January 27, 2010

We are the Cause of our Own Problems

Male chauvinists create a poor environment for women to excel in math and science. Women are looked poorly upon and aren't expected to succeed as often. This is what we are lead to believe, but is this truly the root cause of women choosing not to pursue math as a career? According to a recent study, it seems the trepidation of female teachers in math lead young women in our day to fear success as well. Even my wife recognizes the fact that her own feelings of inadequacy come from her parents consistently making her feel like she wasn't good enough. How can women grow up with confidence when their role models aren't confident as well? Teachers must teach confidence in the skills they pass on to the next generation. We often look to the youth as examples of what the world of tomorrow will be like. This perspective is good, although incomplete. As Gandhi famously said, "We must be the change we want to see in the world." This is just as true for the older generation as it is for the younger.