Ted : "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" - Reshma Saujani

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Ted : "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" - Reshma Saujani

Post by LAURINE BRUN on Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:35 pm

Hi, today I would like to share my opinion about this Ted Talk: "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" by Reshma Saujani.

This woman begins to tell us that she was 33 when, for the first time, she did something brave in her life : running for Congress.
In short, in this talk, she's explaining that in United States, they are raising their girls to be perfect, and they are raising their boys to be brave. She's basing on illustrations and demonstrations such as :
*The fact that girls are taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A's and on the other hand, that boys are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off headfirst. And by the time when they are adults, they are habituated to take risks.
*The difference is in how boys and girls approach a challenge. A report say that men will apply for a job if they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications, but women will apply only if they meet 100 percent of the qualifications.

Reshma Saujani started a company to teach girls to code and she saw that during the first week, when the girls are learning how to code, a student asked help from the teacher to write the code and instead of showing the progress that she made, she deleted all she wrote. Perfection or nothing.

I enjoyed that a computer teacher told her because in my sens, it synthetizes girls' mentality : " When the guys are struggling with an assignment, they'll come in and they'll say, "Professor, there's something wrong with my code." The girls will come in and say, "Professor, there's something wrong with me." "

Although his speech concerns the situation in the US, and we can not generalize it to all countries, I think there are similarities with France.
In France, there are some professions with a under-representation of women. Often we attribute this problem to discrimination in hiring, but in my opinion, it's not only a question of discrimination in hiring. Indeed, girls have a BAC success rate higher than boys rate. However, at the orientation choices of higher education, we can observe that in 2013, 75% of girls were in letters and humanities and 30% in the sciences. It is not a question of results, but choices. And these choices are strongly influenced by what is taught to gender. I think that sciences require more perseverance and self-confidence than other orientation and that's perhaps why they are more boys than girls.

At first I was a little skeptical of the idea that we teach perfection to girls and to be brave to boys. But finally, I asked myself about my behavior and my decisions in my life. And I realized that when I was younger, if I had to solve an exercise and if I did not find the answer, I erased everything I had written in order to not show to my teacher that I made a mistake.
Until this year, I had never taken brave decisions. But I think that in wanting to measure me at Ghent University next semester and in aiming to be accepted in an IEP for my Master show my desire to put myself the increasingly difficult goals to achieve. I try every day to convince me that I will succeed, but I must admit that I doubt many times and I'm scared to death.

That's why whatever its gender, it is important to challenge themselves, to do everything to get there even when others want us to doubt.
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LAURINE BRUN

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Re: Ted : "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" - Reshma Saujani

Post by Pauline Avril on Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:27 pm

Ok so it was totally worth it !
I never reflected before about how we learn/teach gender and imbalanced in men and women wages.. And I think it makes sense ! It's easy to say that's all a question of discrimination. Actually I was pretty good at sciences with my scientific BAC but it never came to my mind to make study of sciences, I found it too difficult and they were things I didn't understand well (mostly physic) ! Whereas some boys (with lower marks) just jumped into sciences !
That's a really interesting point of view ! And it's really cool that you made a parallel with France.
Well done, well writing !
And you will definitely succeed in Belgium Laurine ! cheers *truly believe that*
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Re: Ted : "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" - Reshma Saujani

Post by LAURINE BRUN on Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:12 pm

Thank you Pauline ! Very Happy
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Re: Ted : "Teach girls bravery, not perfection" - Reshma Saujani

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:10 pm

I think this relates well to the French education system, only it's not just the girls who are taught perfection. It seems to me that the French system teaches perfection and elitism to all which only sets the majority, if not everybody, up to fail.

I hope that in English classes I aim for the equivalent of bravery and the opposite of perfection. I want my students to communicate and accept they'll never be perfect in English. Silence in an English class is the failure of courage.
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