Evidence for Girls With Ideas 

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Girls With Ideas is committed to collecting data on our program to see how it helps girls see themselves as creative, confident leaders. We are in our initial pilot and do not have a enough data yet to publish results on the outcomes of our curriculum. 

(If you would like to be a part of our pilot study and use our curriculum to collect data, let us know. We would love to work with you! ) 

This program was written by a school psychologist that has a doctorate in leadership studies and former teacher that has a masters in student development and gender studies. They made sure that the major components of the program were grounded in research. The studies that they based this curriculum are numerous and come from a variety of disciplines. Here are the highlights of the research-based components this program was based on. 

Project Based Learning 

A Review of The Literature on Effectiveness in Prekindergarten through 12th Grade Classrooms

By Margaret Holm, Ed.D. , Rivier College

“Research clearly indicates that project-based learning is beneficial, with positive outcomes including increases in level of student engagement, heightened interest in content, more robust development of problem-solving strategies, and greater depth of learning and transfer of skills to new situations.”

Project-Based Learning Research Review

By Vanessa Vega, Edutopia Senior Manager of Research

"Project-based learning hails from a tradition of pedagogy which asserts that students learn best by experiencing and solving real-world problems. According to researchers (Barron & Darling-Hammond, 2008Thomas, 2000), project-based learning essentially involves the following:

  • students learning knowledge to tackle realistic problems as they would be solved in the real world

  • increased student control over his or her learning

  • teachers serving as coaches and facilitators of inquiry and reflection

  • students (usually, but not always) working in pairs or groups"


Theory of Successful Intelligence

By Robert Sternberg, Ph.D., Tufts University Medford

“The educational systems in many other countries place great emphasis on instruction and assessments that tap into two important skills: memory and, to a lesser extent, analysis. Students who are adept at these two skills tend to profit from the educational system, because the ability tests, instruction, and achievement tests we use all largely measure products and processes emanating from these two kinds of skills. There is a problem, however, namely, that children whose strengths are in other kinds of skills may be shortchanged by this system. These children might learn and test well, if only they were given an opportunity to play to their strengths rather than their weaknesses.”


How To Raise Girls WIth Healthy Self-Esteem

by Anita Gurian, Ph.D., NYU Child Study Center

“Although women have made gains in education and employment in the equal rights war, they're still losing the self-esteem war. Girls' self-esteem peaks when they are about 9 years old, then takes a nosedive. Here is a look at why girls' self-esteem plummets and what can be done to prevent it.”

KPMG Women’s Leadership Study

“A woman’s views of leadership begin to take shape early in childhood, starting with the values she learns, her exposure to leadership skills, and whether she has positive leadership role models.”


Fact Sheet: The Women’s Leadership Gap

By Judith Warner, Senior Fellow Center For American Progress

"Although they hold almost 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, American women lag substantially behind men when it comes to their representation in leadership positions. It’s now estimated that, at the current rate of change, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in leadership roles in our country."

United State of Women: Leadership & Civic Engagement

“When it comes to agenda setting and opinion making, women are underrepresented in leadership roles across industries, from business and politics to directing academic research and serving on  editorial boards in news publications.”

Adolescent Brain DEVELOPMENT

Brain Development in Young Adolescents

National Education Association

Adolescence is a critical time for brain growth. Significant intellectual processes are emerging. Adolescents are moving from concrete to abstract thinking and to the beginnings of metacognition (the active monitoring and regulation of thinking processes). They are developing skills in deductive reasoning, problem solving, and generalizing.

Inside the Teenage Brain

Interview with Dr. Jay Giedd, neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health

“Right around the time of puberty and on into the adult years is a particularly critical time for the brain sculpting to take place. As this second wave of over-production is occurring, it prepares the adolescent brain for the challenges of entering the next stage of life, the adult years. There's enormous potential at that time. People can take many different life directions. But about around that time of puberty, people start specializing, so to speak. They start deciding, "This is what I'm going to be good at, whether it be sports or academics or art or music." All the life choices, even though they are still there, start getting whittled away, and we have to start sort of focusing in on what makes us unique and special.”