Tag Archives: Shadowy Lines That Still Divide

Leeds Beckett University and University of Missouri study: Countries with greater gender equality have a lower percentage of female STEM graduates

18 Feb

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 and http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html Jason DeParle reported in the New York Times article, For Poor Strivers, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html?hpw&_r=0

Social class and background may not only affect an individual student’s choice of major, but their completion of college in that major. Nick De Santis reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Report Examines College Students’ Attrition From STEM Majors:

Twenty-eight percent of bachelor’s-degree students who began their postsecondary education in the 2003-4 academic year chose a major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics at some point within six years, but 48 percent of students who entered those fields during that period had left them by the spring of 2009, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Education Department’s statistical arm.
The report, which addresses attrition from the so-called STEM fields, also includes information on students pursuing associate degrees. It says that 20 percent of such students had chosen a STEM major within that six-year period and notes that 69 percent of them had left the STEM fields by the spring of 2009.
Of the students who left STEM fields, the report says, roughly half switched their major to a non-STEM field, and the rest left college without earning a degree or certificate. The report notes that fields such as the humanities and education experienced higher levels of attrition than did the STEM disciplines.
The report identifies several factors associated with a higher probability of switching out of STEM majors, such as taking lighter STEM course loads or less-challenging math classes in the first year, and earning lower grades in STEM courses than in others….
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/report-examines-college-students-attrition-from-stem-majors/69705?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

A Cornell University study found that should women remain in STEM programs they might be preferred for tenure-track faculty positions. http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2015/04/13/report-faculty-prefer-women-for-tenure-track-stem-positions

Science Daily reported in Countries with greater gender equality have a lower percentage of female STEM graduates:

Countries with greater gender equality see a smaller proportion of women taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a new study has found. Policymakers could use the findings to reconsider initiatives to increase women’s participation in STEM, say the researchers.
Dubbed the ‘gender equality paradox’, the research found that countries such as Albania and Algeria have a greater percentage of women amongst their STEM graduates than countries lauded for their high levels of gender equality, such as Finland, Norway or Sweden.
The researchers, from Leeds Beckett University in the UK and the University of Missouri in the USA, believe this might be because countries with less gender equality often have little welfare support, making the choice of a relatively highly-paid STEM career more attractive.
The study, published in Psychological Science, also looked at what might motivate girls and boys to choose to study STEM subjects, including overall ability, interest or enjoyment in the subject and whether science subjects were a personal academic strength.
Using data on 475,000 adolescents across 67 countries or regions, the researchers found that while boys’ and girls’ achievement in STEM subjects was broadly similar, science was more likely to be boys’ best subject. Girls, even when their ability in science equalled or excelled that of boys, were often likely to be better overall in reading comprehension, which relates to higher ability in non-STEM subjects. Girls also tended to register a lower interest in science subjects. These differences were near-universal across all the countries and regions studied.
This could explain some of the gender disparity in STEM participation, as Gijsbert Stoet, Professor in Psychology from Leeds Beckett University explains:
“The further you get in secondary and then higher education, the more subjects you need to drop until you end with just one. We are inclined to choose what we are best at and also enjoy. This makes sense and matches common school advice.” he said. “So, even though girls can match boys in terms of how well they do at science and mathematics in school, if those aren’t their best subjects and they are less interested in them, then they’re likely to choose to study something else.”
The researchers also looked at how many girls might be expected to choose further study in STEM based on these criteria. They took the number of girls in each country who had the necessary ability in STEM and for whom it was also their best subject and compared this to the number of women graduating in STEM. They found there was a disparity in all countries, but with the gap once again larger in more gender equal countries. In the UK, 29% of STEM graduates are female, whereas 48% of UK girls might be expected to take those subjects based on science ability alone. This drops to 39% when both science ability and interest in the subject are taken into account…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180214150132.htm

Citation:

Countries with greater gender equality have a lower percentage of female STEM graduates
Findings could help refine education efforts and policies geared toward girls and science, technology, engineering and mathematics
Date:
February 14, 2018
Source:
Leeds Beckett University
Summary:
Countries with greater gender equality see a smaller proportion of women taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a new study has found. Policymakers could use the findings to reconsider initiatives to increase women’s participation in STEM, say the researchers.

Journal Reference:
1. Gijsbert Stoet, David C. Geary. The Gender-Equality Paradox in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education. Psychological Science, 2018; 095679761774171 DOI: 10.1177/0956797617741719

Here is the press release from University of Missouri:

Countries with greater gender equality have lower percentage of female STEM graduates
Findings could help refine education efforts and policies geared toward girls and STEM
University of Missouri-Columbia
The underrepresentation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields occurs globally. Although women currently are well represented in life sciences, they continue to be underrepresented in inorganic sciences, such as computer science and physics. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri and Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom have found that as societies become wealthier and more gender equal, women are less likely to obtain degrees in STEM. The researchers call this a “gender-equality paradox.” Researchers also discovered a near-universal sex difference in academic strengths and weaknesses that contributes to the STEM gap. Findings from the study could help refine education efforts and policies geared toward encouraging girls and women with strengths in science or math to participate in STEM fields.
The researchers found that, throughout the world, boys’ academic strengths tend to be in science or mathematics, while girls’ strengths are in reading. Students who have personal strengths in science or math are more likely to enter STEM fields, whereas students with reading as a personal strength are more likely to enter non-STEM fields, according to David Geary, Curators Professor of Psychological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science. These sex differences in academic strengths, as well as interest in science, may explain why the sex differences in STEM fields has been stable for decades, and why current approaches to address them have failed.
“We analyzed data on 475,000 adolescents across 67 countries or regions and found that while boys’ and girls’ achievements in STEM subjects were broadly similar in all countries, science was more likely to be boys’ best subject,” Geary said. “Girls, even when their abilities in science equaled or excelled that of boys, often were likely to be better overall in reading comprehension, which relates to higher ability in non-STEM subjects. As a result, these girls tended to seek out other professions unrelated to STEM fields.”
Surprisingly, this trend was larger for girls and women living in countries with greater gender equality. The authors call this a “gender-equality paradox,” because countries lauded for their high levels of gender equality, such as Finland, Norway or Sweden, have relatively few women among their STEM graduates. In contrast, more socially conservative countries such as Turkey or Algeria have a much larger percentage of women among their STEM graduates.
“In countries with greater gender equality, women are actively encouraged to participate in STEM; yet, they lose more girls because of personal academic strengths,” Geary said. “In more liberal and wealthy countries, personal preferences are more strongly expressed. One consequence is that sex differences in academic strengths and interests become larger and have a stronger influence college and career choices than in more conservative and less wealthy countries, creating the gender-equality paradox.”
The combination of personal academic strengths in reading, lower interest in science, and broader financial security explains why so few women choose a STEM career in highly developed nations.
“STEM careers are generally secure and well-paid but the risks of not following such a path can vary,” said Gijsbert Stoet, Professor in Psychology at Leeds Beckett University. “In more affluent countries where any choice of career feels relatively safe, women may feel able to make choices based on non-economic factors. Conversely, in countries with fewer economic opportunities, or where employment might be precarious, a well-paid and relatively secure STEM career can be more attractive to women.”
Findings from this study could help target interventions to make them more effective, say the researchers. Policymakers should reconsider failing national policies focusing on decreasing the gender imbalance in STEM, the researchers add.
###
The study, “The gender-equality paradox in STEM education,” was published in Psychological Science.
For more on the story, please see: https://vimeo.com/255624281
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system. https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/uom-cwg021418.php

How classes are taught and how girls and woman are encouraged makes a huge difference in the fields women choose for their education and work.

