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Gender-segregated science classroom

Hannah Dvorak DvorakH at starbase1.caltech.edu
Sat May 27 13:58:20 EST 1995

In article <3q6d7g$njl at knot.queensu.ca>, 3tem4 at qlink.queensu.ca (Dead Cow)

> u64520 at UICVM.CC.UIC.EDU wrote:
> : I went to an all girls high school and feel strongly that the encouragement
> : I received and the female role models that taught me are the primary reason
> : I am now pursuing a PhD in a science field.  
>    I am assuming that you are referring to a private school, not a public 
> school.  My main objection is that public schools (at least in the 
> Maritimes) have no recourse for firing bad teachers, even ones whom the 
> vice-principals admit are crazy, and who have limits set on how many 
> students may transfer out of them at the beginning of each year.

Not just the Maritimes - I went to public school in Ontario, and we had a
few teachers who were terrible (including a history teacher who denied the
existence of the Holocaust) but instead of being fired, they were just
kicked around from school to school.

>    My point is that if you are in a school where the teachers are not 
> accountable, then segregating the classroom may only serve to further the 
> problems of gender inequity.  A teacher who doesn't think that females 
> have a chance in, say, biology, would be more likely not to offer an 
> all-female class a better lesson because they had been segregated.  
> Speaking from experience, I can say that while it may be a hassle to be 
> one of four or five girls in a physics class, I'd rather redo my entire 
> high school than sit through an all girls lecture given by a sexist teacher.
>    Then again, I'm writing this having come from a public school in 
> a province (N.S.) with no province-wide exams.  I think that the entire 
> school system needs to be revamped, and gender segregation would be one 
> of the last approaches I would support.

Sounds like you think province-wide exams would help - why?  Wouldn't all
teaching then just be geared towards doing well on the exams? 

I too disagree with gender segregation on the grounds that it wouldn't
prepare girls (or boys, for that matter) fairly for the real world.  You
can't stay gender-segregated your whole life.  Unless you enter a convent,
I guess. :)

> Dead Cow, 3rd Year Biology Major, Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario

- Hannah Dvorak (Queen's Bio '92 - Cha Gheill!)

Hannah Dvorak                           |
DvorakH at starbase1.caltech.edu           |
Division of Biology 156-29              | Ceci n'est pas un .sig.
California Institute of Technology      |
Pasadena, CA 91125                      |

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