Yikes! Turns Out Even Teachers Think Girls Are Bad At Math

Katherine Speller, MTV, Jul 16, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

When I was in grade 10 I took one of my drafting assignments, erased the grade, put someone else's name on it, and handed it in again. No, this was not in an effort to cheat (I also gave the teacher a sealed envelop describing the plan so this would be clear). I wanted to test his how his expectations changed how he graded the two of us. As I had feared, my suspicions were confirmed, and two quite different marks resulted. It's this sort of thing that makes me sceptical of a lot of 'evidence-based' research - a lot of time, what we 'see' depends on what we expect to see. This article is a summary of how the same phenomenon impacts the grades girls get on their math assignments. "In the study, teachers graded the math tests of 11-year-olds and, on average, the scores were lower for girls. But, when different teachers graded the same tests anonymously, the girls performed far better (out-performing the boys in many cases)." Via James Guzdial, who predicts that computing science teachers will have the same biases.

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