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Exclusionary education - why not?

  1. Apr 2, 2017 #1
    Inclusive education has rightly been the trumpet charge of education. I am aware of exclusionary curriculum in the arts, sport, music.

    STEM subjects are only exclusive when applied to girls.

    What would a full exclusion STEM school look like that only the proven elite students were enrolled and special elevated public funding was poured into infrastructure, HR, resources....

    I argue it is more equitable as it caters for the elite which IMO are largely ignored on the assumption they will make it anyway.

    Has this ever been considered in a publicly funded system. Is it ethical?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2017 #2


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    What are you talking about? I realize that the gender ratio in STEM subjects tend to be weighted toward males, but that's not because of any policy. In fact, in many places there are efforts to varying degrees to make STEM enrollments more balanced. Can you a point to a program that actively or as a matter of policy excludes females?
  4. Apr 2, 2017 #3
    I didn't word it the best, girls in stem are encouraged based on gender, that by definition is exclusion of boys.
  5. Apr 2, 2017 #4


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    How is that exclusion?
  6. Apr 2, 2017 #5
    If you exclude someone access to a program based on gender that's exclusion. The same program would be exclusive to the group not excluded.

    Kinda drifting off the point.
  7. Apr 2, 2017 #6


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    You seem to be saying that promoting one group that is under-represented in STEM subjects is equivalent to excluding others. I don't see the connection. And if you can't explain what you mean by exclusion, how can we have a conversation about it?
  8. Apr 2, 2017 #7
    I've heard programs like Affirmative Action be criticized for reasons like this. Is that a better example of what you mean?
  9. Apr 2, 2017 #8
    This thread wasn't meant to be gender based, it was about elite students and catering to their needs, ie gender blind.

    But yah if you offer programs based specifically on gender as many STEM for girls programs that is clearly bias based on gender, not even an argument just a fact.

    If you want to discuss gender issues please start an appropriate thread.
  10. Apr 2, 2017 #9
    Yah, close enough but I don't know the details of what affirmative action is or who it targets.
  11. Apr 2, 2017 #10
    I think that you would need to make a better argument for me to accept that the "elite" (which should be clarified) are being "ignored." In the US at least there is little doubt that the social and economic system greatly benefits those that are wealthy and white. So if a program exists which makes it easier for an individual that shows drive and aptitude to gain some upward mobility then I think such a program is ethically ok. I think we'd need some specifics to ground the conversation though.
  12. Apr 2, 2017 #11
    By elite I mean students with a very high aptitude and passion for STEM, regardless of social background or gender.

    The way I see it from my limited observation is every week in my local media there is a story on a kid great at sport, a kid that solve hard math problems?

    In fact sport talent scouts actively seek, recruit and pay high school students, I see no such thing for the kid good at math.

    Kids good at sport have had streets and parks in my town named as an eternal dedication in their honor.

    Kids good at math leave town and are never seen, heard or spoken of again. Some have become very high achievers in advanced fields, no local plaques or parks named after them.
  13. Apr 2, 2017 #12
    I see. So I think my example of Affirmative Action is not a good example for your point then. I think I now understand what you mean by 'exclusion' though.

    I wonder if the issue is more about the media rather than there being no recognition for academics. I agree that academics appear to be less celebrated in our culture (media) than say sports, but maybe that's because there isn't much of an entertainment factor for solving math problems. At the school I work in we try to celebrate all forms of student achievement publicly including sports and academics. For example, a local university puts on a math competition and we recognize students who do well on that. Aside from the school newsletter I don't think the information is reported though.
  14. Apr 2, 2017 #13
    School in my area has 3 full days to timetable whole school sports, not including subject time. Then there are all the regional, state etc days for the elite, add several interschool sport days, swimming...all fully funded to have teachers supervise organise etc.

    Not one day for STEM apart from holiday camps and student pay extra curricular activities...why the imbalance in public funding is my point.
  15. Apr 3, 2017 #14

    Fervent Freyja

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    And how do you prove that the child is in the "elitist" category when they are only a few years old? My daughter has been accepted into a STEM academy for Kindergarten coming fall. She will attend a normal public school, but be a part of a few classes that are devoted to teaching research in K-4. Her acceptance had nothing to do with my husband and I preferring STEM. There may be some affirmative action involved in the acceptance process, with there being a balance between genders in the classroom, it's highly likely that more parents applied boys than girls to the program. Other than having to show that she was on the path to normal development and had advanced reading skills (they don't accept children behind in those areas, because the program doesn't focus as much on literature and arts), that was all that was needed to place her in a STEM-based public program- it was a random selection (other than gender probably). I might also add that the neighborhoods for this school are well-mixed, so children from all social classes could have applied to it. Is this program using more resources than the "normal" curriculum? I really don't know yet. I hope not. Science classes are certainly the most expensive for schools. Anytime a school has to cut a budget those are the first to go! My area is heavily driven by STEM, especially space and defense, so that's likely why this school is receiving public funding for it. I'm not sure if this is available in all places. My middle and high school (public) also offered many STEM programs. The availability of this is in public schools is much more likely to be dependent upon regional needs than to cater to the wealthy. Real elitists, or whomever you think you're talking about, are going to be opposed to sending their children to a public school, period. That you propose to spend 2-3x per wealthy child than underprivileged child is ridiculous, and yes, unethical. Are you saying that privileged children are worth more than underprivileged (which I once was)? Do I need to tell you how much further I've continued my education than my "privileged" school friends have? You cannot instill passion for learning STEM in a child with money. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.
  16. Apr 3, 2017 #15
    I must accept I am a really bad communicator, you pretty much concluded the total opposite of what I was intending in my post.
  17. Apr 3, 2017 #16

    Fervent Freyja

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    I still don't understand your argument!
  18. Apr 3, 2017 #17
    I will work on my communication skills.
  19. Apr 3, 2017 #18

    Fervent Freyja

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    Are you arguing to exclude male children from a STEM education? That is already happening in K-12 public schools and a huge issue. Or are you arguing for placing them in classrooms that are all-male? That is known to be effective in improving learning outcomes. What are you talking about, segregation? You have me so confused. o_O
  20. Apr 3, 2017 #19
    I am talking about publicly funded non inclusive schools equipped with everything needed such that highly capable students at no personal financial cost from any walk of life and any gender can get their needs met and beyond.

    the rest stay at a regular inclusive school.
  21. Apr 3, 2017 #20


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    There's a lot more money involved in sports for one thing. Also, I'd say elite athletes are probably rarer than students good at STEM.

    I think you need to better explain what you mean by inclusive and exclusive. I still have no idea what you mean by those terms in this context.
  22. Apr 3, 2017 #21
    I am not for exclusion, but at the same right, i think how we apply education is flawed at its core. I am maybe leaning towards more vocational education, but i have to research that more.
  23. Apr 3, 2017 #22
    That doesn't compute, think of it in terms of critical elements to make society function;

    If STEM stopped the whole world stops.

    If football stops...?

    In terms of rareness;

    how many people are eligible to compete for a Nobel prize, how many for an Olympic medal?
  24. Apr 3, 2017 #23


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    Closed pending moderation.

    Edit: This thread took a wrong turn from the beginning. It is difficult to understand what the OP really wanted to discuss. We'll leave the thread closed.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
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