The Battle of the Sexes

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The Battle of the Sexes

All students deserve an education that nurtures them, providing opportunities and experiences that inspire their creative and intellectual minds. Whether a student gets this education from a man or a woman should not make a difference. The fact of the matter is that in many cases the gender of a teacher does affect a student's ability to learn. In many instances, it also matters to some teachers if the student is a girl or a boy. Why would this be so? From research and personal observations and experiences, I will answer this question.

At the elementary school level, the majority of teachers are women. In an experiment form the University of California, Los Angeles, boys were found to have better reading scores than the girls when "taught" by a machine. When a female teacher was brought in to give the lesson, the girls outperformed the boys (Thomas 122). Why is this? Maybe it's the difference in the behavior styles of the boys and girls. David Thomas, in his essay "The Mind of Man", says, "Boys are, across all cultures, much more boisterous and overly competitive than girls. They seek out physical competition ... this makes them harder to control than girls." Little boys create more distractions by being loud whereas girls are more docile and less disruptive. Tony Mooney, a secondary- school headmaster, says, "Women teachers find boys too noisy... and reward more 'feminine' behavior" (qtd. in Thomas 121). I am one of those women teachers that like the quietness of girls. From experiences of the past, I would say that most other female teachers feel the same way I do.

I can remember several instances in the past involving situations that concerned my brothers in relation to their education. My brother John and I attended the same elementary school. Since I was four grades ahead of him, he eventually ended up with many of the same teachers I had during my elementary school years. I went to pick John up from his second grade class as I did every day. One day in particular though, his teacher, Mrs. Janet Nitahara, who by the way was one of my favorite teachers, called me in to discuss John's behavior. When I walked in to the class I saw my brother sitting in the corner of the room in a chair. Mrs. Nitahara said that he talked too much and needed to learn how to be quiet and behave in class like I used to.

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