Tag Archives: STEM Education

Cornell University study: Women preferred for tenure-track STEM positions

22 Apr

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.

Allie Bidwell reported in the U.S. News article, Report: Faculty Prefer Women for Tenure-Track STEM Positions:

In a nationwide study from the Cornell Institute for Women in Science – published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – professors Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci found tenure-track faculty in engineering, economics, biology and psychology fields generally favored hiring female candidates over otherwise identical male candidates by a 2-to-1 margin. A series of five experiments were conducted on 873 faculty members at 371 colleges and universities from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The stark underrepresentation of women in math-intensive STEM fields, the authors suggest, is more a result of obstacles at the front end that prevent women from applying for faculty positions in the first place. Meanwhile, it appears gender diversity has become more valued among college faculty…

In the first experiment, the researchers presented the faculty decision-makers with two highly qualified candidates who were equal other than their gender, as well as a third, slightly less-qualified male candidate. Overall, 67.3 percent of faculty ranked the female candidate first, which was consistent across varying lifestyles such as being married or single or having or not having young children.

But other variations showed some lifestyle choices may influence how hiring decisions are made.

A second experiment presented male and female candidates with nonmatching lifestyles: a divorced mother with two young children and an absent ex-spouse competing with a married father with two young children and a stay-at-home wife, for example. In that scenario, female faculty strongly preferred divorced mothers over married fathers (71.4 percent compared with 28.6 percent), while male faculty showed the opposite trend, just not as strongly (42.9 percent compared with 57.1 percent).

When focusing on whether candidates took parental leave during graduate school, male faculty members by a 2-1 margin preferred female candidates who took a one-year leave over those who did not. Male and female faculty showed no preference between male candidates who did or did not take leave, but female faculty members tended to prefer female candidates who did not take leave.

“Women’s perceptions that an extended maternity leave will cause them to be viewed as less committed to their profession may influence some women to opt out entirely,” the study said.
A fourth experiment was conducted to determine whether faculty decision-makers would still rank female candidates higher if they were presented with full CVs, as opposed to narrative summaries with notes from a search committee, and the researchers found similar results. Finally, a fifth experiment presented faculty with one applicant to rate – to see if they would still prefer a female if they couldn’t choose among men and women – and found the faculty members still favored female applicants….

Still, other studies have found evidence of gender bias in STEM related fields.
“When looking at gender bias in science, it’s very important to look at what particular context,” says David Miller, a graduate student at Northwestern University who has studied gender representation in STEM. “The fact there was a preference for female candidates is perhaps not that surprising if you consider many of these faculty hiring boards are looking to diversify their group of faculty. There are other contexts that do show gender bias against females.”

In 2012, Corinne Moss-Racusin, an assistant professor of psychology at Skidmore College, published research that showed strong gender bias in hiring for a lab manager position. Moss-Racusin and her colleagues asked more than 100 STEM professors to assess fictitious resumes that only differed in the name of the applicant (John vs. Jennifer). Despite being otherwise identical in qualifications, the female applicant was seen as less competent – and the scientists were less willing to mentor the candidate or hire her for the position, and recommended paying her a lower salary.

Williams and Ceci argue in an appendix to their study that Moss-Racusin’s research differs from their own because it focuses on biases against female undergraduate students, rather than those who have already earned a doctorate. The results of Moss-Racusin’s study likely doesn’t explain the underrepresentation of women in academia, Williams and Ceci wrote, because few lab managers go on to tenure-track positions later in their careers…. http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2015/04/13/report-faculty-prefer-women-for-tenure-track-stem-positions

Citation:

National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track

1. Wendy M. Williams1 and
2. Stephen J. Ceci

Significance

The underrepresentation of women in academic science is typically attributed, both in scientific literature and in the media, to sexist hiring. Here we report five hiring experiments in which faculty evaluated hypothetical female and male applicants, using systematically varied profiles disguising identical scholarship, for assistant professorships in biology, engineering, economics, and psychology. Contrary to prevailing assumptions, men and women faculty members from all four fields preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles (single, married, divorced), with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference. Comparing different lifestyles revealed that women preferred divorced mothers to married fathers and that men preferred mothers who took parental leaves to mothers who did not. Our findings, supported by real-world academic hiring data, suggest advantages for women launching academic science careers.

