Sunday, April 6, 2008

Finish-it Friday

I love going to Finish-it Friday at the library. The ladies there are such a great mix! It seems that each meeting there is someone who needs to talk and others who need to listen - heads down and getting their projects done. I am still working on the Michigan UP socks.

I have been thinking a lot about gender equity in science and math education issues lately. Having trouble with what to do about it. I found this article online. A lot of useful information for teachers. I especially like this paragraph - it really reminds me of Elizabeth Zimmerman, it applies to knitting as well as teaching science:

"Science is about experimenting and trying new ideas. There is also a lot
of room for mistakes and fixing incorrect hypotheses.

• As often as possible, allow for students to see that there are other
ways of finding an answer, and that the predicted result in not
necessarily the only result (or even the correct one in all cases).

• Allow students (and reward them) to let you know if you’ve made
mistakes and to help you to fix them. Modeling that people make
mistakes may help girls feel more comfortable in science (and
math), which is often perceived as a subject that leaves no room
for making any (i.e., answers are either right or wrong).

• Allow students to question the material and you. If they have
questions or concerns about science that are related to your
material, ask students to share them privately or with the class (if
appropriate). Students often find great material that can be useful
to everyone."

I think that knitting, and machine knitting especially, can reinforce science and math skills in girls' educations. Lots of opportunity to use the computer too, with software tools for garment design and embellishment, or even searching the internet for patterns! Think what a force we could be if all machine knitters were to volunteer in educational programs!