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Dd is the only girl in her AS Further Maths class - what could the school do to support her?

(136 Posts)
ralgex Sun 16-Nov-14 00:16:13

Needless to say, she feels intimidated, and doesn't ask the questions she needs to. I feel she has to be given a chance to talk regularly to a teacher about how it affects her, and a chance to ask the questions she daren't raise in class. Anyone got any examples of support for female mathematicians in a co-ed school, please?

Wolfiefan Sun 16-Nov-14 00:25:27

Why does she feel intimidated? Surely she needs to be able to ask questions in class? What if she ends up working in an environment that is mostly male?

ralgex Sun 16-Nov-14 00:27:41

Yes, she knows she may end up in such an environment. I still think it reasonable for the school to offer her help. Teenage girls are not as strong as working women, and some teenage boys are obnoxious before they learn to impress women in sensible ways.

Hamuketsu Sun 16-Nov-14 00:29:59

I'm wondering why it is "needless to say" that she's intimidated, or why she "daren't" raise questions in class. Why does she need to have separate conversations with the teacher? Genuine questions, because I have a dd of my own who wants to take STEM subjects further and may well be in a similar position next year.

prettydaisies Sun 16-Nov-14 00:30:01

DD was this. She had one female maths teacher which i think was helpful. Otherwise i think she just got on with it. She would ask and all the boys were quite protective of her and would help her when necessary.

Wolfiefan Sun 16-Nov-14 00:30:26

Perhaps they need to deal with the obnoxious boys then?

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 16-Nov-14 00:31:36

She may well end up in a degree where the ratio of females to males is very low. It was the same for me rather a long time ago. The only support I can think of is finding a female mentor.

If there is specific unacceptable behaviour being directed at her that needs to be reported to the teacher and dealt with, but I don't think being the only girl in a class is a problem per se. Why does she feel unable to speak out in class, has this been a problem before?

EmbarrassedPossessed Sun 16-Nov-14 00:34:19

Any half decent teacher should not allow over confident boys (or girls) to dominate a class as you describe. It's a teaching issue, and should be dealt with like all poor behaviour is dealt with.

catkind Sun 16-Nov-14 00:35:48

I was the only girl in my A-level physics class and wasn't a problem at all.

I think you need to talk to her about why she's feeling intimidated. Is it the behaviour of the male students? In that case it needs to be addressed.

Otherwise maybe it's her own attitude that she needs to think about. Not being able to speak just because the other students in the room are male is not healthy. Has she come from an all girls lower school or something to feel so intimidated by her classmates? The sooner she gets hold of the idea that colleagues are colleagues and gender really is not relevant the better.

I was the only girl in my A level physics class, one of only 3 in chemistry and it was just not a problem, I was at a college not a school and it was a long time ago but there were staff that dealt with pastoral care, that would be a good place to start, does the school have that system?

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Sun 16-Nov-14 00:41:17

In my school there was a culture of boys intimidating and sexually harassing girls. We were all terrified.

Is that going on in DDs school OP? Because if it is...I'd be in there speaking very seriously to the HT>

ralgex Sun 16-Nov-14 00:47:37

"Any half decent teacher should not allow over confident boys (or girls) to dominate a class as you describe. It's a teaching issue, and should be dealt with like all poor behaviour is dealt with." That is the nub of the issue. I really don't think dd should be blamed.

zzzzz Sun 16-Nov-14 00:49:58

She can help herself by setting herself targets of asking one question each lesson. After a few weeks 2, then 3, and so on.

I was one of 3/130 women on my course at Uni. The best thing would be if she learns that what's in your pants doesn't effect who you are academically. It's probably more important than the A level. She needs to fix this herself.

ralgex Sun 16-Nov-14 00:50:28

OYBBK, I am thinking along the lines of a female mentor, maybe a female mathmo in the Upper Sixth, if there are any, or a female maths teacher.

ralgex Sun 16-Nov-14 00:51:33

zzzzzzzzzzz, I don't see why she has to fix it herself with no support or recognition of the issue from the school.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Sun 16-Nov-14 00:55:45

What is the actual problem OP? Is she being bullied?

BackforGood Sun 16-Nov-14 00:55:52

Another one asking why "needless to say" ? confused

My Mum was the only girl doing maths A-level back in the 1940s, but wasn't intimidated.
My niece (much more recently) ended up being the only girl in her physics class, but again, felt no need to be intimidated.
My dd is about to choose maths and further maths amongst her A-levels, and would not in any way feel intimidated just because classmates were boys - why would you ? confused
Surely every pupil is equal in an A-level class.

EmbarrassedPossessed Sun 16-Nov-14 00:56:26

Have you or your DD explained to her teacher that she feels intimidated out of asking the questions she would like to? That would be the first step to solving it I think.

ralgex Sun 16-Nov-14 00:57:42

Why such unpleasantness against a teenage girl?.... shock

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Sun 16-Nov-14 00:58:41

confused What unpleasantness OP?

Bakeoffcakes Sun 16-Nov-14 01:02:18

Why don't you get dd to arrange a meeting with the maths teacher.?
If your dd feels she wants you there, then go in with her.

Talk about the issues and how they can be resolved.

Inertia Sun 16-Nov-14 01:04:41

It might be worth her speaking to the teacher and explaining why she feels unable to ask questions. If it's her own shyness then the teacher may be able to come up with a system of communication which demonstrates her understanding / need for help without drawing everyone's attention to her ( I've done this before when teaching A-level, though it was a boy in this case).

If boys are behaving in a deliberately intimidating manner that needs to be dealt with by the teacher .

zzzzz Sun 16-Nov-14 01:04:45

Because the problem is within herself.

Or are you saying she is being bullied? If that's the case see her head of year.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Sun 16-Nov-14 01:07:16

Zzz in fairness you don't know that the problem is within the OPs DD! OP has not given ANY extra info despite being asked repeatedly.

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