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(Presentation) Gender and Education

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Rachel Yeung

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of (Presentation) Gender and Education

Gender and Education
What is Gender Inequality?

Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender. It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles as well as biologically through chromosomes, brain structure, and hormonal differences.
Gender in schools

Gender inequality affects both teachers and students in the schooling/education system

The early years workforce is still skewed dramatically
towards women as a result of deeply ingrained gender
stereotypes combined with fears that men will be falsely labeled as pedophiles.

- In 2012, of the 258,985.6 (FTE) teaching staff, 167,151.9 (FTE) were at government schools and 91,833.7 (FTE) were at non-government schools.

- As a proportion of total in-school staff, teaching staff comprised 72% in the government sector and 70% in the non-government sector.

- The proportion of
male teaching staff was higher in the non-government sector (33%) than in the government sector (28.5%).
(ABS, 2012)
- As in previous years, the male/female split of teaching staff (FTE) varied considerably between primary and secondary levels of education.

- At the primary level,
female teaching staff accounted for 80.8% of all teaching staff, while at the secondary level the figure was 58.9%.
(ABS, 2012)
(ABS, 2012)
How does a teacher’s awareness of gendered teaching, learning and behaviour influence their teaching approach?
Why is this a problem in education

- Male teachers vs female teachers
- Co-ed schools vs single sex schools
- Gender stereotypes between students
- Problems with student-teacher interactions
- Increased disadvantages towards males students/boys

- "Because classrooms are microcosms of society, mirroring its strengths and ills alike, it follows that the normal socialization patterns of young children that often lead to distorted perceptions of gender roles are reflected in the classrooms"(Marshall, 1997).

- Most crucial thing teachers need to remember is to treat their students equally.

- It is the subconscious and unintentional remarks which have a larger impact in and outside of the classroom.

Gender in the Classroom

- Interactions between students and teachers can

hinder or facilitate learning.

- In regards to gender, teachers may interact differently with boys and girls, enforcing gender stereotypes.

calling out answers is more acceptable when carried out by boys while girls are likelier to be reprimanded.

- This is imposing gender stereotypes of girls as obedient and quiet.

Teacher and Student Interaction

Being aware of gender bias in texts
; “We need to look at the stories we are telling our students and children. Far too many of our classroom examples, storybooks, and texts describe a world in which boys and men are bright, curious, brave, inventive, and powerful, but girls and women are silent, passive, and invisible.” McCormick, Patrick, 1995

- Teachers should not call only the mother of the child for discussions on the children. They must
make efforts to involve both fathers and mothers and not request to speak to the mother alone (parents)

Avoid segregation by gender
e.g. every time students are seated by gender, teachers are affirming that girls and boys should be treated differently.

Possible Solutions?
- One pre-service teacher at Florida State University, Brittany Anderson, carried out an action research project to determine if she revealed to stereotype based on gender in classroom. This was done via videotape and the results were as follows:

Her nonverbal as well as actions demonstrated gender bias she was previously unaware of:

- “With her 9th grade science class, Anderson says that the video revealed she spent a greater amount of time talking with boys than with girls.” (Sloan, 2010)

- “She also realized that she smiled at the boy rather than girl students” (Sloan, 2010)

- "She tended to ignore quieter students, usually girls - and tended to call on boys more often" (Sloan, 2010)


- Some research has found that females are also not suited to a traditional style of learning. Philbin et al. (1995) state that

“females learn better in hands-on and practical settings, emphasizing the realm of the affective and doing...
[that is when] females are watching and feeling or doing and thinking, they learn best” (p.7).

- Other research conducted by Campbell (1999) states that
“learning styles may be influenced by gender...
[while] men tend to be autonomous or independent learners... the majority of women, on the other hand, tend to learn in a relational, connected, or interdependent way.

- Inclusive design practices acknowledge and accommodate these different approaches to learning” (cited in Dyjur, 2004, p. 3).

