Everyday in the classroom students read textbooks and listen to their teachers. How is it that boys and girls get different educations? Gender bias and sex roles in the classroom have lasting effects on children.
Gender equality has been discussed in education for many years. Looking at gender differences between female and male students is important. Before any discussion starts the definitions of sex, gender and gender bias should be clearly defined. Sex is the personal quality determined by biological and genetic characteristics. Gender or gender role is the social, symbolic construction that expresses the meaning a society associates with biological sex. Gender bias in a school environment is defined as the way boys and girls are treated differently. How teachers talk to students, topics students are encouraged to study and how textbooks represent gender roles are all related to gender bias.
One of the questions that always surfaces in these discussions is when does the development of gender roles start. Everyone is in agreement that the media, literature and society all have parts in defining these roles. This can be seen in our society in easy ways. For example, how do we know what gender a newborn is? Simply by looking at the hat on the baby 's head: blue for boys and pink for girls. Even the words we use to describe boys and girls show a classification system. Boys are often described as handsome, tough, and hard working. Girls are regaled with how pretty they are and that they are so sweet. The foundations of developing a child 's view of gender roles starts in the home at an early age. Young children start to identify gender roles long before they enter the classroom . These factors have l...
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...s in technology of school age children can come from several different areas. One of the main ones, is the home. Fathers are the ones that are seen as computer literate. Often times boys use the computer in the classroom more then girls. Some of this can be related to a teacher using it as a way to have the boy conform to being passive and quiet. These findings have already helped to start promoting gender neutralizing ideas such as using technology at an early age and placing computers at home in gender neutral areas.
There is not a simple way to remove gender bias from our school systems. Children will continue to be exposed to traditional gender roles by the media, literature and society. Through expanding the knowledge of gender bias in the classroom more future educators and current teachers can start to open the doors to a different world for boys and girls.
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