Separating boys and girls in science classes is an experiment worth trying

Feb 14, 2018 by

Photo by Chris Knight on Unsplash

Rosemary Goring –

LIKE many girls in my year, I approached maths and the science labs with something close to dread. When it came to algebra and trigonometry, I was in that unhappy league who had to forfeit lunch-break for extra tuition, and during class were placed in the front row, under the teacher’s eye.

Horribly exposed, and in the firing line, I had as much chance of understanding a word as if I’d been parachuted into Beijing. Maths, like physics and chemistry – such a sickening gassy smell as you walked in the door – were foreign languages. Unlike French and German, they were not ones I wanted to learn.

It was not just girls who were in the dunce category, but there was a marked gulf between most of the bright boys, who seemed to take these subjects in their stride, and most of the clever girls, who approached the classroom with a heavy step. At the time, I never wondered if this apartheid had less to do with innate ability, or lack thereof, and more with cultural pressures. In my case, my incapacity with numbers was all of my own doing. I’d happily have been a maths whizz, defying expectations of what girls should and should not be good at.

Source: Rosemary Goring: Separating boys and girls in science classes is an experiment worth trying | HeraldScotland

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