Why don't girls like math? Your Voice, TVO's web show for parents, investigates on Friday May 15

    TORONTO, May 1 /CNW/ - It's a fact that there are fewer women in math and
science-oriented career fields such as engineering and computer science, but
why? Is math just harder to grasp for girls in their school years? The
stereotype that boys are better at math has been fueled, in part, by
suggestions of biological differences in the way boys and girls learn. But
EQAO test scores show that girls aren't lacking in mathematical ability; in
fact, data for the 2007-08 school year indicates that 62% of Grade 6 girls
were at or above the provincial standard in mathematics vs. 60% for Grade 6
boys. So why do girls often opt out of higher studies and careers involving
math? Is it that girls just don't like math?
    Your Voice, TVO's web series for parents at tvoparents.com, discusses and
debates these questions and more in an upcoming show titled "Why Girls Don't
Like Math." The webisode will be available to watch at tvoparents.com starting
Friday May 15 and will be broadcast on TVO Sunday May 17 at 6 pm. Host Cheryl
Jackson and a panel of expert guests will examine what it takes to keep girls
interested and confident in math; the role of schools in developing their
interest and ability; and the role parents play in encouraging their girls'
math pursuits.
    "EQAO testing is coming up for Grade 3 and 6 students at the end of May,
and now is a perfect time to look at how girls learn math and more
importantly, their attitude toward it," says Jackson. "EQAO student survey
data for the previous school year showed that only 40% of girls believe
they're good at math, but their marks tell a more positive story. Our experts
will help us understand more about girls' EQAO test scores and how parents and
teachers can use that information to help our young female students."

    Guests include:

    -  Fiona Dunbar, lecturer at the University of Waterloo's Faculty of
       Mathematics. Dunbar is organizing the university's inaugural "Think
       About Math!" weekend conference beginning April 30, which aims to
       ignite enthusiasm in high school girls for mathematics.

    -  Patricia Campbell, former professor. Campbell is an author and
       consultant in educational research and evaluation.

    -  Lukrica Prugo, an elementary math teacher with the Toronto District
       School Board. Prugo has taught all-girls math classes.

    Parents can send in their questions to the experts in advance at
tvoparents.com then watch the show on the site at anytime beginning Friday May
15. (The discussion will also be broadcast on TVO Sunday May 17 at 6 pm.)
    Your Voice at tvoparents.com is TVO's online program for parents who want
to help their kids succeed in school and in life. It harnesses the power of
the Internet to provide parents and caregivers with access to expert advice.
    Also: TVO explores math from a child's perspective with the second
edition of the TVOKids Math Homework Hotline on Thursday May 14. From 3:55 to
7:30 pm ET live on TVOKids and streamed live at tvokids.com, host Mark Sykes
and math expert Troy Langevine, vice principal at Ellesmere-Statton Public
School in Scarborough, will take email and phone questions from Grade 1 to 3
kids on the various math problems they're facing, and to provide coaching on
the how-tos of writing math tests.

    About TVO

    TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted
source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and
stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be
engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. For more information,
visit tvo.org.

    Where to find TVO

    Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Bell TV channel 265,
Star Choice channel 353.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Angela Garde, TVO
Communications, (416) 484-2600 ext. 2305, agarde@tvo.org

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