Melissa Harris-Perry | February 09, 2013
>>> it is about showing every child that a scientist is not just something that you hear about in biology class, and a doctor is not someone that you visit when you are sick. instead, young people particularly our girls need to understand that doctors and scientists are something that anyone can become no matter how much money your family has, no matter where you come from or whether you are a man or a woman. that message is more important than ever in today's world.
>> that was first lady michelle obama in 2011 talking about the importance of young girls understanding that they, too, can pursue careers right alongside of the boys and maybe in front of them. that's the value of doc mcstuff fins.
>> yes, the value of doc mcstuffins is that parents who have sons watch the show, they say, can i doctor, too? well, that is the power of it, because i didn't grow up with any doctors in my family, but had a lot of support from my mother, but there were many messages that i could not do that and i needed to apply to save schools and my mom had to say if i took accelerated classes and failed, it was not their fault. many messages there, and the support of girls with organizations is key to nurturi nurturing. in a community and country that is more and more diverse, we need a workforce that reflects that.
>> and we need girls to see something that resonates with them, but it is the adults giving the messages. and at girl scouts we have our own research institute and studying girl for years and what we are learning about girls in s.t.e.m. and they are proficient in math and science, and at a age when they are in fourth grade, but as they get older the message from adults changes the perspective on what they can do in the future, and what is interesting is that our most recent report called generation s.t.e.m. where we talk to the girls in high school , and they said that the number one important voice around s.t.e.m. careers is that we think that we can do it, but we list it low on the projection chart is that my father says to me, or that there is not a role model, so it is not only about talking to our sisters, but our brothers in the final analysis .
>> and you know, my best friend every time she goes to the computer, she has developed a new website or started a new app or something, and i said, man, nurture that. that is good stuff.
>> and some other interesting research by dr. harold wecht a psychologist at stanford is about a growth mindset and cultivating a growth mindset in kids, and it will actually protects girls against the harmful effects of stereotypes in math and science in her studies she shows the population is divided half and half about a fixed mindset and growth mindset. half the people think you're born with a certain intelligence. half the people think your brain actually gets smarter and you get smarter as you learn stuff, as you challenge yourself. kids with a growth mindset are more likely to persist am math and get higher scores in math.
>> i love that way of thinking about it. that we're not just the bundle of things that we come with but that we can grow over space and time .
>> specifically there's one nugget which comes out of it, praise kids for effort rather than their results. it's something they practiced with my own kids. it didn't come naturally at first. to praise them for something that takes them a week to do instead of something that comes really quickly.
>> it's not that you got the a. it's that you worked and worked on the math problem. first it's time