How to Use Blended Learning to Encourage Girls’ Interest in Math

October 24, 2014

Female and male students behave differently in math class. Boys are more likely to raise a hand for help, girls are less confident in math despite the same test scores and boys often take on more leadership roles.

Studies also show that 80 percent of college students pursuing majors in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics decided to do so before they entered high school. The elementary and middle school years are crucial for showing students that “math is not just for boys,” a stereotype that begins in as early as second grade.

Blended learning can help you manage these differences and even the behavioral playing field. Here’s how:

Two girls working at a computer
The mascot of the Reasoning Mind system, affectionately referred to as “Genie, is deliberately gender-neutral and encourages hundreds of students each year to succeed in math class.
  1. Getting the teacher’s attention. Boys are more likely than girls to raise a hand when they need help, however for many programs including ours, the system alerts the teacher in real-time when students are struggling. Teachers have more time to address this with conduct quick, on-the-spot interventions circulating a blended learning classroom than peeking over students’ shoulders in whole-group instruction.
  2. Creating resourceful learners. Encourage students to look through the program’s online resources for help before asking for help. Every student benefits from internalizing these strategies and becoming independent learners.
  3. Challenging students at every level. Take advantage of your blended learning program’s adaptivity and personalization features, so every student is challenged appropriately.
  4. Providing feedback. To build female students’ interest in math, it’s important to reinforce that math intelligence grows with hard work and practice, not an innate, fixed entity. This is especially important for female students.

How do you encourage your female students to persist in math class? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.



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