How to Encourage Girls into 'boy-biased' A-levels

Claire Hamnett, Physics Teacher: “So the main thing you’re able to produce today is a table of your results.”
Alice: “I was taught by Ms. Hamnet during (inaudible) and now she’s my physics teacher for A-level and she was really, like, that was really great seeing someone – especially in physics – uh, who is a female teacher, who is really inspiring, um, and the head of science is female, and most of the chemistry teachers are as well. So that was, just always, it just meant that it was really obvious that girls could do science.”
Claire Hamnett: “I think, really, the secret behind that is, is the way that we teach students. We have the expectations that anyone can do anything. What I will try to do, I guess more actively, is when we do have more opportunities – obviously living in Oxford and there’re lots of physics events going and lots of promotions for the institute of physics to try to get more girls into physics. So I try to take advantage of as many of those as possible. So I will probably encourage girls slightly more to go along to those sorts of things. We’ve got things in school where we have a WISE club where, Women in Science and Engineering, so we are sort of actually redressing it from the year nine upward to try and make sure that girls know that they are able to flourish in those subjects as anybody else. So I think it is an attitude, a positive attitude that is encouraging everybody regardless of what their gender is, really. And I think it helps that I’m a female, myself, and I’m a very strong teacher and strong role model for them. So, yeah.“
Emma: “It’s never really occurred to me that it wouldn’t be a possibility just because I’m a girl that I would be (inaudible) subjects and there are lots of girls in the years above and in our year that do this, and I’m sure in the years below that will come and do these subjects.”
Claire Hamnett: “Originally I didn’t do physics. I converted to become a physics teacher and that was, because I didn’t particularly enjoy physics, it was what I was good at, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it and I didn’t consider doing it at degree level because of my teacher. So I think probably that’s the main thing; just encouraging everybody and making sure that they know it's an option and gender is completely irrelevant.”
Source: BBC


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