Promoting Gender Equity in Classrooms

Promoting Gender Equity in Classrooms

The pre-conceived traditional gender stereotyping notions are prevalent even today. The root causes of such discriminating thoughts are the lack of awareness shown by the teachers on such stereotypes. The thinking of a child is influenced by the gender equity in their classrooms. Beliefs like "girls are soft" and "men do not cry" can change the way of thinking for a student about their opposite gender.

Gender Equity is the way of allocating tasks, activities, and programs to someone, irrespective of their sex. Tutors are supposed to make their students understand the gender imbalance in our society, why is it bad? And how to fight against it?

As a Teacher - What you need to ask yourself?

  • Is your way of speaking and referring to someone in your classroom stereotyping?

  • Is there any gender disparities provided in the textbooks of your subjects? If so, how to make your students understand it?

  • Are you promoting unintended gender bias in your classroom?

  • Is there a balanced set of books written by both male and female authors in your library?

  • Are you listening to each child's grievances and points without any discrimination?

  • Are you assigning duties and activities to your students based on their gender?

Gender Disparities in terms of Participation and Co-curricular Activities

During primary school, girls are more engaged in the classroom conversations and discussions. From their high school period, they tend to become a lot more subdued and silent in the classroom proceedings. The reason for such a shift is because girls after attaining puberty become heavily influenced by the beliefs of the traditional behavior of a girl in public places. Because of this, boys are seen more willing to raise their voice and hands during any classroom discussions.

According to a researcher named Fengshu Liu, due to the above-mentioned situation, teachers unintentionally look towards the male students for answers and participation in the class. A gender bias is thus created as a result.

Another area which promotes gender disparity in classrooms is the co-curriculum activities. The assumption that girls are more willing to participate in singing, dancing and art related events and boys are more into sports, and physical tasks should be a complete no-no in every school.

How can a teacher stop gender stereotyping in classrooms and promote gender equity?

  • By using a general tone, like ‘they,'' "their" and ‘it.'

  • By challenging the traditional gender stereotypes and using terms like "male nurse" and "female police officer."

  • By replying to each students query and answers.

  • By teaching students about the gender equity gap in our society with the help of facts and figures.

  • By citing examples of personalities who broke such gender stereotypes and prevailed in their careers.

  • By putting the students in a mixed seating arrangement.

  • By assigning duties to a student irrespective of their sex.

  • By not using references like 'Boys do this...' and 'Girls are more likely to...'

  • By asking the students to discuss about their usage of sexist phrases and teaching them about the wrong underlying messages in it.

  • By discussing the advertising stereotypes used in television, movies, films, media and newspapers.

  • By providing equal opportunities and attention to each student.

  • By giving them more collaborative tasks like group projects or group assignments.

 

Gender Equity promotion should be a consistent focus in every school. The thinking of each student on gender should not be influenced by anyone. Rather, proper gender equity in classrooms will help the child come to a conclusion on this matter themselves. Paying adequate attention to both females and males in classrooms will not only enhance the teaching but also the learning of the students will become better.

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