Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gender and Education

Overall, I found it pretty hard to find much meaningful information about gender inequality and education. Most of the information online is either about third world countries, or higher education in the United States. Obviously, girls are disadvantaged when it comes to education in developing countries, but does the United States have the same problem?

I did non-stop research for about half an hour already, and I did not find much meaningful information regarding the United States. I only found one article that focused on gender in American K-12 classrooms.
Here's a short summary of the article:
  • There are fundamental differences between the learning capabilities of girls and boys. The reasons for these differences are unclear, although biology is one of the factors considered. Regardless of the possible causes of these differences, educators must focus on equity, not equality.
  • Girls, on average, receive higher grades than boys throughout middle and secondary schools.
  • Teachers tend to give boys more attention since they are typically more aggressive and are more likely to have behavioral problems.
  • Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Since girls get less attention, they get less positive or negative feedback from teachers.
  • Stereotypes exist regarding what subjects are considered "girl" subjects and "boy" subjects.
  • Despite the perceived stereotypes, gender gap in mathematics and science is closing (regarding enrollment and grades). It looks that this article was written a while ago, so I think the statistics are probably even more in favor of girls nowadays.
  • Girls still lag behind boys however, when it comes to high stake standardized test scores.
  • Females tend to do better in the humanities.
  • Males tend to excel in technology related classes.
For the most part, I think the points this article has made are all true, although in my experience I have not noticed large gender gaps between the sciences and the humanities. In my high school, most of the students in honors classes were girls. Once again, in my experience, although there were more girls than boys in honors classes, the boys tended to do better on the SAT's.


  1. I found the same article and as you can see i think that a lot of this information is outdated as it is from the early 90s. At first i thought that the info might still be relevant but when i searched deeper i found that it really wasnt.

  2. Although the article seems outdated, I believe most of the info is still true. We discuss most of it in my Child psy. class. You can find a lot more on line by searching other words: Title IX in 2010, discrimination in Ed 2010, etc...

  3. Even though this info. is outdated I think some of it is true. Like certain subjects are considered gender related. For example, child development is linked to girls while gym is linked to boys. However it is clear some of it is outdated. For example a girl has just as much chance to be diagnosed with ADHD as a boy does.

  4. Like you said Yana, I also believe these points made are true, but in my own experiences I can't find real examples of this.

  5. I agree that most of these points seem to be true and pretty much like everybody else has said most of my high school honor classes were girls. I do agree that boys seem to get more one on one attention though, even in the classroom I'm in for service learning I'm more one on one with boys rather than the girls because they usually can handle the activities without help.

  6. I read everyone say that their honors classes were all girls but I did not experience that in high school. It was more half and half but more boys in honors history. Plus most of the history teachers were men. Maybe my experience was unordinary.

  7. Even though most of the articles were infact outdated they still presented great info and I liked what you said about the honors classes, I never thought about it before

  8. I think stereotypes do still exist about 'boy' subjects and 'girl' subjects. Just look at the field we're going into. While there are a lot of males in our class, I have to say, of all the education classes I've taken at RIC, this is by far the most gender-diverse. I've actually taken two teacher-education courses where there were no males. Even the talk about Title IX compares percentages in math and science for boys and girls, but doesn't talk about how many boys take English courses, or theater, or home-ec. I think that Title IX was great for it's work with girls, but I think boys have it hard sometimes too.

  9. I agree with you Beth. Most of the people who go into the field of education are women and my classes reflect that as well.