What key needs can we answer?

#1

Before we get into the nitty gritty of exactly what sort of educational resources we need to produce, we have to ask what needs educators, parents and students actually have!

So in this thread, please take a moment to describe the issues that you see with regard to the depiction of women in STEM in educational materials, and the challenges surrounding encouraging girls to focus on STEM subjects. Be expansive - no issue is too small to raise - and be as detailed as you can about exactly what you see as a problem.

0 Likes

About the Educational Resources category
#2

One thing it’s very important not to forget in educational resources is younger children - even before they begin school? The pervasive nature of the decision made for children by adults very early on must have an influence. It is very striking that there are “toys” and there are “girls toys” and there are “boys toys”. That would be fine if there was an even split there, but the “toys” in particular, are subtly actually for boys - Lego springs to mind here.

Getting women into stem means bringing up little girls to be comfortable with shape, pattern and number, so that they find that maths “makes sense” when they start doing it at school. Construction toys, modelling, patterning - all these things need to not be considered boyish. And the corollary is that the traditionally girly stuff needs to be made more accessible to boys (cf that post elsewhere here about female authors…)

Not sure how ALD can address this, but if we ignore little children, than a lot of the patterns have already been set by the time we see them at high school…

0 Likes

#3

I agree on all aspects of your post! I’m not sure how we can address this either, but perhaps at least one thing we could do would be to create a list of gender neutral toys that promote the right skill set that kindergartens could use.

But then, defining the problem properly makes coming up with solutions easier, so it’s good to talk about all aspects of it.

0 Likes