Gender Gap and Gendered Education: Myth or Reality?. Tatyana Sumner Fall 2012 ED.7201.T Action Research Midterm Presentation. Table of Contents. Statement of the Problem – slide 3 Proposed Intervention – slide 4 Literature Review – slide 5-8 Theories – slide 9
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Gender Gap and Gendered Education: Myth or Reality? Tatyana Sumner Fall 2012 ED.7201.T Action Research Midterm Presentation
Table of Contents Statement of the Problem – slide 3 Proposed Intervention – slide 4 Literature Review – slide 5-8 Theories – slide 9 Hypothesis Statement – slide 10 References – slide 11-13
Statement of the Problem • Living in a gendered society we learn that male and female are different in many aspects. From anatomical and psychological variations to socially imposed stereotypes, gender related issues can and often do affect our children’s education. • Socially constructed stereotypes, such as “girls are not good at math,” unconsciously and habitually reflect in both the educator’s instructions and parental attitudes, which in turn affect student’s achievement and attitudes toward mathematics.
Proposed Intervention • In order to attempt to create a change in the classroom, I believe that teachers should adjust instructional strategies to minimize bias treatment and reinforce heterogeneous, peer-learning environment. • This proposal falls in opposition to single-sex education practices that were legalized by the “No Child Left Behind” act. (Herrelko, Jeffries, Robertson, 2009)
Literature Review - Pros • Stereotype threat undermines girls’ performance in math skills and lessens interest in STEM related fields. Research shows that without gender stereotype threat, girls perform higher on math tests than when such threats are introduced (Shapiro & Williams, 2012). • While there is a very small difference between mathematic test results (NCES), gendered pedagogical and students’ attitude differences exist in classrooms and in need of intervention (Geist & King, 2008).
Literature Review – Pros (cont’d) • Gender stereotypes exist and are reflected in attitudes toward mathematics in elementary school children, as reflected in Cvencek, et. al. (2011) study. Girls identify themselves with literacy while boys with math. Girls more often attribute mathematics to boys, thus reinforcing the stereotypes. • The teacher bias behavior in the classroom has been research with various results. In the 1990s the research showed teachers favoring boys while in 2000s the researchers noticed a shift toward girls. Whichever side is favored, the gender bias quite possibly exists in a number of classrooms. Gender disparities in academics exist from early grades and transition, with some changes, through students’ whole academic careers into higher education (Buchmann, DiPrete, & McDaniel, 2008).
Literature Review - Cons • Girls’ and boys’ belief and attitude toward their potential correlates to their grades and achievement. Higher achieving students have equally high attitude toward their potential. Cultural not gendered factors produce variants (Stetsenko, Little, Gordeeva, Grasshof & Oettingen, 2000). • Single-sex education classes concentrate on particular gender’s biological and cognitive strengths of the students to give them better opportunity for higher achievement (Herrelko, Jeffries, & Robertson, 2009). • Providing peer and adult support to girls in mathematics/science results in increase of their motivation in said subjects and interest in STEM fields (Leaper, Farkas, & Spears Brown, 2012).
Literature Review – Pros/Cons • In their study, Ding, Song and Richardson, (2006) present findings that boys and girls have statistically negligible difference or girls even outperform boys in higher grades in mathematics achievement as well as present the same growth over 3-4 years. They suggest that adjustment to educational practices and student support has already been implemented. • Daniels, et. al. (2001) proposes that it is boys who are suffering in classrooms rather than girls. The disparity between social expectation of masculinity and behavior in education is the culprit for boys falling behind and pedagogues needs to differentiate the instruction to offer fair education.
Theories • Stereotype Threats – a psychological fear of being judged based on a negative stereotype creates extra stress that disrupts and undermines women’s performance in the circumstances. This theory has been applied to education and gendered mathematics stereotypes. (Spencer, Steele, & Quinn, 1998) • Nature and Nurture - While there was a lot of debate whether biological or social difference attribute to educational gaps in children’s academics, Robert Plomin proposed that both elements, nature and nurture, must have equal or near-equal contribution to the differences observed in the development and educational studies. (Campbell, Verna, & O’Connor-Petruso, 2004, Association for Psychological Science)
Hypotheses Statements • By creating teams of two (1 boy and 1 girl) during mathematics instruction for the duration of the whole day, twice a week, for the period of 10 weeks, in a classroom of 24 students (12 boys, 12 girls) in an elementary school of Brooklyn, NY, will improve girls’ attitudes toward mathematics. • By creating teams of two (1 boy and 1 girl) during mathematics instruction for the duration of the whole day, twice a week, for the period of 10 weeks, in a classroom of 24 students (12 boys, 12 girls) in an elementary school of Brooklyn, NY, will improve girls’ tests scores in mathematics.
References • Buchmann, C., DiPrete, T.A., & McDaniel, A. (2008). Gender inequalities in education. Annual Review of Sociology, 34, 319-337.Retrieved from SocINdEX with Full Text Database. • Campbell, J.R., Verna, M. and O'Connor-Petruso, S. (2004) Gender paradigms. Paper presented at the IRC-2004 Conference, Lefkosia, Cyprus. Retrieved from http://www.iea.nl/fileadmin/user_upload/IRC/IRC_2004/Papers/IRC2004_Campbell_Verna_etal.pdf • Cvencek, D., Meltzoff, A.N., & Greenwald, A. G. (2011). Math-gender stereotypes in elementary school children. Child Development, 82(3), 766-779. Retrieved from SocINDEX with Full Text Database. DOI: 10:1111/j.1467-8624-2010-01529x. • Daniels, H., Creese, A., Valerie H., Leonard, D., & Smith, M. (2001). Gender and learning: Equity, equality and pedagogy. Support for Learning, 16(3), 112-116. Retrieved from Education Research Complete Database. • Ding, C.S., Song, K., & Richardson, L.I. (2006). Do mathematical gender differences continue? A longitudinal study of gender difference and excellence in mathematics performance in the U.S. Educational Studies. 40(3), 279-295. Retrieved from Education Research Complete Database.
References (cont’d) • Geist, E.A., & King, M. (2008). Different, not better: Gender differences in mathematics learning and achievement. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 35(1), 43-52.Retrieved from Education Research Complete Database • Herrelko, J.M., Jeffries, K., & Robertson, A. (2009). The impact of single gender elementary school on mathematics classes in an urban school. Scholarlypartnershipedu. 4(1). 5-19. Retrieved from IPFW http://opus.ipfw.edu/spe/vol4/iss1/2/ • Leaper, C., Farkas, T., & Spears Brown, C. (2012). Adolescent girls experiences and gender-related beliefs in relation to their motivation in math/science and english. J Youth Adolescence. 41, 268-282. Retrieved from ERIC database. • Shapiro, J.R., & Williams, A.M. (2012). The role of stereotype threats in undermining girls’ and women’s performance and interest in STEM fields. Sex Roles. 66(3/4), 175-183. Retrieved from Education Research Complete Database. • Spencer, S.J., Steele, C.M., & Quinn, D.M. (1999). Stereotype threat and women’s math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 35, 4-28.
References (cont’d) • Stetsenko, A., Little, T.D., Gordeeva, T., Grasshof, M., & Oettingen, G. (2000). Gender effects in children’s beliefs about school performance: A cross-cultural study. Child Development. 71(2), 517-527. Retrieved from Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson) Database. • Robert Plomin (n.d.). Association for Psychological Science Online. Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/awards/james/citations/plomin.cfm