According to Ms. Laura Parson, a “Teaching and Learning, Graduate Student” at the University of North Dakota, the reason more women aren’t pursuing STEM fields is because the scientific method relies too much on facts and logic and not subjective perspectives. I am not making this up.
Syllabi promote the positivist view of knowledge by suggesting that there are correct conclusions that can be drawn with the right tools:
- “A critical thinker considers all available evidence with an open mind and uses appropriate techniques to analyze that evidence and reach a conclusion (Lower level geology).”
- “The main goal is to attain knowledge and comprehension of major concepts and techniques of organic chemistry (Upper level chemistry).”
As these examples show, the STEM syllabi explored in this study demonstrated a view of knowledge that was to be acquired by the student, which promotes a view of knowledge as unchanging. This is further reinforced by the use of adverbs to imply certainty such as “actually” and “in fact” which are used in syllabi to identify information as factual and beyond dispute (Biber, 2006a; 2006b). For example, “draw accurate conclusions from scientific data presented in different formats” (Lower level math). Instead of promoting the idea that knowledge is constructed by the student and dynamic, subject to change as it would in a more feminist view of knowledge, the syllabi reinforce the larger male-dominant view of knowledge as one that students acquire and use make (sic) the correct decision.
See, you may think water boils at 100C, but that’s just what the Patriarchy *wants* you to think, and they reinforce their tyranny by insisting that everyone learn the “fact” that water boils at 100C they exclude feminist perspectives, such as the perspective that “fire can’t melt steel,” from the STEM fields, thus reinforcing them as a preserve of sexism and misogyny.
It’s the intersectionalities, you guys!