ERIC Number: ED340658
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America: A Call to Action. AAUW Initiative for Educational Equity.
American Association of Univ. Women, Washington, DC.
Concerned that most of the education reform debate of the 1980s has ignored the needs of girls, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has launched its Initiative for Educational Equity. The first steps in this initiative were twofold. First, a survey of 3,000 fourth through tenth grade students, girls and boys from across the country, was carried out. This survey examined the impact of gender on self-esteem levels, career aspirations, educational experiences, and math-science interests. Second, a roundtable was held January 9, 1991, with leaders from education, business, government, and the media at which the findings of the AAUW survey were presented and discussed. At the roundtable, these leaders expressed their concern with the problem of gender bias in the schools and their commitment to working toward providing better educational opportunities for girls and young women. This document summarizes the findings of the AAUW survey and highlights comments by some of the roundtable participants. The research pointed out that as girls grow, they lose confidence in their abilities, expect less from life, and lose interest in challenging courses of study and rewarding careers, particularly pursuits involving mathematics and science. Schools play a critical role in limiting girls' aspirations, through various forms of gender bias, including a lower quality and quantity of classroom attention. Girls' declining self-esteem is a social problem the schools can and must play a role in solving. It is crucial that girls receive the education, support, and challenges they need to become part of the highly skilled workforce the United States needs; to reach their full potential as citizens in a democratic society; and to grow up to be parents who will challenge and nurture their own children. The pressing need for a workforce unequaled in the world combined with the continuing debate over school reform provides a unique window of opportunity for improving education for girls. A list of the roundtable's participants and the agenda are included as appendices. (DB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adolescents, Educational Change, Educational Discrimination, Educational Objectives, Educational Opportunities, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Females, Males, Mathematics Education, Occupational Aspiration, Public Schools, Role of Education, Science Education, Self Esteem, Sex Bias, Sex Discrimination, Social Science Research, Student Attitudes, Student Needs
American Association of Univeristy Women Sales Office, P.O. Box 251, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0251 ($14.95; members, $12.95).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of Univ. Women, Washington, DC.
Note: For related documents, see ED 339 674 and SO 022 114-116.