All this ws back in the early sixties.The baby boomers had swarmed into the schools,causing massive overcrowding.The classes were huge,there was no room for science labs etc.
Add on the school system in UK at that time.At the age of eleven all children in the country sat a tough two part exam.In my school 150 of us sat the first half. 49 passed.There was an even tougher second part.15 of the 49 passed.We were the ones who were eligible for grammar school,the academic part of education.We would sit the ''O'' levels after 11 years of education.This whittled us down,and the small numbers left went on to ''A'' levels,which were the entrance requirements for university and professions.
Grammar schools were segregated by sex,and our teachers were all women save for one man - the science teacher!.No science at all in primary,where we spent years doing only maths ,English,and intelligence tests,preparing us for that dreaded 11+ .Hah,my generation were brilliant at IQ tests :) Even now I could whizz through such tests,and get ridiculous scores of 145 or more.
So,going to an all girls school,which didnt even teach typing (you were going to be a professional,the typing pool would be there for that),and the whole culture was that science was boring and for boys.There was an unspoken superior attitude that it took me years to recognize.Sadly today there is still that bias in many girls minds about science,but I look wistfully at my primary school grandkids doing practical experiments,and enjoying it.
posted 10 months ago. ( permalink )