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Changing Perspective On Gender Inequalities In Schools

841 words - 3 pages

Changing Perspective on Gender Inequalities in Schools

Gender equality is a broad topic with many different angles that can be examined. For my part in
this project I chose to research the changing perspective on gender inequalities in schools. I
wanted to find out what people really felt about the fairness of their education, and whether they
really felt they had been shortchanged in the learning process because of their sex. My results
were generally what I had expected to find, though there were a few interesting findings along the
way. I used an article from Education Week entitled, "The Silent Gender Gap", An empirical
research project conducted by Molly Weinburgh of Georgia State University, and I conducted my
own research by using surveys and interviewing people about what they remember from their days
in the public schools.
I wanted to answer the question as to whether or not gender really played a role in the
equality of people's education. I expected to find that the further back through time I looked, the
more evidence I would find of there being a general sentiment toward the belief that males were
favored in the classroom. This favoritism I expected to be greater and have a larger impact the
further back through time I went with my interviews. However, I expected that in more recent
times the pendulum of educational inequalities would have swung hard the other way, giving the
females a clear advantage. In the end I was right, to an extent.
I conducted interviews with or received surveys back from forty-eight people ranging in
age, background, and geographic region of where they attended high school. Six of these people
graduated high school between 1945 and 1955, twenty-four graduated between 1968 and 1979,
and the remaining eighteen people have recently graduated since 1995. They represent three
generations education in the public schools. When asked how they felt overall about the equality
of their education based on gender, only two people responded that they felt there had not been
fair treatment between the sexes, these two will be discussed in-depth later. Every respondent
said that they had not changed the beliefs they held during school. However, the inequalities
became evident in later questions that were designed to bring out impressions about certain
situations and asked for additional comments. Of the twenty-four respondents graduating from
1968 to 1979, twenty-two claimed overall equality in their education, of these, nine indicated
some minor tendencies toward gender biased policies in teachers' classrooms. All but one of
these nine said the males had received...

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