A Gendered Classroom*Meeting the Needs of Boys and Girls in a Single-Gender ClassroomRonald E. McNair Middle School, August 11, 2010 *Adopted from David Chadwell Coordinator for Single-Gender Initiatives Office of Public School Choice South Carolina Department of Education Work: 803-734-6261 Cell: 803-609-9654 Email: email@example.com Internet: www.ed.sc.gov/sgi
Making Gender an Issue Gender exists within coed classes, with our own children, and within our relationships. Recognizing gender can empower teachers.
What can happen in a single-gender environment? • Increase Academic Achievement • Decrease Discipline Referrals • Increase Self-Confidence 4. Increase Positive Attitude Toward School - Leonard Sax
Single-gender classrooms have proved to be effective when: • The teaching environment ensures that boys and girls have equal opportunities to learn. • Professional development training in the ways in which boys and girls learn differently is provided.
Performance of girls? • 1 in 4 girls will show signs of depression (pg 5) • 1 in 4 girls will be in an abusive relationship (pg 5) • Girls are 2 times more likely than boys to attempt suicide than boys (pg 5) • Girls are 5 times less likely to than boys receive attention from teachers (pg 5) • By age 13, 53% of girls are unhappy with their bodies (pg 5) • By age 18, 78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies (pg 5) • Three times more often than boys to be told to be quiet, speak softly, or talk with a “nice” voice. (pg 18) • At an early age girls are more likely to develop negative attitudes towards science • Girls often internalize negative stereotypes including the belief that computers, technology, and science are masculine • In science and math classroom environments, girls exhibit less self-confidence and are less assertive than boys 1 – 6 From JoAnn Deak Girls will Be Girls, 7 from Rachel Simmons Odd Girl Out , 8-11 Girls in Science Lisel Chatman, Katherine Nielson,Erin J. Struass, and Kimberly D.Tanner
Performance of boys? • Boys are 3 times more likely than girls to commit a violent crime (xxiii) • Boys are 4 – 6 times more likely than girls to commit suicide (xxiii) • 70% of special education students are boys (pg 22) • 80% of discipline referrals are boys (pg 22) • Up to 70% of the D’s/F’s are made by boys (pg 22) • 44% of college students are males (pg 22) • Significantly more boys than girls declare themselves ‘nonreaders’. . . nearly 50 percent make that designation by high school . . . [and] boys spend less time reading and express less enthusiasm for reading than girls do. • 2001 1 in 112 males were sentenced prisoners under state or federal authorities, women were 1 in 1724 (pg 4) 1 & 2 from William Pollack Real Boys, 3-6 from Michael Gurian The Minds of Boys, 7 Michael Smith & Jeffery Wilhelm Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys. 8 from Paul Slocumb Boys in Crisis
2008 PACT Below Basic www.sckidscount.org **We have a gender gap and a racial gap in our state.
Single-Gender is a Structural Change • Setting up single-gender classrooms is a STRUCTURAL change. It is NOT a teaching strategy. You must adjust your teaching to meet the structural change.
Understanding Gender Differences Other Differences Culture Prior Experience Socio-Economic Status Language Development Learning Styles Multiple Intelligences
Building Communitya group that cares The first step is to build a community of students who can work together and care about learning. Research has found that supportive, safe learning environments (including those involving peer collaboration) engage the emotions in a positive way and stimulate attention, meaning, and memory in the brain. Learning Smarter page 15
Building Community with Boys: • TAP Time! • See it…then TRY IT!