Phoebe Parke of CNN wrote in the article, Ask the experts: How do we get girls into STEM?

1. “The toys and games that young girls play with mold their educational and career interests; they create dreams of future careers.” says Andrea Guendelman, co-founder of Developher…
2. “Introduce girls early to role models of other women In STEM” suggests Regina Agyare, founder of Soronko Solutions….
3. “It’s important to engage girls in STEM at an early age and keep them interested.” adds Patty L. Fagin, PhD, Head of School at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.…
4. “There’s no magic recipe for getting girls into STEM, but we know early and positive exposure makes an impact.” Karen Horting, CEO and Executive Director at the Society of Women Engineers told CNN….
5. “Start them young.” is Michelle Sun, Founder and CEO of First Code Academy‘s advice….
6. “I believe one on one mentoring programs with accomplished female STEM professionals will help bring girls in to the STEM field.” says Adeola Shasanya who recently co-founded Afro-Tech Girls and works at the Lagos State Electricity Board as an Electrical Engineering and Renewables Consultant….
7. Haiyan Zhang, Innovation Director at Lift London, Microsoft Studios believes confidence is key; “Insatiable curiosity and the self confidence to make change in the world — two qualities that are key to instil in the female innovators of the future….
8. “Women are the future of technology and today’s technology is fun and cool.” says Weili Dai, President and Co-founder of Marvell Technology Group…
9. “Time and again, I hear from women who chose their STEM career because they were inspired by a successful woman who proved it could be done.” adds Suw Charman-Anderson, Founder of Ada Lovelace Day….
10. “To get more girls in STEM let’s go for collective action…” says Julie Kantor, Chief Partnership Officer at Million Women Mentors…
http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/27/world/europe/how-to-get-girls/

It is going to take a variety of strategies which include mentoring, exposure to what is now considered nontraditional fields and encouragement of girls and women not only entering nontraditional fields, but staying the course.

Related:

Girls and math phobia
https://drwilda.com/2012/01/20/girls-and-math-phobia/

Study: Gender behavior differences lead to higher grades for girls
https://drwilda.com/2013/01/07/study-gender-behavior-differences-lead-to-higher-grades-for-girls/

University of Missouri study: Counting ability predicts future math ability of preschoolers
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/15/university-of-missouri-study-counting-ability-predicts-future-math-ability-of-preschoolers/

Is an individualized program more effective in math learning? https://drwilda.com/2012/10/10/is-an-individualized-program-more-effective-in-math-learning/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

City University of New York study: More underrepresented students obtain science degrees and pursue STEM, due to research mentoring

11 Sep

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.
A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 and http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html   Jason DeParle reported in the New York Times article, For Poor Strivers, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html?hpw&_r=0

Social class and background may not only affect an individual student’s choice of major, but their completion of college in that major. Nick De Santis reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Report Examines College Students’ Attrition From STEM Majors:

Twenty-eight percent of bachelor’s-degree students who began their postsecondary education in the 2003-4 academic year chose a major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics at some point within six years, but 48 percent of students who entered those fields during that period had left them by the spring of 2009, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Education Department’s statistical arm.
The report, which addresses attrition from the so-called STEM fields, also includes information on students pursuing associate degrees. It says that 20 percent of such students had chosen a STEM major within that six-year period and notes that 69 percent of them had left the STEM fields by the spring of 2009.
Of the students who left STEM fields, the report says, roughly half switched their major to a non-STEM field, and the rest left college without earning a degree or certificate. The report notes that fields such as the humanities and education experienced higher levels of attrition than did the STEM disciplines.
The report identifies several factors associated with a higher probability of switching out of STEM majors, such as taking lighter STEM course loads or less-challenging math classes in the first year, and earning lower grades in STEM courses than in others….
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/report-examines-college-students-attrition-from-stem-majors/69705?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

A Cornell University study found that should women remain in STEM programs they might be preferred for tenure-track faculty positions.  http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2015/04/13/report-faculty-prefer-women-for-tenure-track-stem-positions

Science Daily reported in More underrepresented students obtain science degrees and pursue STEM, due to research mentoring:

Graduation rates among science majors at a large minority-serving college have nearly tripled since the implementation of an undergraduate research experience (URE) program ten years ago. A new study in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching indicates that undergraduates who participate in mentored research not only graduate more often with science degrees, but also attend graduate school and pursue STEM careers at higher rates.

Established in 2006, John Jay College’s Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) is an URE program that enables undergraduates to carry out guided scientific research. Although undergraduate STEM research has been de rigueur at major research universities, public Minority- and Hispanic-serving institutions like John Jay have historically struggled to provide their students with equivalent experiences and to keep them competitive with their majority peers. Tailored to students and faculty, PRISM has benefited both participants and the college. An extensive case study revealed that graduation rates from science have nearly tripled since PRISM’s inception, that the number of students pursuing graduate degrees has grown nearly ten fold, and that students receive author credit on journal articles more often than at other institutions. Furthermore, John Jay has seen a growth in both external funding and in full-time faculty focused on STEM research…                                                                                     https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160908120344.htm

Citation:

More underrepresented students obtain science degrees and pursue STEM, due to research mentoring

Date:          September 8, 2016

Source:      The City University of New York

Summary:

A new study indicates that undergraduates who participate in mentored research not only graduate more often with science degrees, but also attend graduate school and pursue STEM careers at higher rates.

Journal Reference:

  1. Anthony Carpi, Darcy M. Ronan, Heather M. Falconer, Nathan H. Lents. Cultivating minority scientists: Undergraduate research increases self-efficacy and career ambitions for underrepresented students in STEM. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/tea.21341

Here is the press release from City University of New York:

Public Release: 8-Sep-2016

More underrepresented students obtain science degrees & pursue STEM, due to research mentoring

The City University of New York

New York, NY – Graduation rates among science majors at a large minority-serving college have nearly tripled since the implementation of an undergraduate research experience (URE) program ten years ago. A new study in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching indicates that undergraduates who participate in mentored research not only graduate more often with science degrees, but also attend graduate school and pursue STEM careers at higher rates.

Established in 2006, John Jay College’s Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) is an URE program that enables undergraduates to carry out guided scientific research. Although undergraduate STEM research has been de rigueur at major research universities, public Minority- and Hispanic-serving institutions like John Jay have historically struggled to provide their students with equivalent experiences and to keep them competitive with their majority peers. Tailored to students and faculty, PRISM has benefited both participants and the college. An extensive case study revealed that graduation rates from science have nearly tripled since PRISM’s inception, that the number of students pursuing graduate degrees has grown nearly ten fold, and that students receive author credit on journal articles more often than at other institutions. Furthermore, John Jay has seen a growth in both external funding and in full-time faculty focused on STEM research.

To reach these conclusions, researchers made use of institutional and program data collected over three years, interviews and focus groups, and surveys. Notably, the study found that PRISM positively affected students’ decisions to pursue graduate degrees and STEM careers, impacting Black and Hispanic participants more significantly than their White and Asian counterparts. Lead author Anthony Carpi, Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Dean of Research at John Jay College, City University of New York, said, “We were delighted to see the impact that undergraduate research experiences have on our students’ career plans. John Jay has a robust and diverse pipeline of students moving on to post-graduate professional careers in STEM fields, and it is exciting to see these students becoming skilled scientists.”

