Saturday, November 13, 2010

When Negative Gender Stereotypes Hang Heavy in the Classroom, Girls Learn Less

I don't recall anyone being assigned to make a blog post last class, and since no one is posting I figured I'd put up a post.

In this article, social psychologists discovered that when girls are in a learning environment in which they are being reminded of negative gender stereotypes, they will end up learning less. The way they studied whether negative stereotypes would hinder a woman's learning was by having a group of woman perform a certain visual perception task. Before doing the task, some of the women in the group were reminded of various stereotypes about women being bad at math and visual processing abilities while women were told nothing at all at the beginning of the task. Surely enough, the woman that had been reminded of the stereotypes ended up performing poorly on the task in comparision to the woman that had been told nothing at the beginning of the task. When looking into these stereotypes in younger children in schools, the psychologists looked into who was perpetuating these stereotypes, and they had come to realize that in many situations it was the female teachers themselves that enforced these stereotypes, thus leading these young girls to perform poorly in subjects like math.
This study can be applied to any group of persons that have been negatively stereotyped, and this makes me wonder about our school systems and how they alone can have such a great impact on our futures and whether or not they succeed. Would the enforcement of positive thought from a young age in our school systems be enough to help so many more children succeed who have been previously left in the dust due to negative stereotypes? What are your thoughts?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Group Project Plan

Our group(Alexa Cohen, Irene Kim, and Young Choi) is planning to design a structure in the border area of Clinton-Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant for children's playground that forces children from different groups to get together and cooperate in order to escape from the warmhole-like tunnels. In this region, multiple ethnic groups coexist, and we are mainly focusing on Hasidic Jewish people.

Based on the history of the region and the psychological differences of each group(ethnicity and age), we will plan out how the play-structure can force the children to get together.

The purpose of designing such structure is to set up a common goal to achieve so they feel they are forced in the same situation.

Group Project Progress

Each member of our group has chosen two or three articles to write about, ranging from intergroup relations and ethnic divides to playground mingling and environmental situations. We are all sending our papers to a single editor that we know will be able to make our multiple essays into one cohesive essay.
Also, our group is going to begin the development of the actual playground very soon. How exciting!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Front Row

Our group is integrating the Fort Greene "hipster kids" with the "project kids" through a playground which encourages inter-group contact through means of having to work together to play.

We have each chosen two sources and written two (or more) pages per person on the problem presented in our articles, the theoretical solution they have proposed, and finally how it relates to solving our problem of creating this playground.

We are now reading through all of our papers together and have created an introduction and are working to create an outline and order to when we will site each of our points and sources.

We have also begun to create the actual model of our playground out of recycled materials and metal.

Along the line, after our first draft (which will be finished by Monday) we will then begin to draft an actual presentation , refine our model, and begin collecting imagery for a slide show to go along with our presentation. All of this will be done alongside also refining our paper.

The Front Row

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Group Progress

The group decided on trying to integrate Hasidic Jews and Hipster children. We've each put research from different categories together (Hipsters, Hasidism, Child Psychology, Integration, Gender Roles), and have chosen a category to write about. There are six of us, so one person in the group will edit the papers together rather than writing their own section. Hopefully, this will allow the paper to flow naturally.

One unexpected challenge that came up is separating the children by sex. Hasidic Jews keep their children separated by sex. Typically, children are only allowed to interact with the opposite sex if they are closely related. Because of this, we are planning to design a playground that naturally encourages the children to separate by sex.