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August 20, 2013

Me and AEA365: DOVP

So this week the American Evaluation Association (AEA) asked me to write a post for their Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations TIG (DOVP) Week:

I know this isn't usually what I post about but hey... so here is me on "Diversity, Evaluation, and Better Data".

Iím Pat Campbell, president of Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc. Under NSF funding, Eric Jolly, president of the Science Museum of Minnesota and I, with the help of a lot of friends, have been generating research-based tips, such as those below, to improve the accuracy of data collection, the quality of the analysis and the appropriateness of the data collected over diverse populations.

Hot Tips:

Ask for demographic information ONLY at the end of measures. There may be exceptions in cases for people with disabilities who will need accommodations in order to complete the measures.

Have participants define their own race/ethnicity and disability status rather than having the identification done by data collectors or project/program staff. If a standard set of categories for race/ethnicity and/or disability is used, also, in an open-ended question, ask participants to indicate their own race/ethnicity and disability status.

Have members of the target population review affective and psychosocial measures for clarity. Ask them what concepts they think are being measured. If what is being measured is obvious and there are sex, race, or disability stereotypes associated with the concepts, consider using a less obvious measure if an equally valid measure is available.

Be aware that there can be heterogeneity within subgroups. For example, while people who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, and learning disabled are all classified as having disabilities, the differences among them are very large and it might be appropriate to disaggregate by different categories of disability.

When race/ethnicity, gender, or disability status is used as an independent variable, specify the reason for its use and include the reason in documentation of the results.

Lessons Learned:

All populations are diverse: The diversity may be in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, age, geographic location, education, income, disability status, veteran statusÖ. It may be visible or invisible. Most likely in every group there is a multiplicity of diversities. High quality evaluations need to pay attention to the diversity of all populations being served.

Each individual is diverse. As individuals, we have many demographic characteristics including our race, gender, ethnicity, age, geographic location, education, income, disability status, veteran statusÖ. Rather than focusing on only one demographic category, high quality evaluations need to determine which categories are integral to the evaluation and focus on them.

Rad Resources:

Universal Design for Evaluation Checklist, 4th Edition. The title, says it all. Jennifer Sullivan-Sulewski, & June Gothberg have developed a short planning tool that helps evaluators include people of all ages and all abilities in evaluations.

As soon as it goes live, we hope our website, Beyond Rigor will be another rad resource. Let me know (Campbell@campbell-kibler.com) if you would like to be notified when that happens.

August 12, 2013

The only one

I know I don't normally write about bond investors, but I wanted to tell you about this CNN Money article about how "Bond investor Mohamed El-Erian learns firsthand how to handle gender stereotypes."

See last year his ten year old daughter went to science summer camp and loved it. This year she decided to go to a camp focusing on "ancient civilization". Mr. El-Erian soon found out the real reason why his daughter changed topics: "It turns out that she was the only girl in her previous science class. "I don't want to again be the only girl," she told me. So she opted for a subject that would have greater gender balance in the classroom."

His response was

I wish you had told me this before," I said to her in a rather stern tone, reminding her about all the women scientists we had exposed her to. I even asked my wife if we could change our daughter's choice back to a STEM subject...rather than help my daughter "lean in" and pursue a topic she loved, I allowed outdated societal modes to distract her. I failed to counter, much less acknowledge, a stereotype that clouded the lens through which my daughter viewed science.

Actually he missed the point - she didn't like being the only girl there. She shouldn't have to be the only girl there- talking to the camp director about recruiting more girls, talking to teachers, friends and the parents of her friends to recruit more girls and having her convince a couple of her friends to join her all can help get more girls at science camps. Good for his daughter, good for the other girls and good for the boys who see girls enjoying science.

Mr. El-Erian's daughter found ancient civilization "a little boring" and is planning to take a STEM course next summer. Please Mr. El-Erian help her not to be the only girl there this time.

August 11, 2013

Sexual harressment- yes it's real and it happens a lot

Years ago I was talking with my mother and she said "I think every woman has been sexually harassed but your Aunt Rona and I think she lied" (sorry K cousins that's what she said).

Sadly this past week there has been so much to remind me that, all these years later, Mom is still right. So where to begin? Well we could start with philosophy where, as the New York Times explained, "Colin McGinn, a star philosopher at the University of Miami, has agreed to leave his tenured post after allegations of sexual harassment brought by a graduate student." Many many thank to "What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?" who has been posting anonymous stories of harassment and boy howdy there are a lot. And oh yes on that alleged part about Dr. McGinn, the very wise graduate student has kept all the e-mails. I so hope her courage has not cost her a career in philosophy and isn't it horrible that we have to worry about that?

And oh yes have you heard about the woman who has been getting awful death and rape threats (I realize that all death and rape threats are awful but these are really vilely specific)? Her crime- she, with the help of a Member of Parliament (MP),who is also getting threats, convinced the Bank of England to put Jane Austin on the 10 pound note. The good news is that when you threaten an MP, the UK takes it seriously and at least some of these guys have been identified and arrested.

BTW Jim Hines has done the best example of "sexualharrassmentplaining" that I've every seen. As FairerScience friend Steve Lieman said "Sometimes 3 pictures is worth a thousand words."

Science History Rap

Science History Rap now that's a concept. When it's Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick, that's a FairerScience blog post. Without multi- media, I can't do it justice, so you just need to watch it.

It's not the same as seeing/hearing it but I've got to give you verse 3, rapped by "Rosalind Franklin"

Yeah, Iím talkiní Hypatia, yeah Iím talkiní Curie. Iím talkiní Shirley Ann, ladies Iím talkiní me. Wanted to be a scientist since age 15. Became a world class one. Yeah, I followed my dreams. Maurice and I at Kingís were going for DNA. ďShe needs to change her hair,Ē was all that you could say. While you were chasing models I used my X-ray. But what you know about getting your data the hard way? And I showed it was a helix with phosphates on the outside. Calculated helical dimensions, and without my Data to play with you would have taken ages. I was almost there. You can read it in my pages. It has not escaped my notice that youíre a jerk. I should have got a Nobel for my work. But then I died so weíll never know. But itís not too late to recognize me though. Iím not a female scientist. Iím a scientist, man. Look at my work and say ďDang - thatís a nice pic!Ē

and you know the coolest part? The video was conceived of, written, and performed by 7th graders from KIPP Bridge Charter School in Oakland!

Thanks to teacher Tom McFadden for making this, and other science rap videos happen and to FairerScience friend David Mortman for letting me know about it..