Undoubtedly, like the rest of us, elementary school teachers are not perfect and, undoubtedly, those teachers do exhibit (as studies have shown) a bias toward boys. However, they get blamed no matter what they do.
Posted by timothyon Monday February 09, 2015 @08:07AM from the would-blame-middle-school-teachers-myself dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Citing a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (free to Federal employees), the NY Times reports on how elementary school teachers' pro-boy biases can discourage girls from math and science. "The pipeline for women to enter math and science occupations narrows at many points between kindergarten and a career choice," writes Claire Cain Miller, "but elementary school seems to be a critical juncture. Reversing bias among teachers could increase the number of women who enter fields like computer science and engineering, which are some of the fastest growing and highest paying. 'It goes a long way to showing it's not the students or the home, but the classroom teacher's behavior that explains part of the differences over time between boys and girls,' said Victor Lavy, an economist at University of Warwick in England and a co-author of the paper." Although the study took place in Israel, Lavy said that similar research had been conducted in several European countries and that he expected the results were applicable in the United States."
IMO, educators have a difficult time of it. In general, teachers at the elementary school level are drawn from the populace of a locale and, in general, reflect the values of its residents. It isn't the teachers who force parents to dress their kids in sex-appropriate colors (Girls aspire) and teachers dare not teach things that parents don't support. (Here in Kansas, our legislators make every effort to assure that science is taught from a religious book, the Christian Bible, rather than from science books.) The educators pretty much follow the will of the residents.
I can "prove" this (well, demonstrate it with a single data point). My one conversation with the superintendent of schools, caused the local school system to change the policy that kept girls out of "shop" classes and boys out of "home economics" classes. A friend shook his head as he told me of attending the open-house night at the local junior high school at which he saw the work of my daughter in a shop class and of my closest friend's son in a sewing class.
Historical tale: Back when the earth was cooling and I was in 7th grade, they forced girls to take home economics and boys to take shop. However, toward the end of the year, they switched off and had the boys take several classes in home economics while the girls took several classes in shop. I was disappointed when they cancelled that arrangement for my 7th grade class. School closed early that year - probably to avoid the heat of summer at a time when polio was making the rounds.
In addition (I understand that I've written this before): 1) They keep putting stupid pink hats on girls and stupid blue hats on boys in the neo-natal care units of the hospitals and 2) parents continue to dress babies/toddlers/infants in clothes that scream out, "I am a boy!" or "I am a girl!" (Please note blue and pink clothing in the cartoon, for gods sake.)
“Data were obtained from a stratified random sample of veterinary practices throughout Great Britain, and questionnaires were sent to owners of dogs with tail injuries and owners of a randomly selected sample of dogs without tail injuries…. Two hundred and eighty-one tail injuries were recorded from a population of 138,212 dogs attending 52 participating practices….. Dogs with a wide angle of wag and dogs kept in kennels were at significantly higher risk of sustaining a tail injury. Dogs with docked tails were significantly less likely to sustain a tail injury.”
See the problem with the logic? One hundred percent of the "Dogs with docked tails...." were injured (ask your dog!); thus, they cannot be "...significantly less likely to sustain a tail injury."
In real estate, it's location, location, location. In doing something that affects a lot of people, it's coordination, coordination, coordination.
A bit over one year ago, someone started a buzz around Wichita to change the name of the largest airport in the State of Kansas. Eventually, "The Wichita City Council, sitting as the airport authority, voted Tuesday to change the name of Mid-Continent Airport to Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. (April 8, 2014) The Wichita Eagle". Below is the photo that accompanies the newspaper report.
The article continued:
The action Tuesday was largely symbolic, clearing the way for the new name to go to the Federal Aviation Administration for paperwork changes. The name change becomes effective next year when the new airport terminal opens.
The vote also cleans up a city omission from March, inserting the name “Wichita” officially into the new airport name.
Eisenhower, who was from Abilene, served as supreme commander of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II and as United States president from 1953 to 1961.
Opponents of the change reiterated their criticisms Tuesday: the estimated $270,000 cost to the airport and city to change the name and highway signage, the 60 years that have passed since Ike was president.
Former county commissioner Dave Bayouth contended that young people today don’t know who Eisenhower is.
And city clerk Karen Sublett read into the record a statement from the city’s airport advisory board opposing the change. The board met Monday afternoon and voted 10-1 to oppose the name change.
