Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Women earned more doctoral and Master’s degrees than men in 2012

Women now earning majority of graduate degrees

Women now earning majority of graduate degrees

From the American Enterprise Institute Ideas blog.

Excerpt:

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) released its annual report recently on U.S. graduate school enrollment and degrees for 2012, and here are some of the more interesting findings in this year’s report:

1. For the fourth year in a row, women in 2012 earned a majority of doctoral degrees. Of the 67,220 doctoral degrees awarded in 2012 at U.S. universities, women earned 34,761 of those degrees and 52.2% of the total, compared to 31,830 degrees awarded to men who earned 47.8% of the total (see top chart above).

[...]2. By field of study, women earning doctoral degrees in 2012 outnumbered men in 7 of the 11 graduate fields tracked by the CGS (see top chart above)

[...]3. The middle chart above shows the gender breakdown for master’s degrees awarded in 2012, and the gender disparity in favor of females is significant – women earned just under 60% of all master’s degrees in 2012, which would also mean that women earned 146.9 master’s degrees last year for every 100 degrees earned by men.

[...]Women represent 58.5% of all graduate students in the U.S., meaning that there are now 141 women enrolled in graduate school for every 100 men.

Click here for the charts.

The author of the post, Dr. Mark Perry, concludes this:

MP: Here’s my prediction – the facts that: a) men are underrepresented in graduate school enrollment overall (100 men were enrolled in 2012 for every 141 women), b) men received fewer master’s (40.5% of the total) and doctoral degrees (47.8% of the total) than women in 2012, and c) men were underrepresented in 7 out of 11 graduate fields of study at both the master’s and doctoral levels last year will get no attention at all from the media, universities and anybody in the higher education industry.

Additionally, there will be no calls for government studies, or increased government funding to address the significant gender disparities in graduate schools, and nobody will refer to the gender graduate school enrollment and degree gaps favoring women as a problem or a “crisis.”  Further, neither President Obama nor Congress will address the gender graduate enrollment and degree gaps by invoking the Title IX gender-equity law, like they have threatened to do for the gender gap in some college math and science programs. And there won’t be any executive orders to address the huge gender disparity in graduate schools by creating a White House Council on Boys and Men like the executive order issued by President Obama in 2009 to create the “White House Council on Women and Girls.”  Finally, despite their stated commitment to “gender equity,” the hundreds of university women’s centers around the country are unlikely to show any concern about the significant gender inequities in graduate school enrollment and degrees, and universities will not be allocating funding to set up men’s centers or create graduate scholarships for men.

Bottom Line: If there is any attention about gender differences in the CGS annual report, it will likely be about the fact that women are a minority in 4 of the 11 fields of graduate study including engineering and computer science (a gender gap which some consider to be a “national crisis”), with calls for greater awareness of female under-representation in STEM graduate fields of study and careers (except for the STEM field of biology, where women areover-represented).  But don’t expect any concern about the fact that men have increasingly become the second sex in higher education.  The concern about gender imbalances will remain extremely selective, and will only focus on cases when women, not men, are underrepresented and in the minority.

Men outnumber women in business, computer science, engineering and physical sciences.

I echo Dr. Perry’s point, and want to add this. In traditional Christianity, men are responsible for providing for their families. One of the ways that we men prepare for this is by getting advanced degrees in STEM-related fields, since these fields are the hardest and also pay the best. So with that in mind, what does it mean for men who want to prepare for this provider role that there is this obvious discrimination against men in graduate schools and doctoral programs? Is anyone going to do anything to change policies and incentives to favor men, like they did when women were under-represented? Of course not. The only thing that will be done is to ignorantly urge men to “man up”, while ignoring the real problems, e.g. – a lack of male teachers, schools that are not geared to male learning styles, and so on.

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Finally: Discovery Institute develops first intelligent design friendly curriculum

Reported at Evolution News.

