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Teen talk

June 27, 2012

Twenty years ago Mattel released a new Barbie. Equipped with a computer chip Teen Talk Barbie could speak for the first time. Not only that, each was programmed to say four out of 270 possible phrases, so no two dolls were likely to be the same.  I really talk! were the words on the box.

What did the role model of many young girls, now in their 30s, say in 1992. Will we ever have enough clothes? You look so cool! I love shopping! are the most remembered phrases. However, one in particular Math class is tough! caused so much controversy the company swiftly removed it from the Barbie’s vocabulary.

It seems it was worth the effort. Last year the Canada’s Council of Ministers of Education reported no discernible difference in math skills between girls and boys aged 13 to 14. The Math Myth is getting busted.



From → Get Inspired

  1. I had forgotten about this! Wow. Good news about the math statistics in Canada. Don’t know if the statistics are similar here in the US. Working for a school district, I know that we’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to close the gender gap. I’d like to think that the efforts have not been for naught.


  2. According to the NCES findings from 1997, boys and girls have similar mathematics and science proficiency scores at age 9. However, gender gap in science proficiency scores begins to appear at age 13. I hope by now the gap has been closed.


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