Furthermore, there is significant research indicating steps that can be taken to minimize or eliminate the gender bias currently present in our education system.
This might be through highlighting examples in teaching materials or through calling out students comments and behaviour.
The victims of this bias have been trained through years of schooling to be silent and passive, and are therefore unwilling to stand up and make noise about the unfair treatment they are receiving.
At very early ages, girls begin defining their femininities in relation to boys.What can I do to promote gender equity and challenge stereotypes?This type of gender bias is part of the hidden curriculum of lessons taught implicitly to students through the every day functioning of their classroom.Allowing children to pick and choose what they would like to be is essential for growth, confidence and self-esteem.One study of a third grade classroom examined four self-sorted groups of girls within the classroom: the nice girls, the girlies, the spice girls and the tomboys.Jones,., Evans,., Byrd,., Campbell,.Girls' cultures and femininities in the primary classroom.They need to be inclusive, accurate, affirmative, representative, and integrated, weaving together the experiences, needs, and interests of both males and females.Using real sex in movies uncut texts that omit contributions of women, that tokenize the experiences of women, or that stereotype gender roles, further compounds gender bias in schools' curriculum.Gender and Education, 13 (2 153-167.Reay's research shows that each of the groups of girls defined their own femininities in relation to boys.(2000) Boys' problems don't matter.Clearly the socialization of gender is reinforced at school, "Because classrooms are microcosms of society, mirroring its strengths and ills alike, it follows that the normal socialization patterns of young children that often lead to distorted perceptions of gender roles are reflected in the classrooms.".For more information have a look at our other articles on gender for educators.While were all exposed to gender stereotypes, young people are particularly susceptible to them when forming an understanding of their place in society and their potential."When schools ignore sexist, racist, homophobic, and violent interactions between students, they are giving tacit approval to such behaviors." (Bailey, 1992) Yet boys are taunted for throwing like a girl, or crying like a girl, which implies that being a girl is worse than being.Without highlighting that theyre not acting likes blokes/girls, actively encourage students when they do challenge gender roles.As we are all aware, gender is a social construct, so the classroom can become an area in which these social norms are left at the gate and children can become anything they want.Using inclusive language is extremely important.