The Gender Gap in Education

I’m currently taking a Women in Education class, that should honestly be named Gender Studies in Education, because it is not as simple as male versus female.

This semester I have learned to look at the inequality in society not just as a “woman’s fight” against men.  Women are not the only members of society that are marginalized and oppressed.  Once you think about and see the pressure men deal with to “act” a certain way it adds a different lens to that debate.

When I add this to the knowledge I have gained from my Indigenous studies class this semester, I can see that our society is full of inequalities and they stem from all of the ‘isms’ that are present in our society.

As I continue my journey to becoming an educator, I’m glad that I have learned these different perspectives because if I didn’t see the inequalities in society, it would be really hard for me to try and connect with and understand where my students are coming from.

While I was on Twitter today, I came across this Gender survey out of the United States.  It was really disheartening to me as an Educator to see the disparity between ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ in their educational careers.

I am still trying to sort out if the disconnect apparent in this survey is because of the gender roles that boys and girls are presented with, or if it comes from personal experience in classrooms?

For me, I’m leaning more toward the gender roles argument because I guess I don’t want to believe that the majority of boys are in the position they are because of bad experiences with their teachers and the assignments that they are faced with.  I also believe that the survey showing boys are more likely to speak to their teacher about their interests monthly proves that these numbers aren’t reflective of boys having negative experiences with their teachers.

I know this is a snapshot of students, and they are in a different country, but I still believe that it warrants thought and discussion.  It really makes me wonder, how would students in our schools rate these things?  Would a survey show the same disparity between boys and girls?  Finally, short of a major shift in society (which I believe is necessary but not likely) how do we change the outlook for all of our students that are fighting with the ‘isms’ in their worlds?

One thought on “The Gender Gap in Education

  1. Hi Amy,

    I am also taking women and education and it has opened my eyes to things I really never realized. How do we change that outlook is a complex questions, however, if I have learned anything in my class it is through anitracist education. We need to educate our students on the racisms in our society and in our school. This is hard for so many people not only teachers but parents and administrators. The idea of teaching something that is usually never talked about is daunting, however, I think needed to help the fight against the “isms” in this world. We hear it so much we just need to educate our students, but where do we start?

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