Abstract

National randomized experiments and validation studies were conducted on 873 tenure-track faculty (439 male, 434 female) from biology, engineering, economics, and psychology at 371 universities/colleges from 50 US states and the District of Columbia. In the main experiment, 363 faculty members evaluated narrative summaries describing hypothetical female and male applicants for tenure-track assistant professorships who shared the same lifestyle (e.g., single without children, married with children). Applicants’ profiles were systematically varied to disguise identically rated scholarship; profiles were counterbalanced by gender across faculty to enable between-faculty comparisons of hiring preferences for identically qualified women versus men. Results revealed a 2:1 preference for women by faculty of both genders across both math-intensive and non–math-intensive fields, with the single exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference. Results were replicated using weighted analyses to control for national sample characteristics. In follow-up experiments, 144 faculty evaluated competing applicants with differing lifestyles (e.g., divorced mother vs. married father), and 204 faculty compared same-gender candidates with children, but differing in whether they took 1-y-parental leaves in graduate school. Women preferred divorced mothers to married fathers; men preferred mothers who took leaves to mothers who did not. In two validation studies, 35 engineering faculty provided rankings using full curricula vitae instead of narratives, and 127 faculty rated one applicant rather than choosing from a mixed-gender group; the same preference for women was shown by faculty of both genders. These results suggest it is a propitious time for women launching careers in academic science. Messages to the contrary may discourage women from applying for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) tenure-track assistant professorships. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/04/08/1418878112

Here is the press release from Cornell University:

April 13, 2015

Women preferred 2:1 over men for STEM faculty positions

By   Ted Boscia

For decades, sexism in higher education has been blamed for blocking women from landing academic positions in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
But a new study by Cornell psychologists suggests that era has ended, finding in experiments with professors from 371 colleges and universities across the United States that science and engineering faculty preferred women two-to-one over identically qualified male candidates for assistant professor positions.

Published online April 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the paper, “National Hiring Experiments Reveal 2:1 Faculty Preference For Women on STEM Tenure Track,” by Wendy M. Williams, professor of human development, and Stephen J. Ceci, the Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology, both in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, argues that the academic job market has never been better for women Ph.D.s in math-intensive fields.

Williams and Ceci conducted five randomized controlled experiments with 873 tenure-track faculty in all 50 U.S. states to assess gender bias. In three studies, faculty evaluated narrative summaries describing hypothetical male and female applicants for tenure-track assistant professorships in biology, economics, engineering and psychology. In a fourth experiment, engineering faculty evaluated full CVs instead of narratives, and in a fifth study, faculty evaluated one candidate (either a man or identically qualified woman) without comparison to an opposite-gender candidate. Candidates’ personalities were systematically varied to disguise the hypotheses.

The only evidence of bias the authors discovered was in favor of women; faculty in all four disciplines preferred female applicants to male candidates, with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference.

In some conditions, Williams and Ceci also matched applicants on job qualifications and lifestyle characteristics such as marital and parental status and used contrasting lifestyles in others. They examined attributes such as being a single mother, having a stay-at-home partner and past choices about taking parental leave. These experiments revealed that female faculty preferred divorced mothers over married fathers and male faculty preferred mothers who took leaves over mothers who did not.

“Efforts to combat formerly widespread sexism in hiring appear to have succeeded,” Williams and Ceci write. “Our data suggest it is an auspicious time to be a talented woman launching a STEM tenure-track academic career, contrary to findings from earlier investigations alleging bias, none of which examined faculty hiring bias against female applicants in the disciplines in which women are underrepresented. Our research suggests that the mechanism resulting in women’s underrepresentation today may lie more on the supply side, in women’s decisions not to apply, than on the demand side, in anti-female bias in hiring.”

“Women struggling with the quandary of how to remain in the academy but still have extended leave time with new children, and debating having children in graduate school versus waiting until tenure, may be heartened to learn that female candidates depicted as taking one-year parental leaves in our study were ranked higher by predominantly male voting faculties than identically qualified mothers who did not take leaves,” the authors continue.

Real-world academic hiring data validate the findings, too. The paper notes recent national census-type studies showing that female Ph.D.s are disproportionately less likely to apply for tenure-track positions, yet when they do they are more likely to be hired, in some science fields approaching the two-to-one ratio revealed by Williams and Ceci.
The authors note that greater gender awareness in the academy and the retirement of older, more sexist faculty may have gradually led to a more welcoming environment for women in academic science.

Despite these successes, Williams and Ceci acknowledge that women face other barriers to entry during adolescence and young adulthood, in graduate school and later in their careers as academic scientists, particularly when balancing motherhood and careers. They are currently analyzing national data on mentorship, authorship decisions and tenure advice, all as a function of gender, to better understand women and men’s decisions to apply to, and persist in, academic science. Ted Boscia is director of communications and media for the College of Human Ecology.
http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2015/04/women-preferred-21-over-men-stem-faculty-positions

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 Institutes for Research study: Gender imbalances among stem PhDs

1 Oct

Many girls and women who have the math and science aptitude for a science career don’t enter scientific fields. Cheryl B. Schrader writes in the St Louis Post-Dispatch article, STEM education: Where the girls are not:

