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Gender & Education Group 2's Awesome Prezi
Transcript of Gender & Education Group 2's Awesome Prezi
The readings showed that Indian boys were taught how to run farm land and Indian girls were taught how to cook and knit. Did Britain try to form gender identity for Indians, or did Indians already have different types of work assigned for different genders in their community? Was this self taught or was this something that was acquired from Britain?
(1) Are schools today designed to break down gender barriers, or to continue to groom students for prescribed gender roles?
(2) Furthermore, even if today’s schools are designed (at least in part) to close gender gaps, how effective have they been at doing so?
What are your
Gender Inequalities of Teachers
Male and female teachers were seen very differently in the education system in the 19th century: the males were at the top of the teaching hierarchy where they received respectable salaries and taught higher levels, while the female teachers received half the salary of men and taught younger grades with lower status. How is it fair to give different salaries based on gender, when women were putting in just the same amount of work as men, or even more? This type of thing also happens today for certain occupations; how are companies justifying this when it is so unjust? Women were said to better suited for teaching younger children because they were subordinate, kinder and more affectionate than men. As a result, some said teaching "could serve as a training ground for young single women destined for marriage" (Axelrod, 48). Why was it assumed that a women's role in society was to get married, have children and take care of the house? Why couldn't women have a career just like the men?
Afua Cooper’s article, The Search for Mary Bibb, Black Woman Teacher in Nineteenth- Century Canada West, attempted to reinterpret the lack of evidence on Mary Bibb. Cooper used this as confirmation that women’s roles, in nineteenth-century Canada, were invisible. She contends that this invisibility in literature (evidence) is a telling on the manner in which historians ignore women (or those who are seen to be handicapped by sex, race, or both). This argument offers a tremendous contribution to our study of gender and education. Mary Bibb played a vital role in the reformation of black equality in Canada. The purpose of this was to uplift the black race so future generations would have the opportunity for a better life. While this is very honorable and genuine, Mary Bibb’s efforts went unseen. This article confirms the silences of women in nineteenth- century Canada in respect to education. In response to my analysis, I only have one question:
If Mary Bibb was a male, would the evidence of her contributions (within education and black equality) been erased and undetectable?
The Mary Bibb Interpretation
Education in 2013:
How far have we really come?
All three texts highlight the gender inequities that existed in schools across Canada in the 19th century. Although two centuries have passed, educators must continue to critically examine the purpose and effects of our education system in an effort to rectify these inequities. For instance, one might interpret the current prevalence of female teachers as a marker of progress for women since the 19th century, since there once existed vast discrepancies in the teaching career trajectories of men and women (Axelrod, 44-46, 48-50). However, the gender bias in teaching might actually reflect a shift in society’s perception of the profession that effectively perpetuates gender stereotypes. Specifically, students might learn that teaching is less intellectually-demanding (and thus more "female-friendly") than other professions that are better-suited to men, thereby reinforcing the idea that women are intellectually inferior to men. As teachers we must be cognizant of societal perceptions about gender that may influence our students. We cannot be complacent and assume that we have progressed so significantly from the 19th century system.
Two Big Questions
There has always appeared to be an imbalance with gender in the educational system. A male dominated profession of the early 19th century has shifted into a female dominated profession. This may appear as a great accomplishment but the reality of the situation is that the demand for female educators began when there was a shortage of educators and women were hired for cheaper labour costs. In today’s model we can still see the male/ female stereotypes. In primary / junior grades female numbers appear to be more dominant because they are seen as nurturers. The male population of educators is more concentrated in the intermediate/senior grades. Does society perpetuate these gender stereotypes? Do males feel like it is more acceptable for them to work in the I/S division? There has been a great deal of movement but much more needs to be done.
What lessons do the history texts we read offer to our study of gender and education? What issues, questions, and interesting ideas do they raise for you?
