Gendered Education in the United States

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・Education ・APA ・4 Sources

Gender and its function in education has been a contentious topic in the America for decades. Despite the development in the community regarding the equal probability to all, issues of sex distinction have managed to linger around and raise worries among bot students and instructors. This paper joins in this debate by using analyzing scholar’s arguments and their opinions on the topic. For the essay to maintain the objectivity required in tackling the problem of gender, the paper will identify how gender-based education is enforced in K-12 faculties as well as address the subject of gender issues in the campuses and colleges, particularly arguing whether or not they support equality in educational opportunities. For further analysis of the matter, the paper will outline the role played by instructors and offer avenues through which gender disparity in education can be addressed amicably.;

Gender Roles in K-12 Schools

Gender studies is not a typical thing in the curriculum for public schools in the U.S.A. Until recently, the idea of gender in the education program was a backdoor discussion among the stakeholders in the sector. However, K-12 schools in several states have joined in recommending the introduction of gender roles in the educational curriculum along with matters of sexuality(Winchester & Browning, 2015). Therefore, such institutions have an opportunity to capitalize on this trend to assist in enforcing gender roles in schools. However, recent studies have shown there is a certain degree of negligence of gender roles in schools. According to Winchester et al., as the students progress through middle-school, the tutors in K-12 institutions develop indifference to gender roles by offering more attention to male students, while the females tend to become quiet and introverted (2015).

Gender Issues in Campuses and Colleges

According to Rousso, the matters of gender issues in the campuses and colleges in America are still being disregarded (2015). The author identifies the environment in the institutions of higher education and the manner in which it has a negative impact in determining the enrolment of students based on gender (2016). In his analysis, Rousso highlights the increasing violence in campuses, with the majority of victims being women. The failure by universities and colleges to address this issue accordingly and offer assurances to the female students leads to a drop in the number of those enrolling for higher learning (Rousso, 2015). The decrease is highly visible in science and technology institutions, where statistics show less than 20% of female first-year students desire to major in the field of science and technology. Additionally, Rousso highlights that most colleges and campuses lack facilities to accommodate lactating mothers, who would like to bring their babies to schools as they pursue their studies (2016).
Gender in the Student-Teacher Dynamic
Maher et al. focus on the dynamic relationship that exists between the instructor and the students based on gender. According to the authors, when it comes to the duty of the instructor, gender roles in education are not only limited to the what is taught in the classroom, but "how it is taught and how the students learn" (2002). In primary grades, there is widespread equality in the instructor-student interaction, where both genders are actively involved in answering questions. However, there is a significant change in this trend when it comes to the seventh grade onwards. At this level, female students become withdrawn as the male students become dominant in classroom participation (Maher & Ward, 2002). Maher et al. observe that the teachers at this level tend to unconsciously divert their attention and rely on the male students in class participation, which adversely affects equal gender involvement (2002).

Ways of Combating Gender Bias in Schools

Reducing gender biasness is a crucial issue in managing gender roles in the educational system. There are diverse channels through which this can be achieved to minimize the single-gender growth at the expense of the other.
One of the strategies to be implemented by tutors is to become vigilant when it comes to calling on students in classrooms (Steensma, Kreukels, de Vries, & Cohen-Kettenis, 2013). Teachers should be proactive in encouraging students to participate in class discussions or Q&A sessions.
Another fundamental strategy to be employed by tutors in their work is taking an active role in calling out terminologies in books and sexist notions encountered in the teaching materials, thus tackling such stereotypical concepts and maintaining gender equality in their classes.
Another proactive approach by the tutors can involve videotaping of the classroom interactions with students to revisit the footage or request the colleagues to view it with the aim of improving gender balanced inclusiveness in all class interactions and participation.
Steensma et al. advocate for a more involved wait/think approach, especially on the part of the tutors. Therefore, the instructors would have the chance not to focus on the first three hands, which may be all from a single gender, but to consider the opinion of much more individuals, thus finding the optimal participant.
When it comes to selecting textbooks in a particular subject where three-quarter of the authors may be from a specific gender, Maher et al. recommend the student should conduct their research and include more women or men authors to the mix accordingly to achieve gender equality (2002).

References

Maher, F. A., & Ward, J. V. (2002). Gender and teaching. Mahwah, JJ. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Rousso, H. (2015). Education for all: a gender and disability perspective. Available at http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001469/146931e.pdf
Steensma, T. D., Kreukels, B. P., de Vries, A. L., & Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2013). Gender identity development in adolescence. Hormones and Behavior, 64(2), 288–297.
Winchester, H. P., & Browning, L. (2015). Gender equality in academia: a critical reflection. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 37(3), 269–281.

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