Compounding this issue, the gender gap in these fields is widening…
While the majority of U.S. college students today are female, they remain a minority in many science and engineering fields. If universities are to meet the future demands of our economy, we can’t leave half of the college-bound population on the sidelines.
How can we change that? The STEMconnector report offers some hints.
Female high school students who are interested in these fields often gravitate toward biology, chemistry, marine biology and science — areas often associated with a desire to make the world a better place. Women tend to be drawn to these service-oriented professions….http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/stem-education-where-the-girls-are-not/article_ae33c7b7-6a7b-5011-8d2a-138bc1538357.html

See, STEM Connector http://store.stemconnector.org/Where-Are-the-STEM-Students_p_9.html

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported in the article, Report Examines Fields With Highest Gender Imbalances Among Ph.D.’s:

The researchers examined gender balances in 135 academic fields: 55 in the so-called STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and 80 non-STEM fields. They determined overrepresentation by comparing whether the gender breakdown of doctoral-degree recipients in a particular field was more skewed than the gender makeup of bachelor’s-degree recipients in that field.
The paper says that the STEM-related fields were slightly less likely than other fields to have an underrepresentation of women with Ph.D.’s.
Among the 55 STEM-related fields, men were overrepresented in 74.5 percent and women were overrepresented in 25.5 percent. Among the other 80 fields, men were overrepresented in 77.5 percent and women were overrepresented in 22.5 percent.
“There is a considerable loss of female candidates between the bachelor’s and doctoral degrees,” Mr. Gillen said in a news release about the findings. “If we want gender equity at the doctoral level, efforts need to be made earlier in students’ academic pathways and sustained throughout their doctoral education.”
Following are the top five fields in which men are overrepresented among doctoral-degree recipients, according to the report:
1. Communication Disorders Sciences and Services
2. Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology
3. Law
4. Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences, General
5. Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods
Following are the top five fields in which women are overrepresented among doctoral-degree recipients, according to the report:
1. Forestry (Non-STEM)
2. Slavic, Baltic, and Albanian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
3. Forestry (STEM)
4. Fine and Studio Arts
5. Information Science/Studies
Bottom Line: Men are overrepresented in about three-quarters of the fields studied, while women are overrepresented in about one-quarter. Out of the 135 fields analyzed, women were slightly less likely to be underrepresented in STEM fields. http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/report-examines-fields-with-highest-gender-imbalances-among-ph-d-s/87109?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

Here is the article brief:
Moi believes that good and gifted teachers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and both genders. Teachers are often role models and mentors which is why a diverse teaching profession is desirable.

30 Sep 2014
Brief
Exploring Gender Imbalance Among STEM Doctoral Degree Recipients
Andrew Gillen
Courtney Tanenbaum
Gender imbalance in doctoral education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields raises important questions about the extent to which women experience differential access, encouragement, and opportunity for academic advancement. Through primary school and middle school, girls and boys typically indicate an equal interest and demonstrate equivalent levels of achievement on several science and mathematical indicators, but girls’ interest in pursuing scientific degrees and careers wanes by high school.
Accurately identifying the nature of the imbalance is an important first step in addressing it. The alternate method used in this brief to account for the gender breakdown among undergraduate degree recipients provides a more reliable gauge of gender imbalance at the doctoral level.
Key results from using this alternate method are as follows:
• ——Men are overrepresented in about three quarters of academic fields and women are overrepresented in about one quarter of academic fields.
• STEM fields are slightly more gender-balanced than non-STEM fields.
• Among STEM fields, and often in contrast to conventional wisdom, biological and biomedical sciences and the physical sciences show the greatest overrepresentation of males and engineering was roughly gender-balanced.
This brief is one in a series produced by AIR to promote research, policy, and practice related to broadening the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM doctoral education and the workforce.

Moi believes that good and gifted teachers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and both genders. Teachers are often role models and mentors which is why a diverse teaching profession is desirable.

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 ©

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

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Adding the arts to science produces STEAM

25 Feb

In STEM majors profit college students of color, moi wrote:
The Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM defines STEM:

What is STEM Education?
Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics
In 2001, Judith A. Ramaley, a former director of the National Science Foundation’s education and human-resources division was credited by many educators with being the first person to brand science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum as STEM. It was swiftly adopted by numerous institutions of higher education as well as the scientific communities as an important focus for education policy focus and development.
TIES always views STEM instruction and the STEM resources that support the instruction with a trans-disciplinary lens. Issues in our world arise and are demanding of solutions. Since before Da Vinci, we have taken up this call to action through the design process. It asks for a multiplicity of pathways to offer a series of plausible solutions. From that process has come the power of prototyping, and beta testing. Rarely have our classrooms offered children the chance to engage in such questioning and processes. Now, through STEM education we have the chance to invite our children to look at their school work as important to the world.
For information on how TIES STEM Consulting can work with your organization to launch a comprehensive STEM curriculum program contact us at 443-955-9168 or via email . http://www.tiesteach.org/stem-education.aspx

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/stem-majors-profit-college-students-of-color/

Many are asking whether the focus on STEM education is too narrow and arts should also be added to the curriculum to produce STEAM.

