Inquiry Magazine Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy

SPRING 2012

Penelope Peterson

MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN

Dear Friends,

I am a mother of two boys and a girl. I often say that I didn’t believe in gender differences until I had kids. Here’s my favorite example: every time I had a birthday party for one of my sons, I would spend a lot of time trying to corral the little boys so we could play a game like Pin the Tail on the Donkey or take turns swinging at the piñata. The first birthday party for my daughter, Elissa, looked slightly different. After greeting the little girls one at a time at our front door and ushering them into the house, I went into the living room only to find that the girls had spontaneously arranged themselves into a circle and were sitting there quietly awaiting directions, some with their hands folded in their laps.

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  • Gender and Learning

    In this issue: Gender and Learning

    One research topic at the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) is how gender affects learning and development, as well as how to encourage course taking independent of gender.

  • 'Ghetto,' 'Thug' or 'Aggie' How Gender Influences School Experiences
    'Ghetto,' 'Thug' or 'Aggie' How Gender Influences School Experiences

    Simone Ispa-Landa, who joined the SESP faculty in September, studies inequality in education from a variety of perspectives. She was not surprised, therefore, when her research found that inner-city African American students who were bused to affluent suburban schools faced bias and stereotyping.

  • Adding Women to the Engineering Equation
    Adding Women to the Engineering Equation

    If she had looked into a crystal ball on her first day of college, Lois Trautvetter may not have believed the academic transformation ahead. As a freshman, she was planning to major in English and work toward law school. However, a faculty mentorship and scholarship program redirected her to a degree in chemistry.

  • Helping Mothers of Boys Know Best
    Helping Mothers of Boys Know Best

    Associate professor Jelani Mandara knows that boys are more likely than their sisters to head toward problem behavior, including drug use, delinquency and academic failure. And African American boys are the highest-risk group of all.

    What kind of parent prevention training can work this kind of magic?