Hello everyone it has been long since I posted something but I have been doing a research on the how gender inequality is in education today.
The discussion around gender inequality is steadily gaining traction, and the education realm is also starting to take note.
Gender is typically seen as binary – male and female. While individuals who identify themselves as non-binary – a term to describe genders that don’t fall into one of these two categories – are also gaining prominence, gender stereotypes continue to exist and can affect student achievement.
For instance, one study has found that female students who are taught by teachers with “traditional gender views” have lower performance in math and verbal tests. The effect is “amplified” with longer exposure to the same teacher, said researchers.
In a report by social enterprise Lifting Limits, Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching and Patron of Lifting Limits, was quoted saying: “The Early Years and Primary phases are of crucial importance developmentally and the influence of teachers and other trusted adults within school should never be underestimated.”
Meanwhile, Professor Gina Rippon, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Neuroimaging, Aston University, highlighted that gender stereotypes affect children’s views about their abilities and aptitudes to their potential achievements and probable failures.
She added that such messages are relayed to children in numerous ways, such as by the toys they’re given to play with (e.g. LEGO and tractors are “boy toys” and dolls and prams are “girl toys”) and the language used to describe approval or disapproval of their successes or failures (what a pretty girl/what a brave little boy).
Children are also soaking in gendered attitudes and expectations from their environment, such as how the school nurse is female, so all nurses must be female, or how the bus driver is a man so only men can be bus drivers, and drawing fixed conclusions about their world and their place in it.
“By the time they are about six years old, they have normally aligned themselves firmly to their own gender and made up their minds about what this means for them, what it means they can do and how they should behave. Sadly, this can also include firm beliefs about what they can’t do; six-year olds don’t think girls can be ‘really, really clever’; nine-year old girls think maths is a ‘boy thing’ and not for them.