Norman Lederman, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, said, “It has long been known that actual research experiences in science and mathematics impact students’ attitudes toward science and mathematics as well as the STEM career aspirations of pre-college and college students. It has also been known that under represented students tend to select themselves out of STEM fields for a variety of social and cultural reasons. The PRISM program at John Jay College has produced extremely compelling results and it serves as an impressive model for other universities, especially those that do not initially have high-level research profiles.”

This study represents the initial stage of a multi-pronged evaluation of John Jay’s URE program with subsequent phases focusing on quantitative comparisons. For now, PRISM appears not only to redress some of the education and employment inequities faced by minority students, but also to serve as an example to other institutions that wish to send more underrepresented students into the STEM workforce.

###

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, and other professional schools. The University serves nearly 275,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students.

For more information, please contact Shante Brooker.

The Cornell study points to the need for good science education to prepare a diverse population for opportunities. K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Related:

Girls and math phobia
https://drwilda.com/2012/01/20/girls-and-math-phobia/

Study: Gender behavior differences lead to higher grades for girls

https://drwilda.com/2013/01/07/study-gender-behavior-differences-lead-to-higher-grades-for-girls/

University of Missouri study: Counting ability predicts future math ability of preschoolers https://drwilda.com/2012/11/15/university-of-missouri-study-counting-ability-predicts-future-math-ability-of-preschoolers/

Is an individualized program more effective in math learning?
https://drwilda.com/2012/10/10/is-an-individualized-program-more-effective-in-math-learning

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

American Educational Research Association study: Science achievement gaps begin by kindergarten

24 Feb

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/us/class/shadowy-lines-that-still-divide.html    describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class   http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/index.html

Science Daily reported in Science achievement gaps begin by kindergarten:

Large science achievement gaps at the end of eighth grade between white and racial/ethnic minority children and between children from higher- and lower-income families are rooted in large yet modifiable general knowledge gaps already present by the time children enter kindergarten, according to new research published today in Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

Analyzing data from the National Center for Education Statistics on over 7,750 children from kindergarten entry to the end of eighth grade, a team of researchers-Paul L. Morgan (Pennsylvania State University), George Farkas (University of California, Irvine), Marianne M. Hillemeier (Pennsylvania State University), and Steve Maczuga (Pennsylvania State University) — found that kindergarten children’s general knowledge about the world was the strongest predictor of their general knowledge in first grade, which in turn was the strongest predictor of their science achievement in third grade. Children’s science achievement gaps were then fairly stable from third through eighth grade.

Mathematics and reading achievement were associated with science achievement during third to eighth grades, suggesting that increasing math and reading skills for lower performing children may help to address science achievement gaps. The findings are consistent with prior research showing that the level of children’s achievement in reading or mathematics by kindergarten is strongly predictive of their achievement throughout elementary school, and that achievement gaps begin very early.

“If you enter kindergarten with very little knowledge about the natural and social world, you are likely to be struggling in science by third grade, and you are then likely to still be struggling in science by eighth grade,” said Paul L. Morgan, an associate professor of education policy studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Among children entering kindergarten with low levels of general knowledge, 62 percent and 54 percent were struggling in science in third and eighth grade, respectively.

General knowledge gaps between racial/ethnic minority and white children were already large at kindergarten entry. For example, 58 percent, 41 percent, and 52 percent of black, Hispanic, and American Indian children had general knowledge scores in the bottom 25 percent at kindergarten entry. The contrasting percentage for white children was only 15 percent. About 65 percent of low-income children entered kindergarten with low levels of general knowledge. Only 10 percent of high-income children did so….                                                                                                 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160223132721.htm

Citation:

Science achievement gaps begin by kindergarten

Date:     February 23, 2016

Source:   American Educational Research Association

Summary:

Large science achievement gaps at the end of eighth grade between white and racial/ethnic minority children and between children from higher-and lower-income families are rooted in large yet modifiable general knowledge gaps already present by the time children enter kindergarten, according to new research.

Journal Reference:

  1. P. L. Morgan, G. Farkas, M. M. Hillemeier, S. Maczuga. Science Achievement Gaps Begin Very Early, Persist, and Are Largely Explained by Modifiable Factors. Educational Researcher, 2016; 45 (1): 18 DOI: 10.3102/0013189X16633182

Here is the press release from AERA:

 Science Achievement Gaps Begin by Kindergarten

For Immediate Release
February 23, 2016

Contact:
Tony Pals, tpals@aera.net
(202) 238-3235, (202) 288-9333 (cell)

Victoria Oms, voms@aera.net
(202) 238-3233

Science Achievement Gaps Begin by Kindergarten

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 23—Large science achievement gaps at the end of eighth grade between white and racial/ethnic minority children and between children from higher- and lower-income families are rooted in large yet modifiable general knowledge gaps already present by thetime children enter kindergarten, according to new research published today in Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

Analyzing data from the National Center for Education Statistics on over 7,750 children from kindergarten entry to the end of eighth grade, a team of researchers—Paul L. Morgan (Pennsylvania State University), George Farkas (University of California, Irvine), Marianne M. Hillemeier (Pennsylvania State University), and Steve Maczuga (Pennsylvania State University)—found that kindergarten children’s general knowledge about the world was the strongest predictor of their general knowledge in first grade, which in turn was the strongest predictor of their science achievement in third grade. Children’s science achievement gaps were then fairly stable from third through eighth grade.

Mathematics and reading achievement were associated with science achievement during third to eighth grades, suggesting that increasing math and reading skills for lower performing children may help to address science achievement gaps. The findings are consistent with prior research showing that the level of children’s achievement in reading or mathematics by kindergarten is strongly predictive of their achievement throughout elementary school, and that achievement gaps begin very early.

“If you enter kindergarten with very little knowledge about the natural and social world, you are likely to be struggling in science by third grade, and you are then likely to still be struggling in science by eighth grade,” said Paul L. Morgan, an associate professor of education policy studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Among children entering kindergarten with low levels of general knowledge, 62 percent and 54 percent were struggling in science in third and eighth grade, respectively.

General knowledge gaps between racial/ethnic minority and white children were already large at kindergarten entry. For example, 58 percent, 41 percent, and 52 percent of black, Hispanic, and American Indian children had general knowledge scores in the bottom 25 percent at kindergarten entry. The contrasting percentage for white children was only 15 percent. About 65 percent of low-income children entered kindergarten with low levels of general knowledge. Only 10 percent of high-income children did so.

“We were dismayed by how early the gaps emerged,” said Morgan. “However, the gaps were also largely explained by modifiable factors, including those that can be addressed by policymakers. Our findings argue for the importance of intervening early, particularly for children who may be at risk because of fewer opportunities to informally learn about science prior to beginning elementary school.”

The researchers noted that children from traditionally marginalized groups have lower access to high-quality childcare and preschools, a circumstance that limits their learning opportunities prior to entering kindergarten. Income inequality and racial segregation in schools then perpetuate the disparities in learning opportunities and contribute to science achievement gaps throughout the elementary and middle grades.

“Science achievement gaps are themselves mostly explained by underlying inequities that we, as a society, too often tolerate or simply decide not to fully address,” Morgan said.