"Male Subjects" vs. "Female Subjects"
The social roles of males and females greatly influenced education in the 19th Century. Education, at this time, provided boys with skills for a career and merely provided girls with "ornamental" skills that would make them a preferred mate and good housekeeper (Axelrod, 16). Ornamental skills or subjects include dance, drawing, and painting which to this day are still associated with being more "feminine subjects." Subjects such as science and mathematics continue to be associated with males since historically, these were subjects males had taken to secure a career. A major problem of gendered subjects still exists today: the self-fulfilling prophesy. For example, a female believing she will be unsuccessful in mathematics because it is a "masculine subject" will typically perform poorly as a result of self-doubt. The notion of gendered subjects influencing student success and class/degree choices in the 21st Century correlates to current university graduates, as it is evidently that females are the majority in Bachelor of Arts programs yet, the minority in Bachelor of Science programs.
A History of Inequality in Education
The history texts provide us with a window into the ongoing ideological focus of mass public education: vocational training. In the early beginnings of public education subjects were taught along strictly gendered lines with men learning traditional academics (like the liberal arts and humanities) and women learning domestic knowledge and skills. Men were educated in traditionally male vocations outside of school in formal and informal apprenticeships. As time passed, women began to study alongside men in traditional academics. Today, the majority of university students are women while men continue to to represent the vast majority of students in the skilled trades and in the "skilled" academic areas of math, science, and engineering.
The demographic shift in traditional academics is intricately tied to increases in the number of women working outside of the home coinciding with growth in the service economy. Industrial education was, of course, a product of a growing need The structure of school curriculum did not change to meet any new moral requirement to teach women subjects traditionally denied to them; it changed to give them the skills they would need to work in a changing economy. However, schools have not changed in response to a growing concern about the lack of students learning vital skilled trades. Historically, university was an elite level of education reserved for the wealthy. Although university continues to be financially burdensome, a far greater number of people receive university degrees than any period in history.
How do systems of education balance the economic ideological focus, gendered expectations, and structural history, of vocational preparation with changing perceptions of the value of education, whether it be higher education or vocational education? How should they? Can we have a public education system that is not tied to economic demand? Should we?
Education and Intrinsic Value
What If ??
What if women were provided with equal opportunities in education earlier?
Would we have made greater societal advances?
Would the technological revolution have started a century earlier?
Would we have already cured cancer?
As the graph illustrates improved opportunities in education for women highly correlates to their ability to be successful in non-traditional subjects.
For example: Marie Curie was the first female to win two Nobel prizes for her discoveries in Physics and Chemistry. Despite living on meager resources, suffering from cold winters and occasionally fainting from hunger she earned her degree by studying in the day and tutoring at night to earn an income to support her education.
After earning her degree, Marie developed the theory of radioactivity and found two elements: polonium and radium. This discovery was pertinent in medicine, as the radioactivity of radium appears to offer a means by which cancer could be successfully attacked.
The Not-So-Obvious Gender inequalities
Throughout history, it seems that females were always the last to receive education. When education was received and the women wanted to find a career for themselves, there were very few jobs to choose from and the pay did not compare to that of a "mans salary".
Beginning in the mid 1960's, only 5% of first year students in professional programs were female (Goldin, Claudia & Lawrence, 2001). "By 1985, this number jumped to 40% in law and medicine, and over 30% in dentistry and business school," (Goldin, Claudia & Lawrence, 2001).
The main reason for this huge jump in the number of women entering post-secondary education is due to the introduction of the Birth Control Pill.
Control over reproductive decisions allowed many women to make long-term decisions about their education.
The Not-So-Obvious Gender inequalities
Did the Birth Control Pill allow women to be equal to men to a certain extent?
Is society holding the ability to reproduce as a genetic "disadvantage" that women have in comparison to men?
Gender and Education
The Canadian education system has come a long way compared to its early days. The Canadian schools have changed significantly, from enforcing the “white man’s” ideas and culture, to embracing all the different cultures that coexist in Canada today. From separating boys and girls and telling them what they should and should not study, and what they should and should not become, to one that encourages both genders to follow their dreams and become whoever they want to be. The “Promise of Schooling” teaches us not to take what we have for granted and that appreciate what we have today, because it has been built over sacrifices made by all the generations that have come before us.