Excerpt:

Today, Discovery Institute Press released a new intelligent design (ID) curriculum for homeschool and private school educators, Discovering Intelligent Design. Co-authored by Gary Kemper, Hallie Kemper, and Casey Luskin, it’s the first ID curriculum to comprehensively introduce the case for design in both cosmology and biology. For more information about the curriculum, and to order your copy or copies, visit www.discoveringid.org.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s in it:

ENV: The major theme is introducing intelligent design, but it sounds like the book covers a lot of ground. What are the major topics covered in the curriculum?

A: There are 20 chapters in the textbook, divided into six sections.

Part I introduces the basic concepts of intelligent design and Darwinian evolution, and terminology important to the debate. It also covers some critical thinking tools useful to investigating human and animal origins.

Part II examines the evidence for ID from cosmology, looking at the Big Bang and the evidence for design from cosmic fine-tuning, and the evidence showing that Earth is a “privileged planet.”

Part III explains the evidence for design in biology, starting with the idea of biological information and the origin of life, and also getting into mutations, molecular machines, and the design of animal body plans, including the human body. The capstone chapter of this section responds to “dysteological” arguments against ID, such as the increasingly dubious concept of “junk” DNA.

Part IV explores common descent, and studies the relevant genetic and fossil evidence for a “tree of life,” as well as discussing some common “icons” of evolution. The last chapter in this section looks at the genetic, fossil, and behavioral evidence surrounding human origins.

Part V is a short section that lets the reader evaluate the scientific evidence as a whole and decide whether it supports materialism, or intelligent design.

Part VI, the final section, investigates the larger context of the debate about intelligent design, and explains the importance of protecting academic freedom. One of my favorite parts of this section answers common criticisms of intelligent design, and exposes their logical fallacies. The book closes with tips for students and other readers on getting involved personally in the issue.

Looks like a good bridge to the best books for helping students to learn about intelligent design, which is “The Design of Life” by William Dembski and Jonathan Wells.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

Alberta joins Quebec in imposing “diversity” education on homeschoolers

For those who aren’t following, the most conservative province in Canada has been taken over by a radical secular leftist named Alison Redford. She has not only gone crazy with the spending, but now she is taking aim at social issues, as well.

Excerpt:

Homeschooling groups are sounding the alarm this week as the Alberta government prepares to pass a bill that they say threatens to mandate “diversity” education in the home.

The province’s new Education Act, re-tabled Feb. 14th by Alison Redford’s majority Progressive Conservative government to replace the existing Schools Act, stipulates in section 16 that all instructional materials in schools “must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.”

But, in addition to publicly-funded school boards, the proposed Act defines “school” to include private schools and “a parent providing a home education program.”

Paul Faris of Canada’s Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) says the law subjects homeschoolers’ entire families life to the Human Rights Act, the provincial version of “human rights” legislation that has been used to target Christians and conservatives across the country, particularly those espousing traditional views on homosexuality.

“Basically what it would mean is all learning that goes on in the home, all material that goes on in the home, would essentially be subject to the Alberta Human Rights Act,” Faris explained.

“At least when the child leaves the school and goes home it no longer applies, but for a homeschooling family they never get away from this,” he added.

Faris said Alberta already has some of the toughest regulations for homeschooling among the Canadian provinces. Parents have to register with a school board and submit a plan at the beginning of the year, followed by two visits from a certified teacher that normally occur in the home. He did note, however, that difficulties are somewhat mitigated by the fact that parents have some choice about which school board in which they register.

[...]The Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) says the Education Act as written “provides opportunities to impose curriculum and practises upon all schools in Alberta, whereby special interest groups will have leverage to actively promote alternate lifestyles.”

“Individuals or groups with special interest agendas could take action against home educating families by utilizing [section 16] of the Act,” they add.

[...]The Progressive Conservatives have 67 of the 83 seats in the province’s legislature, so the bill’s passage is essentially assured. But Faris noted that the province is set for an election so the government may be open to changing its mind on the homeschooling aspect to avoid controversy.

