First Annual Research Colloquium
By Dr. Adele Eskeles Gottfried, Director of Research Enhancement and Professor, Educational Psychology and Counseling
Dr. Diane F. Halpern speaks at CSUN
On October 17, 2012, the Eisner College and the Ed.D. Program in Leadership co-sponsored the First Annual Research Colloquium. Renowned researcher and scholar, Dr. Diane F. Halpern—McElwee Family Professor of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College; 2013 James McKeen Cattell Award Recipient for lifetime contributions to applied psychological research; and former President of the American Psychological Association—presented her research entitled, Sex, Gender, and Cognition: How the Data are Being Misused to Support the Pseudoscience on Single-Sex Schooling.
Dr. Halpern’s talk addressed the pseudoscience behind sex-segregated classes and showed how data on cognitive sex differences have been misused to support a policy agenda that endorses sex-stereotyped learning. She discussed research that shows considerable overlap among boys and girls in cognitive ability. Dr. Halpern also highlighted that there is no quality data supporting single-sex education; everybody needs to know how to work cooperatively in groups, how to lead, and how to compete; and there may be adverse aspects of single-sex schooling, such as reinforcing gender stereotypes. Dr. Halpern emphasized that it is important to use data appropriately and guard against their misuse in formulating public policies, including the pseudoscience behind single-sex schooling. This fascinating and informative presentation that combined scientific evidence with policies for education concluded with a lively question-and-answer period in which Dr. Halpern responded to issues raised by attendees, followed by a meet-the-speaker reception.
Dr. Halpern provided several resources, including www.coedschools.org, regarding the growing list of professionals who support coeducational schooling; the ACLU publication, Teach Kids, Not Stereotypes; and a Science podcast on this topic can be found at http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6050/1706/suppl/DC1. Also see: Halpern, D., Eliot, L., Bigler, R. S., Fabes, R. A., Hanish, L. D., Hyde, J., Liben, L. S., & Martin, C. L. (2011). The pseudoscience of single-sex schooling. Science, 23, September 2011, vol. 333, no. 6050, pp. 1706-1707.
Faculty and students from the Eisner College as well as other departments across campus enthusiastically attended the colloquium. Thanks are extended to Dean Michael Spagna and Dr. Richard Gregory, Director of the Ed.D. Program in Leadership, for their support; to the Research Advisory Committee and the Research Colloquium Subcommittee for their involvement in planning the colloquium; to the COE faculty for their input; and to the staff of the Dean’s and Ed.D. Offices for their invaluable help in arranging the colloquium.
- Please plan to join us for the Second Annual Research Colloquium, fall 2013.