There’s an old riddle that goes something like this: A father and a son are in an automobile accident. The father is killed, and the son is rushed to the hospital where a surgeon performs an intricate operation. When the operation has been successfully completed, the surgeon looks down at the boy’s face for the first time and cries, “That’s my son!”
The correct and seemingly obvious answer is that the surgeon is the boy’s mother, but because this profession requires a degree of technical precision, authority and higher education, most people immediately choose a male figure like “stepfather” or “priest.” The riddle is supposed to trigger some intense self-reflection about gender expectations. But whether these concerns are still applicable today is debatable.
Read the entire article, with comments by HCDE undergraduate Jessica Cropley.
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
220 Guggenheim Auditorium
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend the 2009 Fall All-College meeting. On the agenda:
- Welcome and introduction of new faculty
- State of the college
- Questions and answers
- Closing remarks
Reception follows. See you there!
Data shows that female engineering students have high success rates, although only 20% of undergraduate engineering students are female.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education
August 4, 2009
Female Students Just as Persistent as Men in Engineering, Database Shows
By Paul Basken
It may be hard to attract women into engineering, but keeping them there doesn’t seem to be a problem.
That’s the latest finding from a database of 70,000 engineering students at nine institutions in the southeastern United States tracked over a 17-year period ending in 2005.
The resource, called the Multiple-Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Development, is managed by Matthew W. Ohland, an associate professor of engineering education at Purdue University. The latest findings, accepted for publication in a future issue of the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, were derived by researchers at Purdue, the University of San Diego, and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Only about 20 percent of undergraduate engineering students are women, Mr. Ohland said. But the database shows women aren’t dropping out at any greater rate than men are, suggesting more efforts should be made in recruiting women into engineering than on trying to retain them.
Earlier research with the database suggested ways of working on that problem, such as making calculus part of a general college curriculum, thereby increasing the odds that a student in another major will later transfer into engineering.