Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century
The progressive nature of the Center in this domain encompasses both research and program development that will directly affect the lives of girls at Agnes Irwin, and eventually, impact the world. Through the dissemination of current research on the best practices in girls’ education, teachers are able to adjust their instructional methodology to meet the educational needs of girls. It is imperative in any educational environment to consider the professional learning of teachers. Research has yielded unequivocal results that strong professional development programs impact students’ learning and achievement in positive ways.
The Center’s initial work has focused on pedagogical practices in the math and science areas. It is important to remember that, in the larger world context, young women are still an undervalued and underrepresented constituency in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors. Many young women and girls are influenced by the notion that science and math are “just for boys.” Messages of this kind are subtle, yet powerful, and most effectively combated by creating what the literature has called “identity safe” environments. The Center has supported The Agnes Irwin School’s efforts to provide girls with a unique opportunity to build their confidence in math and sciences in a setting where these subjects are regarded as areas in which girls thrive.