But in the end, Mayor Carl Brewer said, “I could never come up with a reason not. There are more reasons why it’s the right thing to do.”
I changed some of the text to red in the above excerpt: "The name change becomes effective next year when the new airport terminal opens." Therein, lies the rub. No one thought about coordinating the name change with the FAA's schedule for publishing updated charts. Thus, although the signage remains the same (well, it looked just like the above photo when I took Hunky Husband to catch his flight last Sunday morning), the FAA has changed some charts. For instance, if a pilot looks up NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen), this is what greets them:
Data Current as of: Wed, 14 Jan 2015 13:37:00 UTC
ICT WICHITA DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER NATIONAL
The new terminal is scheduled to open in about three months. I'll try to remember to share some photos at that time.
Please note that Pres Eisenhower had no ties to Wichita, other than having lived in the State of Kansas - in Abilene KS - about 120 miles distant from Wichita. The Eisenhower Memorial Highway (AKA Kansas Hiway 15 or K-15) runs through Wichita, leading to Abilene, the site of the Eisenhower Memorial Museum. From our house, driving a total of 1.75 miles west, 0.4 miles north puts us on K-15.
Some of us (me, for instance) know just enough about science to understand that (following is my assertion) the results set out by principle researchers of studies are often 1) wrong, 2) ill-conditioned, and 3) (at best) misleading. I agree with a statement made in a health news article, "There’s lots of evidence that demonstrates that industry involvement can skew the direction of research, it can skew the research questions that are asked, and researchers follow the money...."
If you are interest, the particular study in the health news article concerns chocolate and its "health benefits".
Health-enhancing flavanols that end up on the shelf will likely appear in form other than chocolate
By Kelly Crowe, CBC News Posted: Jan 05, 2015 10:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 05, 2015 10:01 PM ET
When the New York Times ran this headline last fall, "To improve a memory, consider chocolate," it quickly became one of the newspaper’s "most emailed" stories. Other news outlets rushed to match the story.
My assignment desk perked up and sent me the clipping with the question "interesting?" And it was interesting, but not for the reasons most news editors hope.
It was interesting because the study was not about chocolate at all. That’s because chocolate contains almost none of the compound that the researchers are studying.
It’s an irony that lies at the heart of a major international scientific effort to find something healthy in the cocoa bean, an effort largely sponsored by the chocolate industry.
I recommend that you go to the article (following the headline link) if you really care about the subject. My only interest is that the chocolate debate is so akin to many debates that are bandied about by our Western world (at least) populace and politicians.
Can’t see circle 1: High agression, proneness to conflict, the recommendation is to add more physical excercise and cold showers.
Can’t see circle 2: Possible low than average intellectual abilities, can’t serve with sophisticated equipment.
Can’t see circle 3: Possible debauchery, soldier should get increased daily ration, should get more physical activity tasks, should not be connected to food supplies, etc.
Can’t see circle 4: Possible inclination to violence, can be assigend as a leader to his unit, as he can preserve discipline.
Can’t see circle 5: Possible latent homosexuality. Can be light uncontrolled accesses of attraction to the same sex.
Can’t see circle 6: Possible schizophreanic tendency. Required additional inspection.
Every soldier should be tested before assignment, according to the order #2299.”
Well, who are you going to believe - the posting or me? I can't be the only one who remembers the above test as being one applied in the USA, at least, to test for color-blindness. I think someone just wished to have a bit of fun with his/her readers!
The first time I took that test, during a 1st Class Medical Exam to get a medical certificate for flying, I about freaked out the flight surgeon who administered the test - by missing one of the six circles. Most color-blindness is linked to the Y-chromosome (of which I have none of my own!) The flight surgeon in Seattle, 1966, was the first to administer the test on me. My flight surgeon in Wichita, 1964, had not bothered. It was probably #2 that I missed then. At least, just now, I had difficulty deciphering it! (Prior to having cataract surgery 4.5 years ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to decipher any of them.)
One hundred years ago, and again some years later, I worked for The Big Bomber Store (TBBS - see Terms Used by Cop Car). At both times, I was surrounded by 100s of my closest work pals - without partitian of any sort. Telephone sets were at a premium. One set was shared among two to four workers - and - one or two phone numbers were assigned to the whole group in which I worked, meaning that if the phone rang, there was a 1 in 50 or 1 in 20 chance that it was for any one person. Usually, the lowest ranking person in the group (invariably a woman and, in the former instance, me!) had the privilege of answering the ringing phone and pressing a buzzer to alert the workers at the appropriate telephone set that one of them should pick up the handset.
