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Science education and women's rights need to be matched
There are fewer women visible in pure sciences, mathematics and technology. It is often said that one of the banes of the educational practices and structures of the subject matters of various scientific disciplines is that they make both knowledge and learners fragmented along with wrongful stress on linear logical thinking and competition.
Both the methods and structures of science as well as social rearing of children and technology instruction have drawn a lot of flake from well-meaning educators, social scientists and feminists.

Davies says that the male children receive more attention since they are noisier and more demanding. Often misdeeds of boys are ignored by using the phrases like 'boys will be boys', thereby, providing a social acceptance of boys as 'aggressive', 'competitive' and hence 'superior' to girls. Of course, boys and girls, men and women are different - not superior or inferior - just different.

According to Okeke, it needs to be understood that initial experiences mould an individual's values, aspirations, emotions and interests and attitudes on the basis of what is offered by parents and other members of the family. And, these are subtly and unconsciously transferred to their children. Very often, the early childhood activities among children are made sex-differentiated.

Boys are given the mechanical toys, construction and building kits, motors, cars, guns so that they can engage themselves in combats aggression and competition. On the other hand, girls are given baby dolls, kitchen sets, sewing kits and non-mechanical toys so that they could be docile, compliant and caring. Playing with toys reinforces the sex-differentiated activities. It is the beginning of gender inequity leading to the first unconscious assault on the human rights.

Schools too encourage competition and sex-stereotyping of science, technology and mathematics. The instructional practices of delivering lectures and presentations of science and mathematics in abstract ways continues, despite the research which holds that as a group of human beings, both boys and girls have equal cognitive potentials that can be fostered through peer-group learning exposures.

This gender inequity in science and technology is a subtle assault on women's rights. This can only be corrected by emphasising on the adoption of cooperative and collaborative learning practices.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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