The findings suggest that, for the United States to retain its long-term scientific and economic competitiveness, policymakers should redouble efforts to ensure access to high-quality early learning experiences in childcare settings, preschools, and elementary schools, particularly for children who are at risk. According to a 2010 National Academies report, low levels of science achievement in the United States are no longer a “gathering storm” but now are “rapidly approaching a Category 5” in their potential to derail the nation’s long-term global competitiveness. Waiting to address science achievement gaps by middle or high school may be waiting too late.

At the family level, Morgan said that regularly talking and interacting with very young children, pointing out and conversing about physical, natural, and social events that are occurring around them, and supportively extending their general knowledge about the world may be ways that parents can help their children learn the facts and concepts that will prepare them to take full advantage of the science instruction they receive during elementary and middle school.

To read the full study, click HERE. To speak with study author Paul L. Morgan, please contact Tony Pals at tpals@aera.net or Victoria Oms at voms@aera.net.

Funding Note
Funding for this study was provided by the National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook and Twitter.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the country and there must be good schools in all parts of this society. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

 

Arizona State University study: In race stereotypes, issues are not so black and white

1 Jan

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids. It is worth reviewing that post. https://drwilda.com/tag/class-segregation/

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/https://drwilda.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

U.S. News reported in the article, Study Finds Students Underperform in Schools With Large Black Populations:

As concerns mount over the resegregation of the nation’s public schools, a new federal study shows that black and white students at schools with a high density of black students perform worse than those at schools with a lower density of black students.

The report, released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, sheds new light on the achievement gap between white and black students and bolsters policymakers’ fears about the ramifications of increasingly segregated schools….http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/24/study-finds-students-underperform-in-schools-with-large-black-populations

Perceptions about race are often rooted in perceptions about class with many viewing Blacks no matter their economic status as lower class.

Science Daily reported in In race stereotypes, issues are not so black and white:

Recent race-related events in Ferguson, Mo., St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, Charleston, S.C., and New York City — all point to the continuing need to study and understand race relations in modern America. These events show how race and stereotypes are intertwined and can lead to explosive situations and protests.

Now, three Arizona State University researchers have approached this problem by asking, why do white Americans’ stereotypes of black Americans take the particular forms they do? The answer, surprisingly, may have little to do with race, per se. Instead, many predominant race stereotypes reflect beliefs about how people from different environments, or ‘ecologies,’ are likely to think and behave.

In “Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes,” published in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ASU doctoral students Keelah Williams and Oliver Sng, together with Steven Neuberg, an ASU Foundation Professor of Psychology, conducted a series of five studies examining the stereotypes people hold about individuals who live in resource-poor and unpredictable (‘desperate’) environments as compared to those who live in resource-sufficient and predictable (‘hopeful’) environments.

Research shows that desperate and hopeful environments tend to shape the behavior of those living within them by altering the costs and benefits of different behavioral strategies. Desperate ecologies tend to reward ‘faster,’ present-focused behaviors whereas hopeful ecologies tend to reward ‘slower,’ future-oriented behaviors.

Because ecology shapes behavior, the authors argue, social perceivers are likely to use cues to another’s ecology, or environment they come from, to make predictions about how that person is likely to think and behave. Indeed, research participants stereotyped those from desperate environments as relatively faster — as more impulsive, sexually promiscuous, likely to engage in opportunistic behavior and as less invested in their education and children, than individuals from hopeful ecologies….

“In America, race and ecology are somewhat confounded — whites are more likely to live in relatively hopeful ecologies, and blacks are more likely to live in relatively desperate ecologies,” said Williams. “We wanted to examine whether Americans were actually using race as a cue to ecology, and if so, whether providing ecology information independently from race information would lead people to decrease their use of race stereotypes.”

To assess the relationship between ecology and race stereotypes, the researchers first examined participants’ stereotypes of individuals from desperate and hopeful ecologies (with no race information provided) and compared these responses to participants’ stereotypes of blacks and whites (with no ecology information provided). The patterns were identical — stereotypes of blacks mirrored stereotypes of individuals from desperate environments, and stereotypes of whites mirrored stereotypes of individuals from hopeful environments….                                                 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151229204648.htm

Citation:

In race stereotypes, issues are not so black and white

Date:           December 29, 2015

Source:         Arizona State University

Summary:

Recent race-related events in Ferguson, Mo., St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, Charleston, S.C., and New York City — all point to the continuing need to study and understand race relations in modern America. These events show how race and stereotypes are intertwined and can lead to explosive situations and protests. Now, three researchers have approached this problem by asking, why do white Americans’ stereotypes of black Americans take the particular forms they do?

Journal Reference:

  1. Keelah E. G. Williams, Oliver Sng, Steven L. Neuberg. Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015; 201519401 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1519401113

Here is the press release from Arizona State University:

Researchers find that in race stereotypes, issues are not so black and white

Department of Psychology College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

December 28, 2015

Recent race-related events — in Ferguson, Missouri; St. Louis; Baltimore; Chicago; Charleston, South Carolina; and New York City — all point to the continuing need to study and understand race relations in modern America. These events show how race and stereotypes are intertwined and can lead to explosive situations and protests.

Now, three Arizona State University researchers have approached this problem by asking, why do white Americans’ stereotypes of black Americans take the particular forms they do? The answer, surprisingly, may have little to do with race, per se. Instead, many predominant race stereotypes reflect beliefs about how people from different environments, or “ecologies,” are likely to think and behave.

In “Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes,” published in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ASU doctoral students Keelah Williams and Oliver Sng, together with Steven Neuberg, an ASU Foundation Professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, conducted a series of five studies examining the stereotypes people hold about individuals who live in resource-poor and unpredictable (“desperate”) environments as compared with those who live in resource-sufficient and predictable (“hopeful”) environments.

Research shows that desperate and hopeful environments tend to shape the behavior of those living within them by altering the costs and benefits of different behavioral strategies. Desperate ecologies tend to reward “faster,” present-focused behaviors whereas hopeful ecologies tend to reward “slower,” future-oriented behaviors.

Because ecology shapes behavior, the authors argue, social perceivers are likely to use cues to another’s ecology, or environment they come from, to make predictions about how that person is likely to think and behave. Indeed, research participants stereotyped those from desperate environments as relatively faster — as more impulsive, sexually promiscuous, likely to engage in opportunistic behavior and as less invested in their education and children, than individuals from hopeful ecologies.

But why are these ecology-driven stereotypes relevant for understanding the content of race stereotypes?

“In America, race and ecology are somewhat confounded — whites are more likely to live in relatively hopeful ecologies, and blacks are more likely to live in relatively desperate ecologies,” said Williams. “We wanted to examine whether Americans were actually using race as a cue to ecology, and if so, whether providing ecology information independently from race information would lead people to decrease their use of race stereotypes.”

To assess the relationship between ecology and race stereotypes, the researchers first examined participants’ stereotypes of individuals from desperate and hopeful ecologies (with no race information provided) and compared these responses to participants’ stereotypes of blacks and whites (with no ecology information provided). The patterns were identical — stereotypes of blacks mirrored stereotypes of individuals from desperate environments, and stereotypes of whites mirrored stereotypes of individuals from hopeful environments.

“However, when provided with information about both the race and ecology of others, individuals’ inferences about others reflect their ecology rather than their race,” Williams said. Black and white targets from desperate ecologies were stereotyped similarly, and black and white targets from hopeful ecologies were stereotyped similarly.

“In thinking about black and white individuals from hopeful and desperate ecologies, information about the individuals’ home ecology trumped information about their race,” Williams said.

