[Edu-sig] Question ?

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Sun Apr 18 12:29:14 EDT 2004

Laura writes - 

> This disagreement can only be fixed by statistically sampling women
> and girls at random and creating a survey questionaire that analyses
> their attitudes towards progamming and math.  I wonder if anybody is
> doing such a thing?

I am afraid we strongly disagree again.

In my view, the subject matter is the subject matter.  Whatever is decided
should be decided with reference to the best and most honest and most
complete elucidation of the subject matter.  

Because how, in such a survey, do you manage to distinguish between issues
that are deep, and issues that are little more than trends, fashion. 

And most importantly, how do you distinguish between symptom and cause.  

No surveys, please!!!!!!!  They are dehumanizing.

The likely result of this approach is to exasperate a bad situation. 

Should issues of education take issues of fashion all that seriously? We may
well establish that math is out of fashion with women and girls, this year,
or this decade.  So? 

It was out of fashion with me, as well, until I came to it in my own way and
in my own time. 

But I see this as little different than the fact that math is of little
interest to Jeff Elkner's programming students. 

That is certainly a symptom of something, but most certainly it is easy to
draw the wrong conclusions from it. To reverse symptom and cause.


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