Following the Wrong Footsteps

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Following the Wrong Footsteps

For much of Public School's history, the academic standards had little to do with whether or not you were a male or a female. Much of one's placement in a classroom or school depended on the age or academic standing. Other issues such as the consolidation of schools and the Americanization of immigrants were given a higher placement of importance. The subject of gender was almost taken for granted and when the issue did intrude, historically the reaction was one of arbitrary response. The public was much more concerned with the development of their men than the equality of their children (Pollard, 1993.)

As time allowed more men and more women to be schooled together, it was evident that a woman's presence alone would not ensure an equally beneficial education. The school systems continue to follow a gendered curriculum, created mainly by men in order to serve men. It is the reinforcement of the gender biases and assumptions through their methodical distribution and teaching of stereotypes and ideas that put the education of men and women on two separate levels. There is no example to follow when it comes to the equal education of children because even though they receive the same education, it is far from equal. It is this along with the lack of recognition towards women who have achieved greatness both in and out of education that creates an outsider status for the female student (Lasser, 1987).

The main problem in attempting to accomplish gender equity is the fact that the teachers being sent off to teach children in gender equitable terms are not trained to do so.

Gender equity issues are virtually ignored in most university level education classes and any strategies created to decrease gender-biased classroom behavior are basically non-existent. Most efforts to remove this problem are geared toward working teachers when the focus needs to be on the upcoming generation of teachers presently in school (Miller, 2001).

Teacher Expectations and Learning Environments

In addition to poor teacher training; culture stereotypes and the expectations of these teachers are what diminish a girl's self-esteem and confidence. This is turn continues to cheat girls out of the education they deserve (Miller, 2001). What has created this phenomenon of discrimination is not something of a natural occurrence, but one of social distortion.
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