Environment Colors Topics Team Names How will you use your classroom environment to build community without fueling sex-stereotyping? In an effort to build community, you could fuel stereotyping It is important for girls (and boys) to spend log-in time in areas that are counter to their neurologic grain. Deak, J. Girls Will Be Girls Page 46
True or False … Stereotyping? • "Every day we have single-gender classes," [the] Principal [of the school said]. "Boys have to move, use their hands and not sit so much. Girls can sit and take notes and have dialogs. Boys want to push, rap and play. The key is to keep them moving." It's PASS time for public schools By JASON WERMERS Item Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org Date Published: May 10, 2009 http://www.theitem.com/article/20090510/ITNEWS01/705109920/-1/ITNEWS
Gender-Based Strategies The strategies are grouped by tending to work for boys or tending to work for girls. This format allows for easy access of strategies as teachers will teach a group of boys or girls. The strategies are based on classroom experience and adaptation from research. They are a guide, a set of ideas. Certainly, the teacher should use any strategy with any group if the teacher believes it would benefit the students or a student. There is no curriculum for “boys” or for “girls”. There is no strategy or lesson plan that is “boy-only” or “girl-only.” Using gender differences is Differentiated Instruction. Using gender differences is all about scaffolding. A strategy that tends to be good for boys does NOT mean it is bad for girls. A strategy that tends to be good for girls does NOT mean it is bad for boys.
Seeing Hearing Engaging Processing Responding Choosing Based on averages Boys are not all-boy and girls are not all-girl Use to know your students better Do not use to limit students Six Possible Gender Differences
Seeing the World Boys tend to focus more on the motion of the objects, the location and movement. They may be more drawn to cool colors (silver, blue, black, grey). They tend to be inventive with how things work and fit together. Girls tend to focus more on the description and details of objects. They may be more drawn to warm colors (red, yellow, green, orange). Think about the students you teach. Who comes to mind as an example of this information? Who comes to mind as opposite examples of this information?
Hearing the World Boys tend not to hear as well as girls, particularly at the 1000 – 4000 Hz range (speech discrimination). There is rarely a time when something is too loud. Girls tend to hear better and more sensitive to sound. They can interpret loud or deep voices as “yelling” at them … and that you are mad at them. Think about the students you teach. Who comes to mind as an example of this information? Who comes to mind as opposite examples of this information?
Engaging the World The engagement of boys tends to be more influenced by the sympathetic nervous system (known as the fight or flight system) The engagement of girls tends to be more influenced by the parasympathetic nervous system (known as the rest and digest system) MOVEMENT HELPS LEARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS Think about the students you teach. Who comes to mind as an example of this information? Who comes to mind as opposite examples of this information?
STOP • Movement is good for boys to help them stay focused and engage them. • Movement is good for girls because it is GOOD TEACHING. There is also the connection between other students. • Move your girls … don’t keep them in their seats all day!
Processing the World Girls tend to process events and information in analytical and emotional aspects considering differing perspectives. Maturity of cerebral connections seems to be earlier than boys. Boys tend to process events and information in an either/or perspective. Processing of emotional events tends to be processed in the amygdala more often. Think about the students you teach. Who comes to mind as an example of this information? Who comes to mind as opposite examples of this information?
Responding to the World For girls, appropriate stress tends to decrease the blood flow to the brain. Remember, parasympathetic. For boys, appropriate stress tends to increase the blood flow to the brain, helps him remain alert and focused. Remember sympathetic. Think about the students you teach. Who comes to mind as an example of this information? Who comes to mind as opposite examples of this information?
Making Choices in the World Girls tend not to like risks and tend to underestimate their abilities. Believe success is from hard work. Ambiguity is seen as unsafe. Girls get a shot of oxytocin in risk taking situations; pull of bonding. If they feel hurt or fear, then they go to friends to talk about it and get a positive feeling back. Boys enjoy taking risks and they tend to overestimate their abilities. Believe success is from being smart. Ambiguity is a game/challenge. Shot of testosterone for males in risk taking situations. Think about the students you teach. Who comes to mind as an example of this information? Who comes to mind as opposite examples of this information?
There are other inputs • Culture • Community • Socio-Economic Status • Previous Experience • Gender does not replace these components, but can be a part of the considerations when working with students.
Process and Apply • What is one (1) way in which you think you could adjust your teaching based upon this information. • Timed Partner Talk
Key Ideas for Boys • Structure • Consistency • Follow Through
Key Ideas for Girls • Connection • Rotation • Ownership
Questions? Comments? Glenn Matthews, Social Studies: email@example.com Caitlin McKenzie, ELA: firstname.lastname@example.org