Mozart was a child prodigy. Most of us don’t come close to possessing his gifts. The Journal Times reported about the “Mozart effect.” Mozart Effect

Scientific research has found some basis for the notion that music instruction stimulates general intelligence. About 10 years ago that was called the Mozart effect, the result of some research that reported that listening to a Mozart sonata increased the ability of some college students on a test of mental ability. Popular wisdom twisted that into the notion that listening to music makes you smarter, which is more magic than science. What scientists say at the moment is that music instruction will make you smarter about music, and that for music to help children they need to begin instruction really, really early.
Music consists of rhythms and mathematic like patterns which change a child’s brain and way of thinking. Research which was published in the Journal of Neuropsychology suggests that children who study music will as adults will benefit from music study. The research shows “….that the region of the brain involved in verbal memory is larger in adult musicians than in those who are not musicians.” Mental Ability Affected by Music Study Further, Rauscher’s study concludes “the research suggests that music may act as a catalyst for cognitive abilities in other disciplines, and the relationship between music and spatial-temporal reasoning is particularly compelling.” Music Affects a Child’s Cognitive Ability

Berkowicz and Ann Myers wrote a thoughtful Education Week essay, The Arts Are Essential:

In his February 18th article in Edutopia, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, director of Stanford Humanities Lab at Stanford University wrote about the arts and said,
It is both a form of serious play governed by rules and techniques that can be acquired through rigorous study, and a realm of freedom where the mind and body are mobilized to address complex questions — questions that, sometimes, only art itself can answer: What is meaningful or beautiful? Why does something move us? How can I get you to see what I see? Why does symmetry provide a sense of pleasure?
The answers to those questions are both very personal and somewhat universal. But none can be answered without activating a different part of the brain than the part that accumulates all the information presented in 13 years of education. The arts are where we expand our ability to transcend generations and cultures. The recognition that the current dynamics of human interaction happened centuries ago as well and are recorded in literature offers a perspective no lecture or textbook can offer. The masterpieces of painters and composers, long gone, move us still. And, we can learn about textures, colors, light and sound. Producing art is an expression that connects one from the inside to the world. Music offers a study in changing times, experimentation, and expression that reveal the undertones of each period. Art is both about the creation of the piece and the appreciation of it. Simple appreciation needs attention and development these days….
Most teachers are confident that if their students were engaged and motivated, they could teach them. Well, we suggest that the evidence is telling us that presently we have students with a wider range of values about education, abilities, disabilities, challenges both in and outside of our buildings, health issues, and socio-economic and cultural differences. At the same time, we are pressed to finally make changes to our system that offer a more relevant education to our students, preparing them for the world in which they will live as adults. We have to make it different. Without art, we deny students the opportunity for
…serious play governed by rules and techniques that can be acquired through rigorous study, and a realm of freedom where the mind and body are mobilized to address complex questions — questions that, sometimes, only art itself can answer (Schnapp, 2014).
And it is through those experiences students will be better able to attend to other complex problems in science, technology, engineering, math, and society with the skill, engagement and motivation that every teacher wants for their students. Minimizing the arts makes no sense but neither does preserving them as a separate and apart from academics, especially in this time of focus on STEM subjects. They are interrelated. While we are struggling to find the best way to best educate today’s students, we cannot let the arts slip away. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/leadership_360/2014/02/the_arts_are_essential.html

There are reasons why arts education is important:
The Arts:

• Engage students in learning.
• Help children build thinking skills.
• Enhance self-discipline, perseverance, hard work and creativity.
• Provide a gateway to other subject areas.
• Promote cross-cultural learning.
• Teach the ability to utilize resources.
• Enhance interpersonal skills of cooperation and teamwork.
The Arts Help Students Become:
• Better Students
• Innovators
• Better Employees
• Problem-solvers
• Lifelong Learners
• Collaborators
Current Research says:
In 1995, those who studied the arts more than four years scored 59 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math portions than students with no coursework or experience in the arts.
The College Board, Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, 1995
Arts education contributes significantly to general academic achievement, including achievement in science, mathematics, social studies, language arts, other subjects and to the development of general cognitive skills, self-expression and fluency.
The Schooled Mind: Do the Arts Make a Different Way of Knowing?
Arts education is related to certain fundamental indicators of education success. For example, the arts in early childhood help prepare children for their first years of school.
Evaluation of Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts
Arts education programs are related to safer and more orderly school environments.
Safe Havens: Portraits of Educational Effectiveness in Community Arts Centers
Arts education programs are related to keeping students interested and staying in school.
The Humanities Program Evaluation
Arts education programs make strong contributions to cross-cultural understanding.
North American Indian Music Instruction: Student Self Concept Influences Upon Attitudes, Cultural Perceptions and Achievement http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~faae/why.html

All areas of the brain need to be stimulated.