The researchers stress that these findings shouldn’t be taken to imply that race is unimportant, or that stereotypes about people from desperate ecologies are the only source of racial prejudices. Moreover, the researchers note several important caveats for interpreting their findings.

First, said Neuberg, “although in present-day America blacks are more likely than whites to be from desperate ecologies, and whites are more likely than blacks to be from hopeful ecologies, this association between race and ecology is far from perfect, meaning that race is an imperfect cue to ecology. Second, even stereotypes that do possess meaningful kernels of truth are rarely perfect representations of any particular individual. Third, because people are biased to exaggerate perceived threats, stereotypes of those from desperate ecologies are likely to be more extreme than is warranted by the actual behaviors of people living within those ecologies.”

Findings of this study have potentially important implications for understanding the content of race stereotypes in America.

“Race stereotypes have far-reaching consequences,” said Williams. “Stereotypes about groups can lead to negative prejudices and discrimination directed towards members of those groups. If we can understand why American race stereotypes take the particular forms they do, we may be able to find new ways of reducing racial prejudices and discrimination.”

The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Arizona State University Foundation for a New American University.

Discoveries Department of Psychology College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Psychology Research Social Science

Skip Derra

Associate Director , Media Relations & Strategic Communications

480-965-4823 skip.derra@asu.edu

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty http://www.adb.org/documents/assessing-development-impact-breaking-cycle-poverty-through-education  For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2330/Poverty-Education.html  There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system and an economic system which produces jobs. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education and job opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education and job creation, we are the next third world country.

Related:

Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/11/micheal-pettrillis-decision-an-ed-reformer-confronts-race-and-class-when-choosing-a-school-for-his-kids/

The role economic class plays in college success

https://drwilda.com/2012/12/22/the-role-economic-class-plays-in-college-success/

The ‘school-to-prison pipeline

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/27/the-school-to-prison-pipeline/

Trying not to raise a bumper crop of morons: Hong Kong’s ‘tutor kings and queens’
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/26/trying-not-to-raise-a-bumper-crop-of-morons-hong-kongs-tutor-kings-and-queens/

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©

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Duke University study: Income-based school assignment policy influences diversity, achievement

3 Dec

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/us/class/shadowy-lines-that-still-divide.html    describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class   http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/index.html

Science Daily reported in Income-based school assignment policy influences diversity, achievement:

When Wake County Public Schools switched from a school assignment policy based on race to one based on socioeconomic status, schools became slightly more segregated, according to new research from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

However, segregation increased much more rapidly in four other large North Carolina school districts that simply dropped race-based strategies and did not attempt to pursue diversity in other ways.

“While we found some decline in the degree of racial diversity associated with Wake County schools after adoption of the socioeconomic plan versus the prior race-based plan, there was significantly less diversity in the school districts that were not using either plan,” said William A. Darity Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy in the Sanford School.

In addition, Wake County math and reading scores rose slightly and the achievement gap between black and white students narrowed after the switch. In the four other N.C. districts, scores fell among black students after race-based school assignment stopped.

The research was published online in the journal Urban Education on Nov. 27.

“The main message is, we may not want to give up on using diversity-based policies to achieve integration and address opportunity gaps and achievement gaps,” said lead author Monique McMillian. McMillian, an educational psychologist, is an associate professor at Morgan State University in Maryland and an affiliate of Duke University’s Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality….                                                                                                                             http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151130182251.htm

Citation:

Income-based school assignment policy influences diversity, achievement

Date:      November 30, 2015

Source:   Duke University

Summary:

When public schools in Wake County, North Carolina switched from a school assignment policy based on race to one based on socioeconomic status, schools became slightly more segregated but the achievement gap lessened, according to new research.

Journal Reference:

  1. M. M. McMillian, S. Fuller, Z. Hill, K. Duch, W. A. Darity. Can Class-Based Substitute for Race-Based Student Assignment Plans? Evidence From Wake County, North Carolina. Urban Education, 2015; DOI: 10.1177/0042085915613554

Here is the press release from Duke University:

Mixed Results for Income-based K-12 Assignment

Segregation still increased in Wake County plan, but not as much as in other counties

November 30, 2015 |

Durham, NC – When Wake County Public Schools switched from a school assignment policy based on race to one based on socioeconomic status, schools became slightly more segregated, according to new research from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

However, segregation increased much more rapidly in four other large North Carolina school districts that simply dropped race-based strategies and did not attempt to pursue diversity in other ways.

“While we found some decline in the degree of racial diversity associated with Wake County schools after adoption of the socioeconomic plan versus the prior race-based plan, there was significantly less diversity in the school districts that were not using either plan,” said William A. Darity Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy in the Sanford School.

In addition, Wake County math and reading scores rose slightly and the achievement gap between black and white students narrowed after the switch. In the four other N.C. districts, scores fell among black students after race-based school assignment stopped.

The research was published online in the journal Urban Education on Nov. 27.

“The main message is, we may not want to give up on using diversity-based policies to achieve integration and address opportunity gaps and achievement gaps,” said lead author Monique McMillian. McMillian, an educational psychologist, is an associate professor at Morgan State University in Maryland and an affiliate of Duke University’s Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality.

North Carolina school districts stopped using race-based assignment plans in the late 1990s after a series of court cases struck down the practice in various settings around the country.

In 2000, Wake implemented a new assignment policy based on income and achievement, in which no school would consist of more than 40 percent students receiving free or reduced lunch, nor more than 25 percent of students performing below grade level. (In 2010, the Wake County school board voted to stop using an income-based policy. However, income remains a component — albeit a smaller component — of the current assignment policy.)

McMillian saw the change as an opportunity to investigate how the different policies affect school integration and student achievement.

She, Darity and their colleagues analyzed data from Wake and four other large N.C. school districts: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Cumberland County, Guilford County and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County. Like Wake, these school districts had previously used race-based assignment policies, but unlike Wake, they switched to a combination of neighborhood schools and school choice.

The researchers analyzed data from 1992 to 2009, including demographic data about schools and students, and 10 years of end-of-grade test scores for third through eighth graders.

McMillian said the study was largely descriptive. It’s not possible, therefore, to say whether the new school assignment policy alone caused Wake’s test score gains or reduced the achievement gap between white and black students. Other factors may have contributed as well, such as changes in other district policies or implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, she said.

McMillian said the study provides “tentative evidence that income-based assignment policies improve achievement and increase diversity.”

—–

CITATION: “Can Class-Based Substitute for Race-Based Student Assignment Plans?: Evidence from Wake County, N.C.” McMillian, M.M.; Fuller, S.C.; Hill, Z.; Duch, K.; and Darity, Jr., W.A. Urban Education. DOI: 10.1177/0042085915613554

More Information

Contact: Karen Kemp

Phone: (919) 613-7315

Email: kkemp@duke.edu

© 2015 Office of News & Communications
615 Chapel Drive, Box 90563, Durham, NC 27708-0563
(919) 684-2823; After-hours phone (for reporters on deadline): (919) 812-6603

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the country and there must be good schools in all parts of this society. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.   See, How do upper-class parents prepare their kids for success in the world? http://sandiegoeducationreport.org/talkingtokids.html

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids. It is worth reviewing that post. https://drwilda.com/tag/class-segregation/ Lindsey Layton wrote in the Washington Post article, Schools dilemma for gentrifiers: Keep their kids urban, or move to suburbia?