UPDATE: Here’s more about Alberta’s new “diversity” curriculum.

Excerpt:

Under Alberta’s new Education Act, homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic program, says the spokesperson for Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

“Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications, told LifeSiteNews on Wednesday evening.

“You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction,” she added.

Reacting to the remarks, Paul Faris of the Home School Legal Defence Association said the Ministry of Education is “clearly signaling that they are in fact planning to violate the private conversations families have in their own homes.”

Quebec already pushes religious pluralism and moral relativism onto homeschoolers, and Ontario is probably going to do the same, soon. I really think that Alberta needs to take a closer look at conservative Danielle Smith and elect her next time. No more “Progressive Conservatives” whatever that means.

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New study finds that female teachers give male students lower marks

From the liberal UK Independent.

Excerpt:

A key reason why boys lag behind in the classroom is revealed for the first time today – female teachers.

Ground-breaking research shows that boys lower their sights if they think their work is going to be marked by a woman because they believe their results will be worse.

It also shows their suspicions are correct – female teachers did, on average, award lower marks to boys than unidentified external examiners. Male teachers, by contrast, awarded them higher marks than external examiners.

The findings, published by the Centre for Economic Performance today, could have immense repercussions for boys because of the dearth of male teachers in the profession. Only 15 per cent of primary school staff are men.

The findings were yesterday described as “fascinating” by one of the country’s leading academic researchers, Professor Alan Smithers, of the Centre for Education and Employment at the University of Buckingham.

He said the research, carried out among 1,200 children in 29 schools across the country, had shown a possible reason for the glaring gap in performance between girls and boys right through schooling.

I wonder if feminism and misandry (antagonism towards men) has anything to do with the results of this study?

Where are the male teachers?

Another contributing  factor causing men to underperform in school is that there are almost no male teachers and also that boys don’t learn well in co-ed classrooms – they get distracted by girls. The curriculum is not suitable for boys, who learn better with different materials that focus more on things that boys like, like wars, guns and adventures. Boys learn better with male teachers and all-male classrooms because they need male role models in order to succeed.

Consider this article on male/female teachers.

Excerpt:

The organization MenTeach, a Minnesota organization dedicated to increasing the number of males working with young children, posted a survey on its Web site showing that males constitute less than 20 percent of America’s 2.9 million elementary and middle school teachers. The 2008 survey, based on source data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed even more drastic differences among different grade levels:

  • 44 percent of America’s 1.2 million secondary school teachers.
  • 18.8 percent of America’s 2.9 million elementary and middle school teachers.
  • 2.4 percent of America’s 685,000 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers.

No wonder women are earning 60% of college undergraduate degrees and men are struggling to find jobs.  Most women want men to be strong husbands and fathers, so they’ll need to make sure that men have jobs. In order for men to have jobs, they’ll want to oppose feminists who discriminate against men in the education system.

The War Against Boys

An excellent book on this topic is Christina Hoff Sommers’ “The War Against Boys“. You can read a summary of her argument here.

Excerpt: (links removed)

By the late 1990s the myth of the downtrodden girl was showing some signs of unraveling, and concern over boys was growing. In 1997 the Public Education Network (PEN) announced at its annual conference the results of a new teacher-student survey titled The American Teacher 1997: Examining Gender Issues in Public Schools. The survey was funded by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and conducted by Louis Harris and Associates.

During a three-month period in 1997 various questions about gender equity were asked of 1,306 students and 1,035 teachers in grades seven through twelve. The MetLife study had no doctrinal ax to grind. What it found contradicted most of the findings of the AAUW, the Sadkers, and the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women: “Contrary to the commonly held view that boys are at an advantage over girls in school, girls appear to have an advantage over boys in terms of their future plans, teachers’ expectations, everyday experiences at school and interactions in the classroom.”