Furnishings: Each worker had one desk, one chair, and a 24-to-30-inch high bookcase that contained two shelves. In addition, each person might have a 2-page/day flip-over calender - if they let it be known in December that they wished to have one for the coming year. We were provided pencils and erasers and, if our jobs required it, a mechanical or electro-mechanical calculator and/or a stack of "in" baskets; but, we were expected to bring our own slide rules, drawing gear, and such.
As I noted above, we were each a part of a sea of desks. Now, a posting on Slashdot.orgsays that was a bad thing.
Posted by Soulskillon Tuesday December 30, 2014 @10:03PM from the not-literally dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Lindsey Kaufman reports in the WaPo that despite its obvious problems, the open-office model has continued to encroach on workers across the country, with about 70 percent of U.S. offices having no or low partitions. Silicon Valley has led the way — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enlisted famed architect Frank Gehry to design the largest open floor plan in the world, housing nearly 3,000 engineers within a single room that stretches 10 acres. Michael Bloomberg was another early adopter of the open-space trend, saying it promoted transparency and fairness. Bosses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their employees, ensuring clandestine porn-watching, constant social media-browsing and unlimited personal cellphone use isn't occupying billing hours. But according to Kaufman, employers are getting a false sense of improved productivity. A 2013 study showed many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poorer work performance. Nearly half of the surveyed workers in open offices said the lack of sound privacy was a significant problem, and more than 30 percent complained about the lack of visual privacy. The New Yorker, in a review of research on this nouveau workplace design, determined that the benefits in building camaraderie simply mask the negative effects on work performance. While employees feel like they're part of a laid-back, innovative enterprise, the environment ultimately damages workers' attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction says Kaufman. "Though multitasking millennials seem to be more open to distraction as a workplace norm, the wholehearted embrace of open offices may be ingraining a cycle of underperformance in their generation," writes Maria Konnikova. "They enjoy, build, and proselytize for open offices, but may also suffer the most from them in the long run."
Personally, for the type of work that we were doing, I thought the "sea of desks/drawing tables" worked well. People worked quietly, for the most part; but, if there was anything going on, each of us had the opportunity to pick up information from conversations going on around us. Perhaps it doesn't work well for younger generations who have been bred to have split-second attention spans.
Something else that Bev* Hodges, Chief Engineer, had right was that when we went home at night, nothing was to be left atop our desks and/or bookcases (drafters were allowed to cover their drawing tables with roll-across oilcloth covering, leaving their in-progress drawings taped to the table.) "In" baskets and calendars were left in the seats of our chairs, at night. Most phones were on a 360-degree-swing support, mounted to the side of one desk in a group of 2 to 4 desks. Telephones not so mounted might also be put in the seat of one's chair.
P.S. I should let you know that TBBS did not house the largest sea of desks in which I ever worked. All of the aerospace engineering spaces in which I worked (or that I visited) had the same type of layout. Only when working for the Little Engineering Company did most of the engineers work one-to-four-to-the office. (Fortunately, with that company, I always ranked highly enough to rate a private office. At the Little Airplane Company, I did rate a private office once I made it into management. I fought it at the time I was first promoted into management feeling that I would lose too much valuable information by being segregated; but, my boss was adamant. By the time I had made it to the Executive Payroll, I had become accustomed to not knowing what the Hell was going on! ; )
Posted by Soulskillon Tuesday October 28, 2014 @04:25PM from the welcome-to-the-party dept.
An anonymous reader writes: If you've ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect, you'll be familiar with David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell. He's written an article on the "psychology of human wrongness," explaining how confidence in one's answers tends to be high for people who don't know what they're talking about. He says, "What's curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge." Dunning goes on: "A whole battery of studies conducted by myself and others have confirmed that people who don't know much about a given set of cognitive, technical, or social skills tend to grossly overestimate their prowess and performance, whether it's grammar, emotional intelligence, logical reasoning, firearm care and safety, debating, or financial knowledge. College students who hand in exams that will earn them Ds and Fs tend to think their efforts will be worthy of far higher grades; low-performing chess players, bridge players, and medical students, and elderly people applying for a renewed driver's license, similarly overestimate their competence by a long shot."