When his oldest son reached school age, Michael Petrilli faced a dilemma known to many middle-class parents living in cities they helped gentrify: Should the family flee to the homogenous suburbs for excellent schools or stay urban for diverse but often struggling schools?

Petrilli, who lived in Takoma Park with his wife and two sons, was torn, but he knew more than most people about the choice before him. Petrilli is an education expert, a former official in the Education Department under George W. Bush and executive vice president at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education think tank.
He set out to learn as much as he could about the risks and benefits of socioeconomically diverse schools, where at least 20 percent of students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. And then he wrote about it….

Petrilli said he wanted his son to have friends from all backgrounds because he believes that cultural literacy will prepare him for success in a global society.

But he worried that his son might get lost in a classroom that has a high percentage of poor children, that teachers would be focused on the struggling children and have less time for their more privileged peers.
As Petrilli points out in the book, this dilemma doesn’t exist for most white, middle-class families. The vast majority — 87 percent — of white students attend majority white schools, Petrilli says, even though they make up just about 50 percent of the public school population.

And even in urban areas with significant African American and Latino populations, neighborhood schools still tend to be segregated by class, if not by race. In the Washington region, less than 3 percent of white public school students attend schools where poor children are the majority, according to Petrilli.

Gentrification poses new opportunities for policymakers to desegregate schools, Petrilli argues….

In the end, Petrilli moved from his Takoma Park neighborhood school — diverse Piney Branch Elementary, which is 33 percent low-income — to Wood Acres Elementary in Bethesda, where 1 percent of the children are low-income, 2 percent are black and 5 percent are Hispanic. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/schools-dilemma-for-urban-gentrifiers-keep-their-kids-urban-or-move-to-suburbia/2012/10/14/02083b6c-131b-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_story.html

Often, schools are segregated by both race and class. Class identification is very important in education because of class and peer support for education achievement and the value placed on education by social class groups. Moi does not condemn Mr. Petrilli for doing what is best for his family because when the rubber meets the road that is what parents are supposed to do. His family’s situation is just an example of the intersection of race and class in education.

The lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This society cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Ohio State University study: Why four-year-olds don’t thrive in head start classes

11 Nov

One of the mantras of this blog is that education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be involved. Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity; one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well. A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Class Matters

Teachers and administrators as well as many politicians if they are honest know that children arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Teachers have to teach children at whatever point on the continuum the children are. Jay Matthews reports in the Washington Post article, Try parent visits, not parent takeovers of schools. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/try-parent-visits-not-parent-takeovers-of-schools/2012/05/30/gJQAlDDz2U_story.html

The key ingredient is parental involvement. The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (Council) has a great policy brief on parental involvement.http://www.wccf.org/pdf/parentsaspartners_ece-series.pd

Science Daily reported in Study shows why four-year-olds don’t thrive in head start classes:

Most Head Start classrooms serve children of mixed ages and that hurts the academic growth of older children, a new national study suggests.

Researchers found that 4-year-olds in Head Start classrooms that included higher concentrations of 3-year-olds were up to five months behind in academic development compared with their peers in classrooms with fewer younger children.
That’s a problem because, as of 2009, about 75 percent of all Head Start classrooms were mixed-age. Head Start is a federal preschool program that promotes the school readiness of children in low-income families from age 3 to age 5.
“While there has been some enthusiasm for mixed-age classrooms, our results suggest there may be a significant downside for older children,” said Kelly Purtell, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University.

“Four-year-olds are often enrolled in classrooms that are less supportive of their academic learning.”
The results may also help explain why a 2010 national evaluation of the Head Start program found that it was only modestly effective in helping the academic achievement of 4-year-olds.

“Mixed-age classrooms may be one reason that older children don’t seem to benefit as much from Head Start as do younger children,” said Arya Ansari, lead author of the study and a graduate student in human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin….

The researchers used data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey, which is a nationally representative sample of 3- and 4-year-old Head Start attendees across 486 classrooms nationwide.

This study included 2,829 children who were tested in fall 2009 and spring 2010 to determine how much they progressed during that time on assessments of language and literary skills, math skills, social skills and behavior.

Findings showed that a higher proportion of 3-year-olds in the classroom was linked to lower gains in math and in language and literacy skills among 4-year-olds.

It didn’t take many 3-year-olds in the classroom to hurt the academic growth of the older children. Even when 3-year-olds composed just 20 percent of a class, the older children lost nearly two months of academic achievement in the school year.

But when the younger children made up nearly half the class, the 4-year-olds lost roughly four to five months of academic development….

There was no effect on social or behavioral skills for either age group in mixed-age classes.

This study didn’t look at why mixed-age classrooms hurt older children’s academic gains. But other research suggests two possibilities. One is that interacting with younger peers does not provide as much gain for older children as interacting with peers at the same or higher skill levels in math and language…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151110094407.htm

Citation:

Study shows why four-year-olds don’t thrive in head start classes
Date: November 10, 2015

Source: Ohio State University

Summary:

Most Head Start classrooms serve children of mixed ages and that hurts the academic growth of older children, a new national study suggests.

Here is the press release from Ohio State University:

Study shows why 4-year-olds don’t thrive in Head Start classes

Mixed-age classrooms hurt academic progress of older children

By: Jeff Grabmeier

Published on November 10, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Most Head Start classrooms serve children of mixed ages and that hurts the academic growth of older children, a new national study suggests.

Researchers found that 4-year-olds in Head Start classrooms that included higher concentrations of 3-year-olds were up to five months behind in academic development compared with their peers in classrooms with fewer younger children.
That’s a problem because, as of 2009, about 75 percent of all Head Start classrooms were mixed-age. Head Start is a federal preschool program that promotes the school readiness of children in low-income families from age 3 to age 5.

“While there has been some enthusiasm for mixed-age classrooms, our results suggest there may be a significant downside for older children,” said Kelly Purtell, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University.

“Four-year-olds are often enrolled in classrooms that are less supportive of their academic learning.”
The results may also help explain why a 2010 national evaluation of the Head Start program found that it was only modestly effective in helping the academic achievement of 4-year-olds.

“Mixed-age classrooms may be one reason that older children don’t seem to benefit as much from Head Start as do younger children,” said Arya Ansari, lead author of the study and a graduate student in human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

Purtell and Ansari conducted the study with Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor at UT-Austin.
Their results appear online in the journal Psychological Science.

The researchers used data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey, which is a nationally representative sample of 3- and 4-year-old Head Start attendees across 486 classrooms nationwide.

This study included 2,829 children who were tested in fall 2009 and spring 2010 to determine how much they progressed during that time on assessments of language and literary skills, math skills, social skills and behavior.

Findings showed that a higher proportion of 3-year-olds in the classroom was linked to lower gains in math and in language and literacy skills among 4-year-olds.

It didn’t take many 3-year-olds in the classroom to hurt the academic growth of the older children. Even when 3-year-olds composed just 20 percent of a class, the older children lost nearly two months of academic achievement in the school year.

But when the younger children made up nearly half the class, the 4-year-olds lost roughly four to five months of academic development.

“Not only did we see limits in academic growth in 4-year-olds, but we also didn’t see any academic gains for 3-year-olds who were in these mixed-age classrooms,” Purtell said. “So there was no real benefit for the younger children.”
There was no effect on social or behavioral skills for either age group in mixed-age classes.

This study didn’t look at why mixed-age classrooms hurt older children’s academic gains. But other research suggests two possibilities. One is that interacting with younger peers does not provide as much gain for older children as interacting with peers at the same or higher skill levels in math and language.

