Chapter 4. Gender and the Schooling of Girls and Boys
← 46 | 47 →Chapter 4
Elementary school girls receive significantly less attention from their teachers than their male counterparts (Evans, 1998; Frawley, 2005; Sadker & Zittleman, 2005). Typically, teachers interact more often with male students whether it is to answer their questions, expand on their comments, verbally admonish them, or to help them with their classwork. In addition, young boys tend to ask more questions, control classroom discussions and conversations, and receive more praise and correction for their mistakes. Teachers are more likely to praise girls for their physical appearance, cooperation with classmates, and obedient behavior while praising boys for their achievement (Derman-Sparks, 1989). Furthermore, research has suggested that teachers are more apt to give approval to young children who engage in stereotypical gender play than those who do not (Grossman & Grossman, 1994; Maccoby & Jacklin, 1987; Thorne, 1993). Research (Sadker & Sadker, 1994; Thorne, 1993) has also noted the prevalence of gender inequity in student-to-student interactions, both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as ← 47 | 48 →in young children’s textbooks and picture books. This type of gender disparity in early childhood classrooms sends a gender-specific message to young boys and girls that could contribute to biased attitudes in young children as well as socially reinforcing gender stereotyping (Evans, 1998).
Schools are discursive spaces with their own series of implicit but widely understood normative processes and regimes of truth. This discursive environment produces the types of individuals who inhabit the spaces of schools. On one hand it produces adults-as-educators, while...
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