STEM Gender Gap: See How Kindergarten Teachers Play a Vital Role


A STEM study reveals once again that the power of the mind is vital in our daily existence. Underestimating girls where most boys excel contribute in less females getting involved in STEM related fields.

Children who are expected to do well in a specific area are more likely to succeed in the field. Oftentimes, kindergarten teachers are found guilty of this STEM gender discrimination. It's not that it's done intentionally but cultural beliefs just dictate it.

Joseph Robinson Cimpian, New York University's associate professor of economics and education policy, and his team's study approach used 2 groups. The first group is composed of 5,000 students from 1998 to 1999 and analyzed at 3rd grade, according to Fortune.

The second group got 7,500 participants under the same process from 2010 to 2011 and tracked at the second grade. The criteria for the watch include Math gender gap, identifying the achievers from the under achievers and observing if there are obvious changes from one group to another. 

General finding shows that boys and girls have identical capabilities during the initial stage. Girls are noted to drop down during first grade. The gap becomes wider at 3rd grade. It is consistent with other studies that gender gap gets wider as children grow older.   

The odd thing is that, STEM gender gap starts as early as kindergarten. Teachers tend to rate girls inferior than the boys. This is in line with the Pygmalion effect. Whenever educators rate a pupil higher at the early stage, he will be superior in the subject as he goes older.

Whereas girls rated poorly at the same stage would also not be encouraged to pursue its quest to excel at STEM subjects. Thereby, there's a need to retrain teachers to discourage STEM gender discrimination. STEM's 4 specific disciplines are science,technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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