Gender-Neutral Education Vs Gender

1232 Words 5 Pages
Gender-biased vs. gender-neutral education

Gender roles remain strong in education, as children are often treated and taught differently depending on their biological gender. Not only does this promote the gender gap and stereotypical gender roles, but it also tends to exclude those who do not identify as their assigned or any gender. Lately, these issues have been recognized and addressed and alternatives are being thought of. Some small steps towards gender-neutrality have also been taken. This is currently seen as the better approach as it would make schools safe, learning-centric environments for everyone. However, the road to an ideal solution and education system is not simple. Gender roles have become a habit very much set in stone
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It is debated which gender is seen to have more advantages and attention and whether it is based on achievement or behavior. Students receive different kinds of feedback from their teachers based on their gender; boys tend to get more detailed instructions as well as recognition when they succeed, whereas girls are often expected to have good grades and work more independently. Boys also tend to have more leeway in general when it comes to acting out or failing at tasks such as doing homework. Skinnari (2013) indicates in her study that girls tend to be quieter, reacting with caution to the louder boys. She points out that this might also be a deliberate strategy as quieter students are not disciplined as easily when they are acting out as the louder ones. In this way, teachers tend to expect certain kind of behavior from boys and girls and the gender-bias works as a self-fulfilling prophecy. These are just a few examples of the type of segregation based on gender that tends to happen in a classroom environment on a daily basis. Teachers are often oblivious to the gender stereotypes that they include in their teaching, and therefore are not aware of the possible consequences their actions …show more content…
As Frawley (2005) points out, it has been proven with such methods as PET and MRI scans that different biological genders have differences in memory, processing, learning styles and styles of intelligence. This brings out a question of nature vs. nurture, which Luongo (2006) addresses as well. She draws attention to whether or not these differences between males and females are learned or innate, and whether these kind of developmental differences offer enough ground to modify education altogether. One solution that has been proposed as well as taken into use in some schools is separating girls and boys into single-gender classes. This can have both positive and negative consequences. Skinnari (2013) indicates that when in a separate class from boys, girls were more active during lessons and even girls who had been quiet during previous lessons with boys present, felt now more comfortable participating. However, single-gender classes also widen the gender-gap, and, as indicated by Frawley (2005), this can lead to two different types of education and to the assumption that boys and girls need separate environments in order to succeed in their studies. This also decreases the amount of interaction girls and boys have with each other, therefore

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