ERIC Number: ED241870
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Current Crisis in Science Education? Women in Science and Problems for the Behavioral Scientists. Some Perspectives of a Physicist.
Dresselhaus, Mildred S.
A number of problems exist in society which require the cooperation of physical and social scientists. One of these problems is the current crisis in science education. There are several aspects to this problem, including the declining interest of students in math and science at a time when functioning in our society requires more, not less, working knowledge of basic math and science. Another aspect is the declining attractiveness of teaching careers in math and science, leading to a severe teacher shortage in these areas and inadequate competency of some of the teachers now available. Several factors might explain the shortage, including declining esteem for public school teachers, relatively low salaries, and increased opportunities for women who leave the teaching field for careers in business and industry. Psychologists can play an influential role in establishing, in quantitative terms, the reasons for these changes, and can focus on developing methodologies for stimulating student interest in math, science, and computer literacy. More technological changes can be expected, and opportunities will increase for psychologists and social scientists to help people adjust to them. The increasing national need for physical scientists and engineers has implications for women in these fields. Psychologists should be encouraged to study social impediments inhibiting women from considering physical science careers, and to develop ways of motivating women students to take the necessary courses. The need for support mechanisms for women and minority students in these fields is increasing. The time has come for increased interaction between physical and behavioral scientists. (JAC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).