Teacher biases are affecting the way students learn within the classroom. In an ideal classroom, boys and girls would receive equal treatment. However, cultural stereotypes influence the way educators teach and they way children learn. Both males and females have demonstrated that they can receive academic achievement through equal teaching methods. Researchers have been focusing on gender differences in behavior, science and reading in the classroom.
Teachers usually think that boys and girls have different behaviors because studies and facts show the difference between boys and girls in numbers such as. “Teachers give boys greater opportunity to expand ideas and be animated than they do girls and that they reinforce boys more for general responses than they do for girls.” (Marshall 1997) Teachers usually have more trouble keeping the boys in the class on track than the girls. So when they do see the boys doing something correct they are awarded for that, the girls are assumed to know what they should and should not be doing. Girls are “unaware that they are unequal to the boys in the classroom” (Marshall 1997) and this shows throughout their actions and what they do in the class.

Gender stereotypes lead to issues within the school system which inhibits girls’ learning abilities in science. Teachers may assume incompetence in science more so for girls than for boys. This can be linked to cultural beliefs about what girls can and should do. Girls have demonstrated that they can learn about science in purposeful and meaningful ways as do boys. However, the gender bias of a teacher may prevent girls from excelling at science related courses. For example, according to Amanda Chapman (2009) girls receive more negative feedback than boys from male teachers in a science classroom. Further studies demonstrated that boys will be called on more often than girls, and favored particularly in science. Research has shown that boys will be referred for gifted science programs twice as often as girls (Chapman, 2009). Overall, teachers’ biases towards science lead to girls receiving poor grades and less confidence even if they demonstrate self-efficacy in science.

The gender gap in reading and writing is more of a concern now than ever before. According to Diane Connell and Betzy Gunzelmann (2004) boys have been scoring an average of 24 points lower than girls on NAEP writing tests. It is scary to think that by the fourth grade boys are developmentally two years behind girls in reading and writing. Is special education the answer? Seventy percent of children receiving special education are boys (Connell, & Gunzelmann 2004). It might not have to be this way if educators understood why boys and girls develop different skills at different times. “Girls and boys seem to use different parts of their brain effectively, each gender with some stronger left-hemisphere capacities an some stronger right hemisphere capacities” (Connell, & Gunzelmann 2004). Generally the left hemisphere allows girls to speak, read and write sooner and better than boys, while it allows boys to recall facts, remember rules and categorize better than girls. The right hemisphere is responsible for a girl’s ability to empathize and understand feelings. Boys seem to be stronger in math, science and geography because of the way their right hemisphere functions. Teachers are responsible for finding ways to help boys and girls in all areas of development. Tapping into visual spatial strengths, using hands-on materials, incorporating technology and allowing opportunities for competition are a few strategies educators can use to help both genders succeed in the classroom (Connell, & Gunzelmann 2004).

The best way to correct these issues is by making teachers aware of these gender biases. The solution to these problems could include having more female science instructors and more male teachers for the elementary grades. Teachers need to be cautious of the resources they use in the classroom and the way they handle behavioral situations with boys and girls. Overall, these recommendations will lead to a better classroom environment.


Chapman, Amanda. (2009). Gender bias in education. Retrieved from http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/genderbias.html
Marshall, C.S. & Reihartz, J. (1997) Gender issues in the classroom. Clearinghouse, 70 (6), 333-338. Retrieved from http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/genderbias.html
Connell, D., & Gunzelmann, B. (2004, March) The new gender gap. Retrieve from

Gender_Equality.jpgAshley Baer, Ashley Dukes, Kara Maloney

Ashley Dukes
Gender Equality Notes

Title of Article- Gender Bias in the Classroom: Current Controversies and Implications for Teachers
1) Teachers must learn to recognize and eliminate gender bias, because it can limit students' ambitions and accomplishments.
2) Some educators have addressed differential performance by advocating for gender-separate instruction, especially in math and science classes.
3) Many educators continue to question whether girls and boys are indeed cognitively different and therefore need to be taught differently.
4) Teachers' biases send clear and harmful messages that are very influential as children form beliefs in their own abilities.
Frawley, Timothy. (2005). Gender bias in the classroom: Current controversies and implications for teachers. Childhood Education, 81. Retrieved from http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=Lq5GllJCrmQRsddpWC6xLy5gH1j5fymsbk1D0Ftl2ZbrZyKxRRH5!-1669906915!1532742983?docId=5009975597

Title of Article- The Gender Socialization Process in Schools: A Cross-National Comparison
1) Teacher-based dynamics such as teacher attitudes and expectations and their interactions with students in the classroom evince different patterns toward boys and girls, generally to the disadvantage of girls.
2) Teachers, key actors in the everyday life of schools, do not have access to training in gender issues and consequently, tend not to foster gender equity in their classrooms.
3) Many teachers express the viewpoint that they treat boys and girls equally and that their gender is irrelevant. This position is called gender-blindness; it provides a false sense of objectivity
4) Social beliefs are perpetuating the unequal treatment of girls and boys in school
Stromquist Nelly. (2007). The gender socialization process in schools: A cross-national comparison. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001555/155587e.pdf.