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
Albert Einstein

Learning and mastery of a subject is important. But, so is nourishing the “whole child.” The arts are just as important to learning as are the sciences. STEM should become STEAM.

Resources:
STEM Education Coalition http://www.stemedcoalition.org/

What Is STEM Education? http://www.sciencemag.org/content/329/5995/996.summary

Importance of Arts Education
http://www.educationfund.org/programs/artoffoundobjects/

Why Arts Education is important
http://www.lacountyartsforall.org/our-approach/why-arts-education-is-important

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

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Report: STEM attrition in college often occurs because students not prepared for the challenge

28 Nov

Moi wrote in The role economic class plays in college success: Moi wrote in Race, class, and education in America:
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 https://drwilda.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

Jason DeParle reported in the New York Times article, For Poor Strivers, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall:

“Everyone wants to think of education as an equalizer — the place where upward mobility gets started,” said Greg J. Duncan, an economist at the University of California, Irvine. “But on virtually every measure we have, the gaps between high- and low-income kids are widening. It’s very disheartening.”
The growing role of class in academic success has taken experts by surprise since it follows decades of equal opportunity efforts and counters racial trends, where differences have narrowed. It adds to fears over recent evidence suggesting that low-income Americans have lower chances of upward mobility than counterparts in Canada and Western Europe.
Thirty years ago, there was a 31 percentage point difference between the share of prosperous and poor Americans who earned bachelor’s degrees, according to Martha J. Bailey and Susan M. Dynarski of the University of Michigan. Now the gap is 45 points.
While both groups improved their odds of finishing college, the affluent improved much more, widening their sizable lead.
Likely reasons include soaring incomes at the top and changes in family structure, which have left fewer low-income students with the support of two-parent homes. Neighborhoods have grown more segregated by class, leaving lower-income students increasingly concentrated in lower-quality schools. And even after accounting for financial aid, the costs of attending a public university have risen 60 percent in the past two decades. Many low-income students, feeling the need to help out at home, are deterred by the thought of years of lost wages and piles of debt….
Income has always shaped academic success, but its importance is growing. Professor Reardon, the Stanford sociologist, examined a dozen reading and math tests dating back 25 years and found that the gap in scores of high- and low-income students has grown by 40 percent, even as the difference between blacks and whites has narrowed.
While race once predicted scores more than class, the opposite now holds. By eighth grade, white students surpass blacks by an average of three grade levels, while upper-income students are four grades ahead of low-income counterparts. 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

Citation:

Title: STEM Attrition: College Students’ Paths Into and Out of STEM Fields
Description: This Statistical Analysis Report presents the most recent national statistics on beginning bachelor’s and associate’s degree students’ entrance into, and attrition from, STEM fields. Using recent transcript data, it provides a first look at STEM coursetaking and examines how participation and performance in undergraduate STEM coursework, along with other factors, are associated with STEM attrition. The study is based on data from the 2004/09 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:04/09) and the associated 2009 Postsecondary Education Transcript Study (PETS:09).

ERRATA: A typographical error has been found on page vi of the report’s Executive Summary. The affected line should read:

“Bachelor’s degree STEM entrants who were male or who came from low-income backgrounds had a higher probability of leaving STEM by dropping out of college than their peers who were female or came from high-income backgrounds, net of other factors.”

A revised version of the report will be posted when available under the publication number 2014001rev.
Online Availability: • Download, view and print the report as a pdf file. (1527KB) http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2014/2014001rev.pdf
Need Help Viewing PDF files?

Cover Date: November 2013
Web Release: November 26, 2013
Publication #: NCES 2014001REV
Center/Program: NCES

Authors: Xianglei Chen
Type of Product: Statistical Analysis Report

Survey/Program Areas: Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS)

Keywords: Beginning students in postsecondary education
Postsecondary education
• field of study
• outcomes
• persistence and attainment
Science
STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, Mathematics)

Questions: For questions about the content of this Statistical Analysis Report, please contact:
Aurora M. D’Amico.

Megan Rogers wrote in the Inside Higher Ed article, STEM-ming the Tide:

