Title IX Lawsuit Underscores Challenges In STEM Education

Aug. 5, 2016
A University of Cincinnati undergrad files suit against the school for gender discrimination.

A University of Cincinnati physics professor’s practice of placing students in single sex lab groups has spurred a gender discrimination lawsuit and highlights confusion among the academic community regarding how best to increase women’s participation in STEM, according to an article from Science Magazine. The decision to segregate students by sex in the physics lab was reportedly based on an understanding that females do better in small groups that contain more females than males.

According to the article, a 2014 study does find that women may benefit academically from being in the majority, a situation that reportedly creates a more welcoming learning environment, increases participation and lessens anxiety in problem solving. Other educators, however, believe there are better ways to reduce the intimidation factor than segregation in the classroom, including calling on every student in the class, providing more role models and mentors for female students, and hiring and promoting more female faculty members.

Read the entire article here.

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