Women and men in the classroom (earning PhDs)

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James Trotta
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Women and men in the classroom (earning PhDs)

Post by James Trotta » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:56 am

For the first time, more women than men in America earned PhDs last year. There are more women at different levels of higher education.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 555_2.html

One teacher commenting on the article had this to say:
Earning a PhD requires specific skills like dedication and commitment that I see missing from a lot of young men these days. I know that's not true of all men, but I see many more young women who enjoy completing projects and completing tasks than men.

Now when I give a group of students a problem to solve that requires a lot of creative thinking, I often see boys work on the problem for days. They will debate and think it through forever. They don't like to give up and be given an answer. The girls will bore of that kind of work rather quickly.

When I give a group of students a problem to solve that requires a lot of task completion, writing, organizing, reading, etc., the boys will quit within moments of the task being assigned, where the girls, if they understand the task ahead of them, will often work on the problem for long, long periods of time.

This is obviously a generalization on my part and yet it has truly been my experience in the classroom. As a teacher I try to balance the challenges I give my students so that neither party gives up early.
What do you think of his observations of men and women in the classroom? What does it mean (if anything) that more women than men earned PhDs?

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Re: Women and men in the classroom (earning PhDs)

Post by elevenoclock_kyungAOh » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:17 am

I think that his observations of students in the classroom show a general tendency of men and women’s preference and their competentness.
According to a theory of Localization of brain function, there is the specialization of functions between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
“There is some evidence that the right hemisphere is more involved in processing novel situations, while the left hemisphere is most involved when routine or well rehearsed processing is called for.”
Most women come under the left hemisphere dominant and men right hemisphere dominant. So, the teacher’s observation of male and female students’ preference is quite relevant.

Also, the article above says that more women than men got PhDs last year.

“The increase in women receiving doctoral degrees resulted from years of persistent gains across several areas of study. In the health sciences, for example, the number has risen at a rate of 14 percent per year over the past decade. Women now earn 70 percent of doctorates in that field. They represent 67 percent of doctoral degrees in education, and 60 percent in social and behavioral sciences.”
Since earring PhDs requires hard work and dedication, women who are mostly good at enduring routine processing can take more advantageous position than men.

Furthermore, I believe that the increasing trend of higher education both men and women can play a role in more women’s earning PhDs because there is less restriction for it nowadays.

However, I am not sure about Korean situation. More men are earning PhDs in Korea, aren’t they?

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