About 28 percent of bachelor’s degree candidates and 20 percent of associate degree candidates had declared a STEM major. Of those who had entered a STEM program, 48 percent of bachelor’s degree candidates had left the STEM field by spring 2009. The attrition rate was greater for associate degree candidates — 69 percent of STEM entrants had left the STEM field during the course of the study. An October 2012 report tracking students who had entered postsecondary education in the 2003-2004 academic year found the same attrition rate for STEM entrants.
The attrition rate was highest for bachelor’s degree candidates who declared a major in computer/information sciences and for associate degree candidates who declared a major in mathematics.
About half of those who left had switched into a non-STEM degree program and the other half had left college without earning any degree or certificate. The study found that 22 percent of bachelor’s degree candidates and 16 percent of associate’s degree students chose to pursue business majors.
Low-performing students (those with an overall grade point average below 2.5) were more likely to exit the STEM field by dropping out of college than were high-performing students (those with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher). The high-performing students were more likely to switch to a non-STEM major than their low-performing peers.
The study found some differences in how men and women exited the STEM fields. More men than women left STEM disciplines by dropping out of college and more women than men left STEM by switching majors. According to the study, 32 percent of women who left STEM fields switched to a different major, compared with 26 percent of men. And 24 percent of men left the STEM field by dropping out of college, compared with 14 percent of women.
Taking lighter credits loads in STEM courses in the first year, taking less challenging math courses in the first year and performing poorly in STEM classes relative to non-STEM classes were associated with an increased probability of switching majors for STEM entrants, according to the study…. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/11/27/study-tracks-attrition-rates-stem-majors#ixzz2lyY9tKKy

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:

Helping community college students to graduate https://drwilda.com/2012/02/08/helping-community-college-students-to-graduate/

The digital divide affects the college application process https://drwilda.com/2012/12/08/the-digital-divide-affects-the-college-application-process/

College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’ https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

Colleges rethinking who may need remedial education https://drwilda.com/2012/10/24/colleges-rethinking-who-may-need-remedial-education/

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Reducing gender differences in STEM education

21 Apr

Many girls and women who have the math and science aptitude for a science career don’t enter scientific fields. Cheryl B. Schrader writes in the St Louis Post-Dispatch article, STEM education: Where the girls are not:

Compounding this issue, the gender gap in these fields is widening.

The Jan. 30 report from STEMconnector and My College Options — titled “Where Are the STEM Students?” — underscores the importance of these fields for our nation’s future economic well-being. It also presents a challenge for all of us in education, from kindergarten through college, to increase interest levels in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the so-called STEM fields — for all types of students.

While the majority of U.S. college students today are female, they remain a minority in many science and engineering fields. If universities are to meet the future demands of our economy, we can’t leave half of the college-bound population on the sidelines.

How can we change that? The STEMconnector report offers some hints.

Female high school students who are interested in these fields often gravitate toward biology, chemistry, marine biology and science — areas often associated with a desire to make the world a better place. Women tend to be drawn to these service-oriented professions.

But thanks to the rise of cloud computing, information systems and the app economy, 71 percent of the new STEM jobs in 2018 are projected to be in the computing fields. Getting girls interested in these fields at a young age will be critical if we are to meet the coming demand for talented and well-educated computer scientists, computer engineers and game designers.

With this in mind, it’s important to convey to young women computing’s role in serving society. We should show a young woman how a computer science degree could equip her to design a new app to diagnose illness. That may appeal more to her desire to help others than, say, showing her how to write code for yet another online game.

Programs like Project Lead the Way, which introduces middle school and high school students to engineering and science, help students learn more about these fields at an early age. In Missouri, 165 high schools and middle schools are using PLTW’s engineering and biomedical sciences materials to generate more interest in those areas. http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/stem-education-where-the-girls-are-not/article_ae33c7b7-6a7b-5011-8d2a-138bc1538357.html

See, STEM Connector http://store.stemconnector.org/Where-Are-the-STEM-Students_p_9.html

Jonathan Olsen and Sarah Gross, teachers at High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey guest post in the Scientific American article, To Attract More Girls to STEM, Bring More Storytelling to Science:

Perhaps girls with high verbal scores choose careers other than STEM because their passion hasn’t been kindled in those classes. We know it is not the fault of their teachers but a problem of process.  For many schools, arts and sciences are rarely ever integrated.  Teachers are kept apart with little time to collaborate.

If integration does happen, it is usually the humanities teacher looking to include aspects of STEM in their courses.  The recent adoption of the Common Core Standards by forty-five states calls for more integration between subjects.  However, ask most humanities teachers and they will tell you that they are being told to integrate STEM content into their classes, removing literature for nonfiction, rather than being given the opportunity to collaborate with their STEM counterparts.  Integration is wonderfully effective and certainly the future of education but it is a two-way street.  We think schools should use reciprocal integration between the arts and sciences to capture the imagination of these top female students.

How many engineering teachers include a fiction book like Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano in their syllabi?  Do many math teachers analyze the intricacies of M. C. Escher’s artwork with their students or read Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo? How many science teachers read aloud the poetic observations of Dr. David George Haskell?  Do many biology teachers share the story of the HeLa cells?  We think ideas like these should be a part of all STEM curricula.  And experts agree. The NextGeneration Science Standards, released for public discussion last week, ask teachers to show students how insights from many disciplines fit together into a coherent picture of the world.  And we believe that incorporating more storytelling into science can help do this.

