers understated their mathematical skills.
“This study suggests that girls were just as capable as boys at math at the start of the observation period, but they were slowly pushed away from math. To diminish an entire demographic's talent at once is to squander their potential productivity, and economic growth,” it says.
Imagine that. The math whiz in your daughter snuffed out because of some bias.
We realize as parents that girls are just as gifted as their male peers. When evaluated, we see that girls can utilize their working memory and visual form constancy to the same degree with their male peers when manipulating mathematical equations or scientific ideation.
We need to as parents encourage our daughters to not fall prey to society or their peers’ opinion in shaping their goals and aspirations.
The ramifications are detrimental: overall poor grades, wasted talent and a wider gender-wage gap.
It just goes to show that building up self-confidence and self-esteem are critical, even for our daughters.
Question: how do we respond?