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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976
Page 18
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 18. December 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 22, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2536.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(December 1976). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 18. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2536

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 18, December 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 22, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2536.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date December 1976
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 18
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_523r.jpg
Transcript ! A cure in sight for mathophobics By Darla Klaus DR. BETTY BARR will teach a math course this spring in the UH —Open University program. Barr says many of the problems women have with math lies with society's attitude toward math achievers. If the mere mention ot calculus or logarithmic functions causes your eyes to glaze over or a tight feeling to grip your throat, then chances are you are one of the many women who suffer from math anxiety. The problem of math avoidance by women has long been recognized, but until recently, little has been done to diagnose or cure this malady which has kept most women from finding employment in the higher paying fields of engineering and technology. Help, however, is finally on the way for victims of matho- phobia, and none too soon, according to feminist Lynne Mutchler, who along with associate Peggy Hall, recently conducted a public workshop on math anxiety. Counselor PEGGY HALL with Rice University's LYNNE MUTCHLER plan workshops dealing with math anxiety problems women face. Mutchler, a graduate of MIT and Hall, a mental health worker, feel that before women can enroll in math courses they must first overcome mathophobia. This is the goal of their seminars. The workshop, sponsored by the Southwest Chapter of NOW, attracted approximately 35 women and 5 or 6 men. But this is only the tip of the iceberg according to Mutchler. "We really struck a nerve," she said. "Math anxiety is not peculiar to women, it's just that women have never been encouraged to overcome it. Men who fear math are encouraged to keep trying. Women are advised not to worry their pretty little heads about their lack of math ability because they won't need it anyhow." This lack of math ability, according to sociologist Lucy Sell of the University of California, has forced most women to crowd into the already overcrowded liberal arts fields such as elementary education, social work, music, guidance and counseling. UH engineering professor Dr. Betty Barr, along with Mutchler, blames many of the problems women have with math on society's attitude toward female math achievers and the lack of female role models who achieve in math. "Most elementary school teachers are female and they probably had math problems themselves, and female students traditionally identify with their female teachers," Barr said. "The difference begins to show in junior high and high school. There have been lots of studies, but nobody has proven that women are genetically weaker in math ability than men," she added. Mutchler points out that women who excel in math and don't hide it are often singled out for derision. "I've noticed two distinct behaviors displayed by women math achievers. One is the cheerleader type who hides her talent, and the other is the quieter, more studious type who soon believes the myth that she is not socially inclined. I've seen many women who were seriously damaged by these attitudes," Mutchler said. The cure of mathophobia is based strongly on a support sys tem, Mutchler said. "Women have to realize this is not a lack in themselves, but a problem often caused by society's attitudes and often reinforced by one specific male supremist math teacher. "The remedy is twofold," explains Mutchler. First is anxiety reduction, finding out the block is there and removing it. Secondly, some assertiveness training is usually necessary to remove that final block." Mutchler, along with mental health worker Peggy Hall, plans to use these techniques in a series of math anxiety seminars in February. She also plans to include some basic remedial math such as fractions and percentages in the seminars because of the overwhelming response to the first workshop. "Women have always been taught to be quiet and ladylike, and not to ask too many questions. If you don't understand an instructor, ask her or him to explain it again," advised Mutchler. "Women must realize there are no dumb questions." Dr. Barr believes the difficulty women have with math is reflected by the percentage of women majoring in engineering courses at the University of Houston, although the number is increasing some each year. In 1974, there were only 57 females included in the 11(30 engineering majors at UH, while in 1975, almost 100 of the 1100 engineering majors were women. Barr is teaching a course this spring offered by the UH Open University (Math 171) designed to prepare students for calculus. "This course is designed for someone with a good math background, high school algebra, geometry and some trigonometry," she said. Women who want to learn algebra and geometry should explore the remedial math courses offered by junior colleges and community colleges rather than university- level courses. However, she points out, for women with the math background and a willingness to work, the Open University course is an excellent opportunity to learn math at one's own pace and without the pressure of weekly exams. The course features weekly discussion sessions, tutoring, television cassettes and personal tutoring from the professor, "if they ask me," Barr said. Contact the Open University at 749-4167 for information. Open University College credit away from the campus via television films, radio, (audio tapes,) newspaper, and telephone conferences. AVAILABLE NEXT SEMESTER: WW Non-traditional students —persons not entering college directly from high school — bring special skills, strengths, and knowledge to their studies. They also have unique questions and problems. Realizing this, the University of St. Thomas Encore program gives ndividualized academic and emotional support. UST offers courses in over 25 areas of study from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m For further information contact Dr. Joy Wilson, Coordinator, Encore, 522-7911, ext. 252. M <* s' ft m X j\ University of St. Thomas 3812 Montrose Blvd. Houston, Texas 77006 AGE OF REVOLUTIONS HUMANITIES & FINE ARTS CLASSIC THEATER (PBS) CLASSIC THEATER (PBS) HUMANITIES IN DRAMA (PBS) MOLDING OF AMERICAN VALUES SCIENCE & BELIEF MORAL CHOICES IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY NEW SEARCH FOR GOD (A THIRD TESTAMENT/PBS) MATHEMATICS FOUNDATION CALCULUS INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS URBAN DEVELOPMENT SOCIAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY For Information Call The Open University University of Houston 749-4167 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH - DECEMBER 1976 PAGE 17