Friday, December 3, 2010

Gender and Education


             Gender and education is a serious controversy. It is incredibly evident in any classroom, girls and boy’s lines, girl’s prizes and boy prizes, even the different books geared to the different genders. I suggest we break down those barriers in schools. Children are now being raised in gender neutral ways at home, why not bring that into the classroom? There are different ways to line up the children, different ways to reward them in class. Both genders are capable of holding any career. I feel that us as future teachers need to take initiative and teach the kids in a way that encourages them to be whoever they’d like to be. We need to create an unbiased classroom in order to best suit the needs of the individuals we will be teaching, because that’s what we should consider them. Instead of saying “Boys and Girls, let’s get to our seats” we should try “Students” or “Class” there are so many ways we can give these kids an education fitting to who they are as people, not simply they’re gender.
                This website shows some staggering statistics:
Across the country, boys have never been in more trouble: They earn 70 percent of the D's and F's that teachers dole out. They make up two thirds of students labeled "learning disabled." They are the culprits in a whopping 9 of 10 alcohol and drug violations and the suspected perpetrators in 4 out of 5 crimes that end up in juvenile court. They account for 80 percent of high school dropouts and attention deficit disorder diagnoses. (Mulrine, 2001)
                How is it that girls and boys can sit mixed together in classrooms throughout their entire career as students but gain such different ideas, and learn so differently?
                This article suggests it has to do with reduced pressure on women to marry and have children, and more pressure for girls to compete in the job market. Yet, what strikes me most isn’t the article itself, but the enormous amount of feedback it got, from parents of children in schools to Harvard professors. It also discusses how women now outnumber men on the nation’s college campuses and again how this may be due to the pressure put on men to find work immediately.
                Even Wikipedia has a definition of gender and education, stating that women, at all levels are achieving higher representation and success. What as future teachers are we going to do about this?

Song of the moment: Girls just want to have fun

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