The Math Factor at Orchard House School

Come out for The Math Factor with founding head of Orchard House School, Nancy Davies, on February 10, 2011, at 7PM ($25):

Why is a girl’s experience in middle school math a deciding factor in her life? Why is math a gatekeeper to future educational and employment opportunities? How do we position our daughters and students for success in math? Ms. Davies’ talk has developed out of twenty years of research and pilot programs designed to increase girls’ access and love of math.

Last year she was awarded a fellowship to the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership’s 2010 Heads of Schools program at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she further concentrated on the influencing factor of math in girls’ education and identity.

Nancy Davies, Founding Head of Orchard House School, was a 2010 recipient of a Klingenstein Heads Fellowship from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2010, she was also awarded the Alumni of the Year from St. Andrews Presbyterian College. From her childhood through the present, Ms. Davies has been fascinated by how people learn, what makes people want to learn, and the process of learning. For the last twenty years, Ms. Davies’ research and work have focused on creating optimal learning environments for middle school girls, research that was initially funded by a Jessie Ball duPont grant. The learning community at Orchard House School is grounded in that research and work.

Central to Ms. Davies’ research is the role of math in the lives of middle school girls.

  • If math is considered the gatekeeper to future educational options and later job opportunities, what supports a middle school girl’s engagement and success in math?
  • Why is seventh grade particularly important?
  • How do mindset and perseverance contribute to a girl’s performance?
  • What are the long-term implications of middle school success?
  • How does perfectionism work against success?
  • How does current math education in the United States compromise the long-term success of some students?
  • Why does the United States fare so poorly against the rest of the world in comparative global testing?
  • What do these intersecting questions mean for middle school girls?
  • With math as a gatekeeper, what can parents and educators do to improve the odds of engagement and success for the girls in their lives?

Math is a Deciding Factor in the identity and lives of girls. Come join us as we explore why and, more importantly, how we can positively influence it.


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