Are male students and female student’s receiving the same opportunities when it
comes to Math and Science in the schools? I don’t believe they are. This is why
gender equity is a major problem facing our schools today. Many girls are
having very negative attitudes towards Math and Science. Through doing
research on this topic I found out why.
In the article How Research Helps Address Gender Equity, a very
shocking and eye opening thing was written. I learned that children as young as
kindergarten already have formed set stereotypes about Science and Math. The
boys in the class wanted to and believed that they could be Scientist while the
girls in the class did not. They perceived being a Scientist as a mans job. As
children get older and move up in their grades things don’t seem to be getting
any better, only worse.
A three year study was done in fourth, sixth, and eighth grade classrooms
in four states and they discovered that teachers actually call on and give more
feedback to boys. The teachers answer to this study was that boys were more
demanding and they called out more then girls. However it was found that if girls
act this way they were penalized for it (Sadker D, Sadker M, and Stulber L,
1993). Teachers also challenge boys if they give the wrong answer, and if girls
give the wrong answer they are more apt to call on another person. I was
surprised by this research because I hadn’t actually noticed these things
occurring while I was in school, but now that I look back at it I realize that it did.
As I got into course three Math, a lot of girls had dropped out including myself.
One of the major reasons I dropped out was the fact that my Math teacher did
focus more on the boys. My teacher was the varsity football coach so he
related a lot of the examples to football and directed them at the boys. He also
seemed to talk down to the girls. My self-esteem in Math wasn’t good going into
this course and when I came out of it, it only became worse. I was terrified of
Math. I don’t think my Math teacher or other teachers intentionally call on boys
and encourage them more but it ends up happening anyway. Another problem
that girls are faced with is they aren’t getting the same opportunities and
encouragement that boys receive in lab experiments. All of these things play a
big factor in girls having low self-esteem when it comes to Math and Science.
When doing my research on gender equity, I found a lot of good steps
taken to improve the equality of boys and girls in school. One of the first things
that needs to be done is a teacher assessment. The article Fair and Square,
says that the teacher should have a friend or colleague come into the class to do
the assessment. The observer would write a 'b' if the teacher asked a boy the
question and a 'g' if the teacher asked the girl the question. The observer would
also “make a...