Another is that teachers modify their classroom practices to accommodate a wider range of skill levels, which leads to older children hearing content they’ve already been exposed to and feeling disengaged.
It is likely that both factors play a role, Purtell said.

Ansari said that it may not be feasible for many Head Start programs to separate children by age.
“That means we need to figure out what teachers and programs can do to foster a more cognitively stimulating environment for the older children,” he said. https://news.osu.edu/news/2015/11/10/mixed-age-class/

Teachers and schools have been made TOTALLY responsible for the education outcome of the children, many of whom come to school not ready to learn and who reside in families that for a variety of reasons cannot support their education. All children are capable of learning, but a one-size-fits-all approach does not serve all children well. Different populations of children will require different strategies and some children will require remedial help, early intervention, and family support to achieve their education goals.

Richard D. Kahlenberg, , a senior fellow at The Century Foundation wrote the informative Washington Post article, How to attack the growing educational gap between rich and poor. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/how-to-attack-the-growing-educational-gap-between-rich-and-poor/2012/02/10/gIQArDOg4Q_blog.html

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/29/study-poverty-affects-education-attainment/

Related:

Tips for parent and teacher conferences
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/07/tips-for-parent-and-teacher-conferences/

Common Sense Media report: Media choices at home affect school performance
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/01/common-sense-media-report-media-choices-at-home-affect-school-performance/

Making time for family dinner
https://drwilda.com/2012/09/10/making-time-for-family-dinner/

Policy brief: The fiscal and educational benefits of universal universal preschool https://drwilda.com/2012/11/25/policy-brief-the-fiscal-and-educational-benefits-of-universal-universal-preschool/

Studies: Lack of support and early parenthood cause kids to dropout
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/19/studies-lack-of-support-and-early-parenthood-cause-kids-to-dropout/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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University of Delaware study: Study Suggests Children’s Racial Stereotyping Can Be Reversed

10 Sep

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity; one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 and http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html

Sarah Garland wrote in the Atlantic article, When Class Became More Important to a Child’s Education Than Race:

On a weekday afternoon in July, Jessica Klaitman pulled her 16-month-old daughter Hannah out of a stroller in the lobby of the New York Kids Club, a “child-enrichment center” with four classrooms, a dance studio, and gym space in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
Hannah was sleepy after a nap, but her face lit up as she was let loose with several other toddlers and their nannies. She grabbed some blocks and then headed to a table stocked with piles of a pink, play-dough-like sculpting material. For 45 minutes, the children wandered around wielding dolls and blocks, grabbing at each others’ toys and taking turns on a miniature slide. When time was up, they sang along with the “Clean-Up Song” and helped put away the mess.

A drop-in class at the New York Kids Club costs about $47, according to an employee. Hannah’s playgroup that day was free, but only because Klaitman, 40, and her husband, Jordan Small, 39, have enrolled their three children in package deals for classes in karate and preschool–which run about $650 per child for 17 once-a-week sessions. Klaitman estimates she’s dropped thousands of dollars at the club over the years, not to mention what she spends on the private preschool her oldest son attends, additional classes in Spanish and music elsewhere, and the family’s museum memberships.

The Klaitman-Smalls’ considerable investment in their children is becoming the norm for families like theirs who are in the top tiers of the country’s income distribution. The resources the affluent are pouring into their children are also driving a growing divide between academic outcomes of the children of the well-to-do and those of everyone else’s kids. That widening academic divide means that kids who are born poor and kids who are born rich are increasingly likely to stay that way once they reach adulthood….
Researchers say the expanding class gap in education is likely a byproduct of the country’s widening income inequality. There’s been an explosion in spending by well-to-do parents on their children: The amount has more than doubled in the last 30 years, according to work by Columbia University School of Social Work researchers Neeraj Kaushal and Jane Waldfogel and Katherine Magnuson of the University of Wisconsin.
Parents in the top quintile of income in the U.S. (households earning at least $102,000 in 2011, according to census data compiled by the Tax Policy Institute, a nonprofit research group) now spend more than double what parents in the second quintile (earning at least $62,000) spend on trips for their children-about $2,000 per year compared with $800, the Kaushal study found. They also spend significantly more on childcare, computers, books, and private-school tuition than their non-wealthy peers…. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/08/when-class-became-more-important-to-a-childs-education-than-race/279064/
See, How do upper-class parents prepare their kids for success in the world? http://sandiegoeducationreport.org/talkingtokids.html

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids. It is worth reviewing that post. https://drwilda.com/tag/class-segregation/ Lindsey Layton wrote in the Washington Post article, Schools dilemma for gentrifiers: Keep their kids urban, or move to suburbia?

When his oldest son reached school age, Michael Petrilli faced a dilemma known to many middle-class parents living in cities they helped gentrify: Should the family flee to the homogenous suburbs for excellent schools or stay urban for diverse but often struggling schools?

Petrilli, who lived in Takoma Park with his wife and two sons, was torn, but he knew more than most people about the choice before him. Petrilli is an education expert, a former official in the Education Department under George W. Bush and executive vice president at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education think tank.
He set out to learn as much as he could about the risks and benefits of socioeconomically diverse schools, where at least 20 percent of students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. And then he wrote about it….

Petrilli said he wanted his son to have friends from all backgrounds because he believes that cultural literacy will prepare him for success in a global society.
But he worried that his son might get lost in a classroom that has a high percentage of poor children, that teachers would be focused on the struggling children and have less time for their more privileged peers.

As Petrilli points out in the book, this dilemma doesn’t exist for most white, middle-class families. The vast majority — 87 percent — of white students attend majority white schools, Petrilli says, even though they make up just about 50 percent of the public school population.

And even in urban areas with significant African American and Latino populations, neighborhood schools still tend to be segregated by class, if not by race. In the Washington region, less than 3 percent of white public school students attend schools where poor children are the majority, according to Petrilli.
Gentrification poses new opportunities for policymakers to desegregate schools, Petrilli argues….

In the end, Petrilli moved from his Takoma Park neighborhood school — diverse Piney Branch Elementary, which is 33 percent low-income — to Wood Acres Elementary in Bethesda, where 1 percent of the children are low-income, 2 percent are black and 5 percent are Hispanic. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/schools-dilemma-for-urban-gentrifiers-keep-their-kids-urban-or-move-to-suburbia/2012/10/14/02083b6c-131b-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_story.html

A University of Delaware study examines race perception.

Education News reported in Study Suggests Children’s Racial Stereotyping Can Be Reversed:

New research out of the University of Delaware has found that infants can be trained to undo the unconscious racial biases they were previously found to hold.

The findings come as part of an ongoing multi-country collaboration that has been conducted by Paul Quinn, professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University, for the last 10 years through the help of a National Institutes of Health grant. Working with researchers from Canada, France and China, the team has been exploring the ability of infants to categorize faces by race and gender.

Noting the amount of time that infants spent looking at photos of faces, Quinn observed that beginning at 3 months of age, children tend to prefer photos of faces that they typically see more often in their daily lives. In particular, babies enjoyed looking at photos of females who were of the same race as themselves.

As the infants approached 9 months of age, they could not only determine different racial categories, but also were less able to distinguish between individuals of lesser-known races. One example found Caucasian infants being able to clearly identify Caucasian faces, but not as likely to see Asian or African faces, reports Ellie Zolfagharifard for The Daily Mail.