All the texts we have read so far have one message in common; education is not a static but rather a dynamic process. It changes with each generation and adopts itself based on the needs of that generation. We, as the educators, are at the forefront of this change and have the ability to steer it one way or the other. It is important for each and every one of us to work as hard as all the generations who came before us, to ensure the education process follows the correct path and becomes one of complete gender and social equality.
Global Gender Inequalities
in Education Today
It is evident that gender inequalities have drastically changed within the Canadian education system over the past couple of centuries
In today's Western education system, boys and girls receive equal education opportunities within the elementary school system
In addition, there is less of a discrepancy in the subject matter taught to males and females within the high school system
But what of children in other parts of the world? How does today's education differ by gender globally?
The video on the next slide tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teen who was shot in the head in 2012 for speaking out for girls education.
She miraculously survived the attack, and continues to advocate for girls education, and for the right to education for all children.
This video puts into perspective not only how far education in Canada has come over the past couple of centuries, but also how fortunate we are as women to have received an education in Canada
When will education be equal regardless of gender worldwide?
All Hallows School 1884-1920
Indian girls spent half the day doing domestic type chores such as sewing and teaching younger girls how to do the same.
The idea of feminism in education is to strive for equality in various aspects of schooling such as: equal access to school as well as class/subject choice, consistent instruction and equal tuition (if necessary) between genders. The intention is for equal opportunity to education and later the workforce. The problem which arises is the misconception about feminism, that this movement is associated with a mindset of female superiority often described as "man-hating." Unfortunately, even today a female striving for equality can be seen in this negative light and can even be viewed as a threat, especially in more male-dominated societies. Malala Yousafzai is an example of a feminist labeled as dangerous to her society's beliefs and norms for advocating for equal rights.
Is Gender Equality Possible?
Gender discrimination started right from the beginning of schooling. In The "Promise of Schooling" by Axelrod, first only males could go to school and then slowly females were accepted, but only for certain subjects such as domestic chores or arts. Why were females viewed as incapable or not worthy of equal education? If males were permitted to do labour work and attend school at the same time, why couldn’t females do household work and attend school as well as learn the same subjects as males?
When will we be Equal?
How ironic is it now that they say ‘females are better students and more fit for school’ and males are more active and get distracted easily in the classroom? There will always be an issue; gender equality still has a long way to go.
Gender Inequalities: Past and Present
The history texts we have read enabled us to understand the role that gender has played in the education system. Historically, societies have constructed the ideologies that exist between men and women today. Roles were assigned to men and women which ultimately made women inferior to men. This is evident in Axelrod's article where we learn that within the education system male teachers were paid more. Female educators were only taken seriously when they took on the role to teach young children. The ideology that women were natural caregivers implied that they would only be suitable for this role in the education system. It limited opportunities for women in schools. Do these ideologies still exist in education today?
The Public and Private Sphere
The history of gender in education has lead to the divisions between males and females. From assigned roles to subjects taught, males and females have been directed to certain paths. Each of the texts have given background history on the ways in which gender has affected the learning experience of many individuals. Since the 19th century, men have been expected to be the breadwinner and provide for the family through the success of a well paying career. Women, however, have been confined to the domestic sphere preventing them from contributing to society.
The same is true for the education system in schools. Boys and girls still continue to see certain subjects as "boy" or "girl" subjects which reinforces these ideologies and affects the learning of all individuals.
Question: How can future educators begin to shift the constructed ideologies around gender that have existed for centuries and work towards equity in the education system?
Gender & the 21st Century
These gender specific notions have greatly influenced how the education system functions today. Males and females still find it difficult to escape the ideologies that they have been identified with. Therefore, the study of gender and its historical context is essential in improving the education system for the future. It is the responsibility of future educators to become knowledgeable on this topic to discover what the inequalities are and how to implement diversity and equity in their instruction. This will benefit future generations in thinking differently about gender and help individuals achieve a positive learning experience.
Students' best resource is their peers. It is the concept of diversity that benefits the learning experience of all individuals and students. When will the education system begin to see that difference in the classroom should be celebrated and how can future educators support this shift?
