Monday, April 4, 2011

Gender in Education

Extension off Samcosol's Blog:

     "For years, educators were concerned that girls were not keeping up in the classroom. Now the worry is that boys are falling behind in almost every academic category. Thirty something years ago, boys, not girls, were the high performers in schools. Today, test scores, grades and dropout rates show boys are achieving at levels far below girls."
       Samcosol's blog statistics really intrigued me because this website,gender equity in the classroom , had mostly the opposite information that was mostly still concerned about girls falling behind. From this website I found this quote that seems to try to explain why there is gender bias in classrooms, gives a basic solution as well as the consequences,"Streitmatter believes that it is the unconscious application of gender bias in the classroom on the part of both the teacher and the student that perpetuates gender inequality. She therefore urges educators to question their conceptions of gender and examine them in relation to the teaching practice by pointing out that schools often reflect habits of the larger society. Consequently, educators must be sensitized to gender issues in both pre- and in-service teacher education programs."
        Samscosol states in his blog,"In the last 10 years, two million more women than men graduated from college in the U.S. Women now make up just over 40 percent of the nation's college students. And it’s not just college. Women dominate high school honor rolls and make up more than 70 percent of class valedictorians. And where are the men going?" On the other hand,the website I'm referring to as gender equity in the classroom states that,"Numerous studies have shown that 1) boys get teachers attention by being straightforward and unreserved 2) Teachers praise boys more often, 3) Boys receive more academic help and 4) teachers are more likely to accept boys' ideas or opinions during classroom discussion." It explains that because of these things the boys are encouraged to take risks and to speak out in situations. This teaches men to be more dominant in all aspects of life while teaching women to be more passive. This can lead to men learning how to negotiate in business and ask for things such as a raise where that is more difficult for women.
           When reading both of these opposing ideas as to which gender is struggling most in the classroom I had to look at my own experiences. Looking at my service learning project I work with both boys and girls. Initially I would instantly say oh the boy I work with is more hyperactive, calls out and acts out and doesn't get reprimanded by the teacher as much as the girls. But when I really think about it I realize that is just my brainwashed head that is filling a stereotype because in reality the first boy I work with individually is very quiet and is great at focusing on his work. The second group I work with two girls and a boy, this is the boy that seems to act out. I would say the boy doesn't get reprimanded at first glance but in reality the teacher is very on top of disciplining the boy to the point that he may not work with us any more because he disrupts the group. Today I also realized that one of the two girls is just as hyperactive and distracted I just didn't notice her as much as the boy because she is petite in size and has a small voice. As soon as the boy was quiet and behaving or is taken out of the equation I then notice her. So I realize that I am most similar to the teachers described in the link I posted. When reading Samcosol's blog though I felt that I agreed more with those statistics and that I see that overall in society. I do feel that women are dominating now especially in higher education and that men are falling behind. The only people I ever knew to drop out in highschool were boys, I even knew a girl who had a baby in 9th grade and she still graduated. I do also feel the pressure of women getting straight A's, I feel this on myself and it is overwhelming but it seems that men still dominate the work world.
     Out of all of the things I researched the one that struck me the most was the statistic on Samcosol's video that said "The US consumes 80% of the world's supply of Ritalin." I want to talk about this in class. I have not had the opportunity to travel but my imagination ( and probably Disney movies) has led me to believe that other places than the US are not as fast paced. I feel as though the US is trying to feed pills into its children as if we are lab rats to see how fast we as citizens can produce things for our country. I just feel their are unrealistic pressures on us as human beings that lead us to feeling unable and therefore make us need to take medication to keep up. I do not know if this is gender bias or not.

1 comment:

  1. i really enjoyed reading both yours and sams blog this week!