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Women's Science: Learning and Succeeding from the Margins 1st Edition

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0226195452
ISBN-10: 0226195457
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In both recent studies and popular media articles, the opportunities?or lack thereof?for women and girls in science and engineering have received increased attention, as policymakers, parents and educators have sought to close the gender gap in schools and workplaces. Eisenhart, a professor of education and anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder (and coauthor of Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement, and Campus Culture), and Finkel, a high school science teacher, provide a new perspective on the issue. Rather than look at research agencies and laboratory settings, where women are severely underrepresented, they focus on the "margins": a high school genetics class, an internship for engineers, an environmental action group and a nonprofit conservation agency. By studying these sectors, generally less well remunerated, they find a higher percentage of women doing science work, but they also discover numerous problems, such as a standard expectation for female scientists to "act like men" in order to succeed, and a false environment of gender neutrality. Even the women presented here who do prevail do so against discrimination and unwarranted obstacles. Beyond describing individual struggles, however, the authors expertly delve into the definition of science itself, and how science is presented in school as a male-driven construction. For those seeking to gain a fuller and more expansive understanding of women's place in the fields of science and engineering, this is an extraordinarily important work.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Although younger boys and girls show comparable math and science skills, in high school there is a dramatic shift in favor of boys. Eisenhart (education/anthropology, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement, and Campus Culture, LJ 9/1/90) and science writer Finkel looked at four science-based programsAa high school genetics class, an internship program for engineers, an environmental group, and a conservation agencyAwith high female representation. Even in these unusual programs, women were paid less than men and "only achieved success when they acted like male professionals." Unfortunately, the authors seem to define "acting like male professionals" as working long hours, taking on difficult assignments, and sacrificing other activities in order to accomplish the job. They contend that women tend to select more flexible programs and occupations so that they can fulfill other obligations. Intriguing yet finally depressing, their arguments would have been clearer with a little less jargon. Nevertheless, their book should provide fodder for some interesting arguments.AHilary Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (November 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226195457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226195452
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,016,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on June 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a women science teacher, I was excited when I heard aboutthis book and fascinated as I began to read. Eisenhart and Finkelhave filled their book with specific cases and statistics which are relevant and are well-referenced.
However, I found some aspects of the cases being discussed to be disturbing.
For example, the students in the innovative genetics course were placed in groups according to gender and previously-demonstrated scientific ability. Granted, this is how you construct an experiment, but is it really fair to the high school students? They found that all the groups except the one composed of girls who had not done well in science benefited from the course. Might these girls have done well if they had been in a group with girls previously-successful in science? Who knows.
I was offended by the description of the teacher laughing when a student says he's been trying to steal other students' answers and telling the class some scientists do this. This should have been an opportunity to talk about ethics in science.
Despite these problems, I do recommend the book for its insights into science education.
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