[Numeracy 616] Re: "affirmations" and physics

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Doug Ploe dploe at kbic-nsn.gov
Tue Nov 30 09:23:18 EST 2010

Hey there everyone,

Interesting article which reflects my experiences at a well regarded engineering school in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

At first I was real curious as to what effect this exercise would have on men, but after reading to the end my question was answered. Another question then became obvious: What might the results be if the prompts were of a neutral base or if they were more male oriented? Also, what was the effect on women that were doing well in the class to begin with?

Any ideas?

Doug Ploe
Adult Ed. Teacher
KBIC Even Start


From: numeracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov on behalf of Susan Jones
Sent: Mon 11/29/2010 6:11 PM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 615] "affirmations" and physics


A snippet: " BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 25 (AScribe Newswire) --....

And the effects of these psychological factors can be largely overcome with a brief writing exercise focusing on important values, such as friends and family, learning or even music. This simple "values affirmation" writing exercise generally raised women's course grades from the "C" to "B" range, a study led by University of Colorado at Boulder researchers has found.

These self-affirming essays, the researchers suggest, assuaged women's stress about being seen in light of negative stereotypes about women in science. Besides getting better grades, the women also showed greater mastery over the conceptual material, the team found. "

The results surprised the researchers (at least that's what they said) because these were people in math/science programs, not those fulfilling a requirement they wouldn't have broached if it weren't necessary.

It's interesting reading (and well described, IMHO :))

Susan Jones
Academic Development Specialist
Center for Academic Success
Parkland College
Champaign, IL 61821
sujones at parkland.edu
http://www.resourceroom.net <http://www.resourceroom.net/>
http://www.bicycleuc.wordpress.com <http://www.bicycleuc.wordpress.com/>

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