Teachers are dumbing down science lessons for girls, assuming they have less aptitude for the subject, a new study has found. The Daily Mail reports.
The ground-breaking study from Macquarie University revealed teachers used less scientific terminology in one-on-one lessons with an eight-year-old girl, than they did with a boy of the same age.
Teachers also changed their terminology depending on the child’s interest.
The study, run by the university’s senior lecturer in early childhood Carol Newall, involved teaching 81 educators and psychologists how to give a lesson on plants or planets. Each participant was then given a fictional profile of an eight-year-old child to present the lesson to via video.
Results showed that participants rated girls as less academically capable than boys in psychics, and delivered less specific information when they were teaching a girl, the study said.
The study is the first of its kind to use fictional child profiles to examine adult biases, and the findings apply to both teachers and parents.
Dr Newall said that a cultural shift is needed to ensure girls have the confidence to pursue more typically male-dominated subjects like maths and science.
‘It’s important to say, ”We believe you can do it. You have just as much capability as the boys in the classrooms”,’ she said.
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