Some other conclusions from the MetLife study: Girls are more likely than boys to see themselves as college-bound and more likely to want a good education. Furthermore, more boys (31 percent) than girls (19 percent) feel that teachers do not listen to what they have to say.

At the PEN conference, Nancy Leffert, a child psychologist then at the Search Institute, in Minneapolis, reported the results of a survey that she and colleagues had recently completed of more than 99,000 children in grades six through twelve. The children were asked about what the researchers call “developmental assets.” The Search Institute has identified forty critical assets—”building blocks for healthy development.” Half of these are external, such as a supportive family and adult role models, and half are internal, such as motivation to achieve, a sense of purpose in life, and interpersonal confidence. Leffert explained, somewhat apologetically, that girls were ahead of boys with respect to thirty-seven out of forty assets. By almost every significant measure of well-being girls had the better of boys: they felt closer to their families; they had higher aspirations, stronger connections to school, and even superior assertiveness skills. Leffert concluded her talk by saying that in the past she had referred to girls as fragile or vulnerable, but that the survey “tells me that girls have very powerful assets.”

The Horatio Alger Association, a fifty-year-old organization devoted to promoting and affirming individual initiative and “the American dream,” releases annual back-to-school surveys. Its survey for 1998 contrasted two groups of students: the “highly successful” (approximately 18 percent of American students) and the “disillusioned” (approximately 15 percent). The successful students work hard, choose challenging classes, make schoolwork a top priority, get good grades, participate in extracurricular activities, and feel that teachers and administrators care about them and listen to them. According to the association, the successful group in the 1998 survey is 63 percent female and 37 percent male. The disillusioned students are pessimistic about their future, get low grades, and have little contact with teachers. The disillusioned group could accurately be characterized as demoralized. According to the Alger Association, “Nearly seven out of ten are male.”

That was all written in 2000 – the problem is much worse now.

Sommers’ book is must reading for any parent of a boy. It would also be a good book for pastors to read, so that they have an accurate understanding of the problems facing men, and can mentor them so that they can succeed.

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Does going to university necessarily educate you and provide you with job skills?

The Heritage Foundation explains why universities don’t necessarily provide students with a useful education, at least in the non-STEM areas.

Excerpt:

Guess how many top-tier universities offer a course on Lady Gaga? Four! The University of Virginia, the University of South Carolina, Wake Forest University, and Arizona State University all now offer semester-long explorations of Lady Gaga’s apparently profound influence—since 2007—on music, fashion, and the LGBT lifestyle. Yet none of these universities requires students to take a course in U.S. history before graduation. Professors and faculty at top-ranked institutions are giving preference to frivolous classes at the expense of true education.

In a new study by the National Association of Scholars, only one in 75 top universities required students to study western civilization. In 1964, more than half required students take a two-semester course that covered the history of western civilization from Greece to the modern era. The other half of universities required courses that guaranteed graduates understood the history of their society. But studying the foundations of our society no longer seems to be a priority for American universities.

It is not just studying western civilization that has been tossed out the window. There is a dearth in all general requirements. Asking “What Will They Learn,” the American Council of Trustees and Alumni has found that only 20 percent of universities require students to take a U.S. government or history class. Only 5 percent require students to take a class in economics. Many, including top liberal arts colleges, have no general education requirements. With this setup, it is increasingly unlikely that college graduates will leave their alma maters even grasping the basics.

I recommend going to university and I have the BS and MS in computer science, myself.  But if, you have a child in university, my advice is to 1) monitor every course they choose, and 2) have a career mentor meet with them periodically to make sure that what they are learning is what is actually needed in the field.

Regarding the general need for history and economics, I think this is something that it might be better for students to learn before they get to university. It’s probably safer to learn history on your own, and then just take economics. I would try to avoid any course where the teacher can teach their point of view and isolate it from reality. Stick with math, science, engineering and physics.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , ,

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