Gender Imbalance: Historic & Modern
A gender imbalance in education is both a modern and historic issue, but while Canada’s present gender imbalances are in some ways similar or the same to the nation’s historic issues they also include concerns that are the opposite from the problems in Canada’s educational history: that men (boys) are now facing a literacy crisis, that they are obtaining post-secondary degrees less frequently than women, and that the new gender gap in education has led to women outperforming men at nearly all levels of education. The next slide exposes 3 similarities concerning issues in Canada's educational policies, both historically and in the modern age.
Historic Issues Concerning Gender & Education: Modern Issues Concerning Gender &Education:
Barriers for women’s education fell drastically in the 1880’s as they exhibited their academic abilities: high-school girls outperformed their male peers, earned scholarships, and excelled in examinations. (Axelrod, 96)
2013: StatsCan has revealed that women, for the first time, are engaging in post-secondary education more frequently than men, but despite this they are still employed less, especially in leadership positions. Please see video on link below: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/women-close-education-gender-gap-statscan-survey-1.1342237
Female teachers were hired at much lower pay rates, had less job security, and were often compelled to leave their jobs once they married. Women were considered more “nurturing” and therefore were deemed “well equipped to teach very young children, whereas male teachers were better suited to educating the more ‘advanced’ classes, and to schoolmasterships.” (Axelrod, 46 – 49)
“Women are a major voice in the teaching profession. Statistics Canada data shows a steady increase in the percentage of women teachers: from 59 per cent women in 1989, to 65 per cent in 1999 and 69 per cent in 2005. CTF’s 2008 data shows that 72.6% of teachers across Canada are women. However, there is a gender imbalance in key leadership positions and in active participation within their respective federations and unions. From an equity perspective, this situation still requires pro-active work.” (Canadian Teacher’s Federation “Status of Women,” http://www.ctf-fce.ca/priorities/default.aspx?lang=EN&index_id=49164)
Women who were pioneers in Canadian education (some of the first women to attend specific universities and to enrol in certain programs like medicine, such as Eliza Fitzgerald & Elizabeth Smith) faced “sexually provocative” comments and harassment by male students and teachers. (Axelrod, 96)
Women still face harassment or encounter stereotypes, especially when they pursue fields of education that are ‘male-dominated’ (science, math, technology, computer programming, engineering, ect.) They also face a host of problems concerning sexual harassment, especially at colleges, universities, or in male-dominated fields of employment (many recent examples in the RCMP.)
The inequalities in education faced by women
(and minority groups) were not generally recognized
as an issue or problem because the idea of women’s subordination to men, especially intellectually, was considered fact, not a condition made possible by inequality and imbalance in education, societal attitudes, and the work force.
“...the overall gender imbalance tipped in women’s favour [concerning education] in Canada in the early 1990s.” Yet this is often not celebrated as an achievement because women, despite educational imbalances in their favor, still do not experience equal representation in the work force. Furthermore, a recognized “boy crisis” now exists because “boys, as a group, rank behind girls by nearly every measure of scholastic achievement”—including reading and writing scores—and they are “also more likely to be picked out for behavioural problems, more likely to repeat a grade and to drop out of school altogether.” Yet these concerns were never an issue when the imbalance existed in men’s favor. (The Conference Board of Canada, “Gender Gap in Tertiary Education,”
Question for consideration:
1) When comparing the history of educational policies in
Canada and the modern state of educational discourse, do we
consider gender imbalance in education to be reduced,
increased, stagnant, or reversed?
Canada's gender gap in education has worsened since shortly before the millennium. What factors would have led to this? Is this solely reflective of women's increased presence in post-secondary institutions, or is there
another major factor leading to a gender gap
concerning education in Canada?
Canada's performance on the world stage in terms of gender gaps in post-secondary education is mediocre. What kinds of strategies, policies, historical events or societal attitudes do countries like Japan, France, the U.S, the U.K, the Netherlands & Belgium have that enable them to confront and extinguish imbalances and inequalities between the sexes, and how does this
differ from the Canadian experience?