Mind the STEM Gap at Home
9 points for a fairer, more inclusive upbringing.
For greater immediacy, we have transposed the principles set out in the Manifesto for Girls [and Boys] into a version for families and a version for schools. The version for families is for mothers, fathers, relatives and friends.
It addresses everyone who is part of the educational community in which boys and girls live, everyone who influences their lives in some way. It highlights 9 key points through which we can all help overcome the limits of a conventional upbringing.
Phrases like “Don’t be a sissy” or “This is a man's job” have toxic connotations, which solidify and strengthen stereotypes. We should avoid these phrases and talk about them if they do emerge: words give form to thoughts.
Stereotypes are insidious and powerful: they condition our worldview. So they should be highlighted, analysed and discarded.
Housework is not a natural female vocation. When everyone is involved in day-to-day tasks, this frees up energy and conveys competence.
Let's adopt a gender-neutral pedagogic approach, where roles and responsibilities are assigned on the basis of personality rather than gender.
Let's leave girls free to explore all fields, including those traditionally reserved for boys. This will help eliminate a disparity, since girls tend to consider themselves less skilled than boys in maths and science.
This is why it's important that girls have access to science-related games still viewed as typical boys’ games, such as building sets, logic blocks or others.
Let’s offer our sons and daughters the chance to explore all branches of knowledge and tell them “science stories” with female protagonists.
Even just changing a light bulb with a parent can open up interesting new worlds for boys and girls.
Overcoming stereotypes is a difficult challenge. To win it, we need an educating community where the various people involved in children's education and upbringing are in constant contact with one another.