“Our original thinking about the 9-month-old findings was that this process that we call ‘narrowing’ is based on visual perception, not any social bias,” Quinn said. “But then the question we asked was: Might these perceptual biases we see in infants be related to the social biases that we see in older kids, beginning at 3 or 4 years of age, and adults?

“And if they are, can we use a technique to reduce bias? As we tried to answer this question, we hit on the idea that if the perceptual and social biases are linked, we might be able to reduce the social bias by perceptual means.”
For the new study, scientists in China combined photos of Asian faces with that of African faces to make one single race. Some of the photos showed smiling individuals while other faces looked angrier. The images were then showed to groups of 4 and 6 year olds who identified the smiling faces as Asian and the severe faces as African, a group of people they were not used to seeing….

Quinn added that further research is needed to determine how long the effects last.
– See more at: http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/study-suggests-childrens-racial-stereotyping-can-be-reversed/#sthash.gnsep0nC.dpuf

Citation:

Individuation training with other-race faces reduces preschoolers’ implicit racial bias: a link between perceptual and social representation of faces in children
1. Wen S. Xiao1,2,
2. Genyue Fu1,
3. Paul C. Quinn3,
4. Jinliang Qin1,
5. James W. Tanaka4,
6. Olivier Pascalis5 and
7. Kang Lee1,2,*
Article first published online: 5 OCT 2014
DOI: 10.1111/desc.12241
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Issue
Developmental Science
Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 655–663, July 2015

• Abstract
• Article
• References
• Cited By
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Abstract
The present study examined whether perceptual individuation training with other-race faces could reduce preschool children’s implicit racial bias. We used an ‘angry = outgroup’ paradigm to measure Chinese children’s implicit racial bias against African individuals before and after training. In Experiment 1, children between 4 and 6 years were presented with angry or happy racially ambiguous faces that were morphed between Chinese and African faces. Initially, Chinese children demonstrated implicit racial bias: they categorized happy racially ambiguous faces as own-race (Chinese) and angry racially ambiguous faces as other-race (African). Then, the children participated in a training session where they learned to individuate African faces. Children’s implicit racial bias was significantly reduced after training relative to that before training. Experiment 2 used the same procedure as Experiment 1, except that Chinese children were trained with own-race Chinese faces. These children did not display a significant reduction in implicit racial bias. Our results demonstrate that early implicit racial bias can be reduced by presenting children with other-race face individuation training, and support a linkage between perceptual and social representations of face information in children.
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Here is the press release from the University of Delaware:

New research finds a way to reverse children’s racial stereotyping

August 25, 2015 by Ann Manser

Lillian May Clark sits on the lap of her mother, Kimberly Clark, and looks at images of faces being shown to her by undergraduate research assistant Jennie Lowe. Credit: Evan Krape
New research by a University of Delaware psychological scientist and his collaborators across the globe has found a simple exercise that can undo the unconscious racial biases that young children have—biases that may begin to develop as early as infancy.

The findings are part of an ongoing, multi-country collaboration that has been conducted by Paul Quinn, professor of psychological and brain sciences at UD, for more than a decade. Funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, Quinn works with researchers in Canada, France and China to explore how infants mentally classify faces by race and gender. This research has recently received attention in the New York Times and the Guardian.

Using an established technique of measuring how much time the babies spend looking at pictures of faces, Quinn has learned that 3-month-olds begin showing a visual preference for the categories—generally, female and the same race as themselves—that they see most often in their daily lives.
By 9 months of age, infants not only distinguish racial categories but also become less able to tell different individuals apart if they are members of a less-familiar race. For example, Caucasian infants can identify Caucasian faces as belonging to different individuals, but they are less likely to see Asian or African faces as distinct individuals.

“Our original thinking about the 9-month-old findings was that this process that we call ‘narrowing’ is based on visual perception, not any social bias,” Quinn said. “But then the question we asked was: Might these perceptual biases we see in infants be related to the social biases that we see in older kids, beginning at 3 or 4 years of age, and adults?

“And if they are, can we use a technique to reduce bias? As we tried to answer this question, we hit on the idea that if the perceptual and social biases are linked, we might be able to reduce the social bias by perceptual means.”

In this new study, published in July in the journal Developmental Science, Quinn and his collaborators in China used photos of African and Asian faces and morphed them together to create ambiguous images that looked equally African and Asian. Some of the faces had pleasant expressions, while others looked more severe.

When researchers showed the images to 4- to 6-year-olds in China, the children identified the happy faces as Asian—the category they were used to seeing—and the angry faces as African, a group they rarely saw in daily life.

The scientists’ next step was to see whether the children’s unconscious racial biases could be disrupted. They showed the youngsters five different African faces and gave each of the individuals a name, repeating the process until the children could identify each of the five faces by name.
When the children then looked at the happy and angry ambiguous-race photos again, their bias in favor of their own racial group had dropped significantly.

“This process of getting the kids to respond to the [five African] faces as individuals, not as a category, only takes 15-30 minutes, and it made a significant difference,” Quinn said. “It suggests that what is a social bias has [visual] perceptual components and that it can be disrupted.”

Many questions remain for further study, he said. Among them: After children go through the face-identification exercise and reduce their unconscious bias, how long does that effect last? Also, what aspect of the training is the critical ingredient? Is it mere exposure, or is it the act of individuation?
“This has caused us to rethink what’s going on” in the link between perception and social bias, Quinn said. “There are a number of avenues we want to explore.”

Research continues on infant perception

Another, related study that Quinn conducted in his lab at UD with babies from the Newark, Delaware, area has been published online by Developmental Science, with print publication expected in the future.
In this study, researchers worked with Caucasian babies to explore how and at what ages they began forming categories of people based on the racial characteristics of faces.
At 6 months, Quinn said, the infants were classifying faces into three groups—Caucasian, African and Asian. But just a few months later, they had grouped the African and Asian faces together into a single category.

“This was the surprise finding,” Quinn said. “At 9 months, they didn’t respond to the differences between the African and Asian categories, but instead they had two broad categories, ‘own race’ and ‘other race.’
“It doesn’t seem to matter to a Caucasian infant who has seen mostly Caucasian faces if a face is African or Asian. They only care that it’s not Caucasian. We think it might be a precursor to an initial ‘in group-out group’ differentiation of faces.
“This result suggests that perceptual and social proce ssing of faces may overlap even in infants.”
Again, the findings suggest other issues to explore. A current study is investigating whether infants have positive associations with faces of their own, familiar race and more negative associations with less familiar faces from other races.

All the research that Quinn and his collaborators have been conducting since their initial NIH grant in 2004 centers on category formation—a basic cognitive process in which very young babies begin mentally classifying objects and animals in a way that, for example, sets apart squares from triangles and cats from dogs. Extending that research to faces led to the findings that infants also categorize images of people by gender and race.

Explore further: Infants taught to maintain ability to distinguish between other-race groups

More information: “Individuation training with other-race faces reduces preschoolers’ implicit racial bias: a link between perceptual and social representation of faces in children.” Developmental Science, 18: 655–663. doi: 10.1111/desc.12241
Journal reference: Developmental Science

Often, schools are segregated by both race and class. Class identification is very important in education because of class and peer support for education achievement and the value placed on education by social class groups. Moi does not condemn Mr. Petrilli for doing what is best for his family because when the rubber meets the road that is what parents are supposed to do. His family’s situation is just an example of the intersection of race and class in education.

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