- Yet
how we approach and nurture these styles can deeply affect a child’s perception of gender
, expectations of learning and their level of motivation.

Studies on gender inclusive practices in the classroom




Using the Occupation Checklist at the end of this activity, students will match jobs and careers to gender. The desired outcome from this activity will be, the discovery and discussion of persistent gender stereotyping, with its wage and status implications, in terms of career opportunities.
(EED, 2008)

What has been done?

- “Last year we had a topic on gender stereotyping. It was interesting – what males thought of females – it all came out.” (Year 10 girl) (DEEWR, 1996)

“In Personal Development we had to
sit next to a boy and we had to say what was good about each other. It was really good.
” (Year 6 girl) (DEEWR, 1996)

“The boys and girls have to work together because our teacher makes us work together no matter what. If we don’t like it, who cares. We have to do what we have to do.” (Year 6 girl) (DEEWR, 1996)

“Good teachers have different things, not just worksheets and writing on the board. They make he
lesson interesting and get you involved
You don’t feel pressured and they don’t put you down
. There’s an
open atmosphere
in the class. They’re in the same wave length as you.” (Year 10 boy) (DEEWR, 1996)

Marsh and colleagues (2004) studies have shown that bullies are usually boys who have low self-esteem and are doing poorly at school (Connell et al. 2010)

- Therefore as pre-service teachers, we must always give positive reinforcement by encouraging gender co-operation

- Have more subjects available to both boys and girls: e.g. boy schools should offer textiles etc.

- When doing group tasks in co-ed schools, have the boys and girls evenly distributed within the groups

- More gender inclusive practices within the classroom

- Gender awareness days/seminars (assembly presentations etc.)
What can we do as pre-service teachers?
Girls and Boys Education Strategy

Girls and Boys at School Gender Equity Strategy
Four Focus Areas
1. Teaching & Learning
Teachers develop their understanding of gender as an educational issue
2. The School Culture and Organisation
Constructive relations are built and maintained within and between the sexes, student to student, teacher to student, and teacher to teacher.
3. The Schools and its Community
Opportunities are provided for parents and caregivers to join in discussions on gender.
4. Monitoring, Evaluation, Review & Development
Schools and the system will monitor, evaluate and review the effectiveness of this strategy to provide future directions.

Reference List
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. (2008). Gender Equity Activities. Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, p.7.

Cassidy, K. (2007). Gender differences in cognitive ability, attitudes, and behaviour. In Sadker, D., & Silber, E. (Eds.). In Gender in the Classrooms: Foundations, Skills, Methods and Strategies Across the Curriculum (pp.33-67). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

Collins, C., Batten, M., Ainley, J., Getty, C. (1996). Gender and School Education - A project funded by the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education Training and Youth Affairs. Canberra.

Gurian, M., & Ballew, A. (2003). The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers. California: Jossey-Bass.

Highresolves. (2011). Sydney Boys High School Gender Equality Project. [Recorded by highresolves]. Sydney: Australia. Retrieved August 12, 2013 from http://www.highresolves.org/SBHS_GenEq.html

Marshall, C.S., & Reihartz, J. (1997). Gender issues in the classroom. Clearinghouse, 70, 333-338.

McCormick, P. (1995). Are girls taught to fail? U.S. Catholic, 60, 38-42.

NSW Department of Education and Training (1996). Girls and boys at school: Gender equity strategy. Sydney.

NSW Department of Education and Training (2009). Boys' and Girls' Education Strategy.
Piechura-Couture, K., & Gandy, K. (2009). Should Public Schools Offer Single Sex Education? New York Times Upfront, 142, 21.

Sloan, W. (2010). Analysing the issues: Gender in the classroom. ASCD Express, 5,

Vickers, M. (2010). Gender. In R. Connell et al., Education, change and society (pp. 205-243). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Wood, S., & McBride, K. (23 September, 2011). ‘No benefits’ in single-sex schooling. The Nelson Mail, p.2.

why is it significant?
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