Research has shown that storytelling activates the brain beyond mere word recognition.  In 2006, researchers in Spain discovered that stories stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life. Last year, a team of researchers from Emory University reported in Brain & Language that similes and metaphors can activate sensory portions of the brain, and the Laboratory of Language Dynamics in France discovered that action words can stimulate the motor cortex.  So if, as the recent study in Psychological Science shows, female students with high ability in both math and verbal areas tend to steer away from STEM careers, maybe it’s time to bring more of those verbal skills into the STEM classes for the benefit of these students. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/budding-scientist/2013/04/16/to-attract-more-girls-to-stem-bring-storytelling-to-science/?WT.mc_id=SA_emailfriend

Here is the press release from the University of Pittsburgh:

March 19, 2013

Women With Both High Math and Verbal Ability Appear Less Likely to Choose Science Careers Because Their Dual Skills Confer More Career Options

Pitt-Michigan study finds that more women than men have combination of high math and high verbal skills, recommends new focus on tapping potential of women with that combination for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)

Study also finds that women with high math skills and only moderate verbal ability are the ones who appear more likely to choose STEM careers

PITTSBURGH—There has been ongoing public discussion about the need to educate and recruit more young Americans for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Now a just-published study by the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan offers one potential solution to this perennial problem: more concentrated efforts to encourage women who already possess the necessary skills. 

It turns out that there is a pre-existing pool of women with both high math and high verbal ability; it’s just that they seem to be more likely to choose careers outside of science because their combination of skills provides them with more career options, according to the Pitt study, published March 19 in Psychological Science. 

Principal Investigator and Pitt Assistant Professor of Psychology in Education Ming-Te Wang and collaborators at the University of Michigan found that the mean SAT math score of a group of men and women with the combination of high math and high verbal scores was 720, while the mean SAT verbal score was 696, both out of a possible 800. This group of math and verbal high achievers included a significantly higher proportion of women (63 percent) than men (37 percent).

Additionally, the researchers found that women in the group of men and women with high math scores and only moderate verbal scores were the ones more likely to choose STEM careers. The mean math SAT score for this group was 721, while the mean verbal SAT score was 655. 

Our study suggests that it’s not lack of ability or difference in ability that orients females to pursue non-STEM careers but the fact that they can consider a wider range of occupations because of their combination of excellent math and verbal skills,” said Wang. “This highlights the need for educators and policy makers to shift the focus away from trying to strengthen girls’ STEM-related abilities and instead tap the potential of these girls who are highly skilled in both the math and verbal domains to go into STEM fields.”

Wang and his collaborators examined data on 1,490 college-bound U.S. students, with the information drawn from the University of Michigan’s Longitudinal Study of American Youth. The subjects in the Michigan Longitudinal Study were surveyed by Michigan in two waves: once in the 12th grade (1992) and again at age 33 (2007). The subjects completed telephone interviews, which required them to update their educational and occupational histories from high school through the time of the second-wave survey. Only subjects who participated in both waves were included in Wang’s study; all had received a four-year college degree by the time of the second-wave survey. The participants were 49 percent female and 51 percent male.  

The survey evaluated such factors as participants’ SAT scores, family needs, whether they liked working with people or things, their devotion to a career, and, ultimately, the occupations they chose by age 33. 

The researchers found, from their analysis of the Michigan Longitudinal Study data, that men and women who felt more successful in mathematics than in verbal-related disciplines were more likely to work in STEM fields by the time they had reached the age of 33. Mathematics, said Wang, played a role in these individuals’ identities because they excelled within the discipline, driving them to pursue STEM-related jobs. 

We need to make sure girls and women—especially those with the combination of high math and high verbal skills—are well informed regarding the full diversity of options available in STEM careers,” said Wang. “We want them to see the value in these disciplines so they won’t shy away from science- or math-related careers because of lack of information, misinformation, or stereotypes.”

Wang’s coauthors include the University of Michigan’s Jacquelynne Eccles and Sarah Kenny. 

The paper is titled “Not Lack of Ability but More Choice: Individual and Gender Differences in Choice of Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” 

A PDF of the study is available upon request. 

###

3/19/13/mab/cjhm

In Study: Elementary school teachers have an impact on girls math learning moi wrote:

Moi has written about the importance of motivation in student learning. In Research papers: Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, moi wrote:

Moi often says education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process. A series of papers about student motivation by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) follows the Council on Foreign Relations report by Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein.                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/research-papers-student-motivation-an-overlooked-piece-of-school-reform/

https://drwilda.com/2013/01/31/study-elementary-school-teachers-have-an-impact-on-girls-math-learning/

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/

STEM education in rural schools

9 Oct

Moi wrote about the challenges of providing technology in rural schools in Rural schools and the digital divide:

In Rural Schools In America Fight To Bridge Digital Divide, Butrymowicz writes in the Huffington Post:

Rural schools have long been leaders in distance-learning and online education—to offer a full slate of courses to their students, they’ve had to be. In fact, Edison has a fully online school that enrolls about 100 other students in the district. But when it comes to technology inside traditional classrooms, the small sizes—and budgets—of rural schools present unique hurdles…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-in-america-_n_1617167.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

The Rural Assistance Center has some great information about technology in rural areas.