Title of Article- Gender Bias in Education
1) The socialization of gender within our schools assures that girls are made aware that they are unequal to boys. Every time students are seated or lined up by gender, teachers are affirming that girls and boys should be treated differently.
2) Girls are praised for being neat, quiet, and calm, whereas boys are encouraged to think independently, be active and speak up.
3) Research shows that boys are referred for testing for gifted programs twice as often as girls.
4) Examination of the socialization of gender within schools and evidence of a gender biased hidden curriculum demonstrates that girls are shortchanged in the classroom.
Chapman, Amanda. (2009). Gender bias in education. Retrieved from http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/genderbias.html

Kara Maloney

Gender Bias in Education
Classrooms are microcosms of society…
“Across the country, boys have never been in more trouble: They earn 70 percent of the D’s and F’s that teachers dole out. They make up two thirds of students labeled “learning disabled.” They are the culprits in a whopping 9 of 10 alcohol and drug violations and the suspected perpetrators of 4 of 5 crimes that end in juvenile court. They account for 80 percent of high school dropouts and attention deficit disorder diagnosis.” (Mulrine, 2001) According to the 1992 report published by the American Association of University Women, females receive less attention from teachers and the attention that they do receive is generally negative when compared to the attention received by boys. Gender bias in usually found in the hidden curriculum or socialization that occurs in the classroom. Boys are rewarded for thinking independently and speaking up while girls are praised for being quiet, calm and neat. Girls rank being popular to be more important than educational performance and ability. Boys on the other hand, find doing well in school is more important than being popular. School teachers and administrators also express gender biases when they handle behaviors from boys and girls differently. “Boys will be boys” is an expression we hear often but it allows boys to get away with behavior that would not be tolerated coming from a girl. Males are more likely to be in special education programs because of constant speaking out or disruption. Teachers may consider them to have a behavioral problem while a girl who needs individualized attention may go unnoticed because she is sitting quietly in the back. Teachers need to be aware of their gender-biased tendencies and then read strategies for improving this behavior.

Chapman, A. (2002). Gender bias in education. Research Room: Edchange Multicultural Pavilion.
Retrieved from http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers.html

Mars and Venus in the Classroom
Richard Morin focuses on the gender gap and the affects of having a male teacher versus having a female teacher. Thomas S. Dee of Swarthmore College provided the statistical information for this Washington Post article. Boys and girls do equally well on tests for math, general knowledge and reading readiness in Kindergarten. But by the third grade girls are doing better on reading while boys are receiving higher math scores. This gap grows wider as the children grow older. Girls exceed boys in reading by 1.5 years of schooling, by the time they are 17. Male students are over represented in science and engineering at the college level but now females are the more likely gender to go to college and earn a degree. Dee found that a male teacher instructing an all boys class and a female teacher instructing and all girls class “significantly improves the achievement of both girls and boys as well as teachers perceptions of student performance and student engagement with the teacher’s subject.” In the middle school grades most of the science, math and history teachers are female which helps girl students do better in those subjects but it is handicapping the male students’ reading abilities.

Morin, R. (2006, May 18). Mars and Venus in the classroom. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

Gender Equity
Tips on how to ensure gender equality in the classroom provided by the Association of Texas Professional Educators.
- Pay attention to posters and decorations in the classroom. Do they depict boys and girls doing similar? Are they depicting stereotypes?
- Use popsicle sticks in a jar with each students name on one to avoid calling on just boys or just girls
- Choose books that do not display stereotypical gender roles, using traditional books is okay as long as it is followed up by a discussion of how gender role have changed
- Choosing words carefully is important, using the phrase “boys will be boys” is not acceptable, correct students when they use terms or phrases that convey gender stereotypes or bias
- Encourage those students who choose to play with nontraditional toys or choose a nontraditional career path like a boy who wants to play with dolls or a girl who wants to work in construction

Gender Equity. Association of Texas Professional Educators. Retrieved from

Kara Maloney's link to taskstream page: http://www.taskstream.com/ts/maloney24/GenderEqualityintheClassroom.html

Ashley Baer

Basic education and gender equality:
Tips on why gender equality is important to all.
  • Enhances Lives
  • Ends poverty and disease
  • Equips boys and girls with the necessary skills to adopt a healthy lifestyle and protect themselves.
  • Rights based education can address some of societies deeply rooted inequalities.
  • Unicef works to ensure every child regardless of background recieves an equal education.
Basic education:Unicef

A cornerstone of development
Speaks about how gender equality is a human right and needs to be treated as one.
  • Gender equality is underscored by its inclusion as one of the eight millennium development goals.
  • Includes promoting legal and policy reforms and gender sensitive data.
  • Supporting programs and projects about gender equality.

Things to remember about gender equality in schools.
Provides tips in which you can take and enforce into your own classroom.
  • Each gender learns differently than the nest and solve problems differently so teaching methods need to in cooperate both.
  • Sexual harassment occurs in girls more than boys.
  • The way you speak to your students should be generalized.
  • Make your attention focused on both genders equally

Ashley Dukes TaskStream Link: http://www.taskstream.com/Main/main_frame.asp