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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the this-will-not-be-controversial-oh-no-sir dept.

GungnirSniper writes:

"Catherine Rampell at The Washington Post has 'A message to the nation's women: Stop trying to be straight-A students.'

In her analysis of others' findings, she writes of a discouragement gradient that pushes women out of harder college degrees, including economics and other STEM degrees. Men do not seem to have a similar discouragement gradient, so they stay in harder degree programs and ultimately earn more. Data suggests that women might also value high grades more than men do and sort themselves into fields where grading curves are more lenient.

'Maybe women just don't want to get things wrong,' Goldin hypothesized. 'They don't want to walk around being a B-minus student in something. They want to find something they can be an A student in. They want something where the professor will pat them on the back and say "You're doing so well!"'

'Guys,' she added, 'don't seem to give two damns.'

Why are women in college moving away from harder degrees?"

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:41PM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:41PM (#15588) Journal

    The solution: Grade normalization.

    Your solution is wrong. Seriously.

    Grades are (or should be) a measurement. As such, they are a mean, not a goal - a mean to make an idea about the "the real thing", or a mean to check one stays on track, or a mean by which one can decide to apply feedback and correct the teaching... a mean anyway.

    Normalizing grades between STEM and humanities is based on the view of grades as a goal: the one that chooses to play this game is more likely to "learn how to pass exams" rather than acquire skills and knowledge and attitudes that are actually useful.
    In other words, one will "learn behaviours"; and a nasty behaviour when it comes to that: the compliance - like in "Tell me how you are measuring me and I'll tell you how I behave".
    That's no longer education, that is taming and conditioning.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @01:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @01:15PM (#16338)

    Normalizing grades between STEM and humanities is based on the view of grades as a goal

    Or maybe it's based on the view that they are a more useful measurement when normalized? Remember, we aren't talking about fundamental units of physics here.