In Technology Frequently Asked Questions, The Rural Assistance Center discusses technology issues. http://www.raconline.org/topics/technology/technologyfaq.phphttps://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/

Moi wrote about the unique challenges faced by rural schools in Rural schools:

The Council of State Governments‘ report, Rural Schools: Federal Expenditures & State Perspectives has the following key findings:

Key Findings

1. Rural schools and districts are at a significant disadvantage when seeking Title I funding.

2. Rural Education Achievement Program funds help only a small portion of rural schools and districts.

3. Rural schools due to infrastructure or staffing shortages find it difficult to compete for competitive grants.

4. Rural schools do not receive preferential federal funding, even though it costs more to educate rural students.

5. Low state funding, leads to low federal funding. This means that if Utah spends $5,521 per pupil while Rhode Island spends $13,410 per pupil, Rhode Island will receive the larger allocation even after controlling for the cost of living in that states.8

6. Distance learning and integrating technology into the classroom is a costly necessity. In the face of school consolidation and increased competitiveness in the college application process, rural schools and districts must provide more schooling options and more advanced courses, if they want their students to succeed.

7. The recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers is an issue for rural schools. Rural schools tend to employ teachers who teach more than one core subject, are miles from the nearest university or college and who may be paraprofessionals, all of which makes hiring and retaining qualified teachers a challenge.

8. Pockets of rural students exist everywhere in the United States and their composition varies ethnically, racially, socioeconomically, and in English proficiency. There is no one way to address all rural communities. http://www.csgdc.org/memberservices/documents/RuralSchool-FederalExpendituresandStatePerspectives.pdfBecause a significant number of children attend rural schools, rural schools must receive the resources to educate their children. https://drwilda.com/2012/04/25/rural-schools/

Diette Courrege reports in the Education Week article, STEM Initiative Shows Promise in Rural Schools:

A proposal turned down for federal Investing in Innovation funding is showing promising first-year results after a scaled-down version was implemented in six rural schools.

The Rural School and Community Trust, a nonprofit rural education advocacy group, decided to cover the roughly $185,000 cost for a small group of North Carolina and Louisiana schools to try the STEM Students and Teachers Achieving Reform program.

The program is based on a model developed by the nonprofit GenerationYES. It gives professional development training to a a small group of hand-picked students, dubbed Student STEM Leaders, and teachers, which is particularly important for rural schools that often struggle to give students technology access. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rural_education/2012/10/stem_initiative_promising_for_rural_schools.html?intc=es

Citation:

STEM STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ACHIEVING REFORM STEM STAR

Evaluation Report 2011–2012

Phyllis Campbell Ault, Ed.D.

August 2012

About Education Northwest

Education Northwest (formerly Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory) was founded more than 40 years ago as a nonprofit corporation. The organization’s mission is to build capacity in schools, families, and communities through applied research and development. We draw on many years of experience designing and conducting educational and social research, as well as providing consultation for a broad array of research and development efforts.

STEM STAR was supported by the Rural School and Community Trust, and implemented by Generation YES. Education Northwest conducted the external evaluation at the request of the program leaders. The team working on this evaluation has extensive experience evaluating technology-infused programs of this scope.

Contact

Education Northwest

101 SW Main Street, Suite 500

Portland, OR 97204

http://www.educationnorthwest.org

Tel: 503-275-9500

http://www.ruraledu.org/user_uploads/file/STEM-STAR-Report-2011-2012.pdf

Here is information about Generation Yes, the program used:

Generation YES – Technology Integration & Student Empowerment

GenYES – Student-Supported Professional Development

GenYES (Generation of Youth and Educators Succeeding) creates a student leadership team or class that can help teachers with tech support and technology integration projects. GenYES offers a structured model with curriculum and online tools proven in thousands of schools. It’s a win-win: GenYES students gain 21st century skills, teachers school-wide receive high-quality tech support and help using technology in their own classroom. (more)

TechYES – Student Technology Literacy Assessment and Certification

TechYES provides everything needed to run a student-centered, project-based national technology literacy certification program for grades 6-9. TechYES provides a robust project-based learning support system that connects projects to Common Core Standards, meets ISTE NETS technology standards for students, and fulfills e-rate requirements. (more)

TechYES Extended Technology Literacy Curriculum

Is your technology curriculum stuck in the last century? Update your media and technology class with technology curriculum that supports 21st century project-based learning. (more)

TechYES or GenYES. Which One is Right for Me?

Are you wondering which Generation YES program is right for you? Once you’ve explored the details of these programs, you may still have questions about this. This page will help you decide which Generation YES program is the right fit for you.

http://genyes.org/programs/

All children have a right to a good basic education

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