Scientific Careers and Race

by Quendi 85 Replies latest social current

  • moshe

    (Hamilton Southeastern) - I know that school district- our daughter was next door in Carmel/Clay schools. You are so right about the parent involvement in those schools.

    In 2010 we had a relative take the test for a census worker in that area- he didn't get hired. They told him they called people to work by score and nobody was hired who scored less than 100% in that county- However, if he had tested in Marion county next door (Indianapolis and suburbs) all he needed was an 80% score.

  • mrsjones5

    My husband was asked by his black coworkers why would we want to live in Hamilton county, "Too many white folks up there for me and it's cheaper to live in Indianapolis" they would say. Yeah it's cheaper alright and the schools were/are just as bad as Oakland.

  • dgp

    I put very little stock in it.

    I wonder how they can calculate the IQ for a nation.

    Besides, if you just don't eat well when you're a kid, your brain suffers. That is not the same as saying that every member of a race that doesn't eat well is genetically bound to be a fool.

    It would perhaps be interesting to mention that, in some areas of Central America, people of blond hair and blue eyes have little schooling and live like any other farmer; that is, they basically don't eat well and are isolated from the outside world. Some are illiterate. None stands out compared to those of color.

  • Quendi

    @ moshe: I hear you with respect to your workplace experience and can well understand and agree with your disillusionment and disgust. This is the exact opposite of what affirmative action was supposed to achieve. People were to be judged, not by the color of their skin but the content of their character—or level of skills in your example. What happened on your job demonstrates the truth that ignorance and injustice know no skin color.

    With respect to calculators in the classroom, I did not allow their use unless and until my students demonstrated competency in basic arithmetic. I enforced the ban this way. If a student simply put down the answer to a math problem on a test or homework assignment without writing out all the steps needed to derive it, I marked it wrong and they got no credit. My students quickly saw I meant business when I demanded they prove they had learned the principle and not that they could simply manipulate a calculator.

    @ mrsjones5: I am very happy to read about your children doing so well. You and your husband must be very proud of them. Their experience in Indiana was a real godsend for them when your family returned to California because a strong foundation had been laid which benefited them in all kinds of ways. And it certainly helped that you and your husband encouraged them to learn every step of the way.

    @ botchtowersociety: Fortunately, there are many resources available that will enable you and your wife to continue your son’s math education at home. It can be a real challenge to involve advanced and/or gifted students in a math classroom. I still remember one boy I met as a substitute teacher who already had a grasp on number theory and he was only in sixth grade. Then there was the young freshman at another school who asked me to explain the workings of the binomial theorem. Both of these students had teachers who simply refused to take the time to answer their questions. I suspect that was because they didn’t know those answers themselves. Meeting the needs and satisfying the curiosity and drive of students like them is a challenge for a teacher, but one that benefits everyone involved.

    Your father’s experience reminded me of a young woman in my honors class who was from Mongolia and had lived in America for only two years. She was one of the very best students in my class and a real joy to teach. Her dedication and energy were admirable and it was clear that she loved mathematics. But what I especially appreciated was how her presence in my class influenced the other students. They saw that if she could overcome language and cultural differences to excel, there was no reason they could not do well in the course also.


  • moshe

    Quendi, I have often explained to my daughter that the difference between a B average and an A might only be an extra hour of personal study each day.-eyes roll- "oh dad!! I agree that some math teachers are not able to teach- it's too bad for the kids- one bad year of math instruction makes the following year much more difficult.

  • kurtbethel

    I entered kindergarten already able to read, and do math. In fact, I was able to use a slide rule. But, my school career did not go so well because I had attitude problems with certain people in authority. It never really got better and I would get an A or an F, depending on if I was able to tune in to class or not. I got all of my schooling in the 1960s and 1970s California, and back then it was of decent quality through most of that time, but the problem was me and my attitude. There was an occasional teacher who got it and was helpful to me by understanding my nature and not triggering me to be adversarial.

    Oh yeah, moshe, I built this around 1977.

    radio fun

    radio fun

    Not quite the Heathkit from a decade earlier, but man that was fun to build and operate.

    So getting on topic, whatever I chose to do or not do was based on my own internal guidance and I did not check my skin color or culture to get the go ahead that it was okay. Those can be influences, but the real motivation and drive is in the individual, or not.

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