EDUCATION AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION
Education historically has had a large role in teaching and reinforcing
Assumptions of gender differences and white male hegemony still
effect educational institutions today
Education can maintain stereotypes, inequalities, and privileges.
“Education is political.
Knowledge is not value
free, nor is the process of
and is effected by
other institutions like
ments, family, and
education. Title IX
on sex illegal.
LOOKING BEYOND GENDER DIFFERENCES
Education has the power to
challenge stereotypes and
hegemonic, binary views of
gender and sex.
Learning can be oppressive
Western culture values
objectivity, and statistics.
Feminist epistemology offers
a different perspective based
on a theoretically-inclusive
approach that embraces
“The institution of education
is a creator and keeper of
socially sanctioned and
How did your education
shape your values?
What impact does
education have on
What are the benefits to
approach that is
inclusive rather than
TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS
Teachers and administrators
can, intentionally or
unintentionally, make sex
distinctions part of children’s
rhetoric, segregation, and
Lessons that emphasize
competition or unfair
attention/compensation given to
one gender group can also
reinforce these ideas, especially in
GENDER AND SCHOOL SPORTS
Sports have generally been
considered a masculine activity
throughout history. Boys are able to
define their masculinity through
Since the passage of Title
IX, women’s athletics have become
more widespread. Sports can
improve girls’ performance, social
skills, confidence, and more.
Still, sports can be unwelcoming to
students who don’t identify with
narrow gender binary distinctions.
Some female athletes face pressures
to behave in a more traditionally
EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS AND
Title IX led to a review of
and eliminated many
stereotypes, but some
sexist tropes persist.
Sex typing of subjects like
shop or home
economics, or even
language arts and
math, still occurs.
Some professions like
nursing or teaching are
attached to certain
genders in culture as well.
Men continue to hold more teaching
positions at the college level and have a
better time getting hired, receiving positive
evaluations, and being promoted.
Professorship continues to be gendered as
masculine. Professors who perform
femininely may receive more negative
GENDER WARS IN EDUCATION
Many have argued that
have failed either boys or
girls, but these are based
on suppositions that
learning needs differ by
Both boys and girls are
shortchanged in the
classroom. A viewpoint
that shows boys and girls
as competitors is not
Sexism still does exist in
schools, which can be
disadvantageous to girls.
Percentage of 8th grade students
attaining writing achievement
“The gender gap in education exists for
both girls and boys, but because they
tend to be socialized in different ways
and because observers have gendered
expectations, the gender gaps tend to
be manifested in different ways.”
Some education programs
segregate boys and girls in
classes, grades, or buildings.
Single-sex education has a
foundation of stereotypical
assumptions about gender.
Most of the documented
improvements reported by
single-se education proponents
can be attributed to smaller
class sizes and improved
This methodology can reinforce
out of date ideas about gender
and sex, promote male
privilege, and exclude students
who may not fit into a strict
gender binary perspective.
Students exert pressure on
those who don’t join samesex social groups. Boys tend
to enforce notions of
masculinity on other
boys, and girls enforce
notions of femininity for other
Peer groups have
considerable influence over
As teens construct their
interaction, sexuality and
gender/sex become linked.
BULLYING AND HARASSMENT
Bullying is usually perpetrated by older
children against younger/weaker
children or by boys against girls and
Uncorrected, bullying can lead to more
serious forms of abuse. It can create
an environment that is hospitable to
Girls experience sexual harassment
more often than boys. 4 out of 5
students reported having been the
target of harassment.
Female harassment tends to be less
physical, and more verbal and social.
At the college level, females are the
targets of sexual
jokes, comments, gestures and
looks, and males are the targets of gay
and homophobic monikers.
An atmosphere of harassment and
bullying is not conducive to learning.
attack that is
meant to cause
harm to an
SEXUAL VIOLENCE ON COLLEGE
Between 1/5 and 1/4 of
college women will be the
victims of an attempted or
completed sexual assault.
Part of the problem on
campuses is the abuse of
alcohol. At least half of all
violent crimes involve alcohol
consumption by the
perpetrator, the victim, or
Aggressive language and
competitive sex stories are a
part of the masculine
“The predominant culture’s definition
of masculinity as
aggressive, virile, and dominant
perpetuates violence against
women, LGBT persons, and other
Do you remember ever
playing boys vs. girls
games in school?
Have you had more male or
What might be some benefits
to single-sex education?
Have you ever witnessed
bullying or sexual
harassment in school?
What about sexual
Gender Sensitive Education: An inclusive, non-stereotypical
environment, coupled with creating a community that welcomes
diversity and directly addresses stereotypical assumptions about
Connected Teaching: Teaching is more effective when topics are
linked to a learner’s actual experience and when a teacher is
willing to engage with the class and recognize teaching moments
when they occur.
International Education of Girls: Global education programs look to
counteract oppression by giving girls around the world
unprecedented access to education. Illiteracy is linked with
poverty, illness, unemployment, and violence and it is a problem
that women face in particular. Investing in women is investing in
entire families and communities.
What are some teaching
strategies that could
generate a more
Compare your teachers:
does a connected
help your learning?
"Basic Education and Gender Equality." UNICEF. N.p., 10 Oct. 2013. Web.
25 Nov. 2013.
Cantoral, Eduardo. "News on Relevant Science." : 10 College Majors With
the Biggest Gender Gap. News on Relevant Science, 2 July 2012. Web.
26 Nov. 2013.
DeFrancisco, Victoria L., and Catherine Helen. Palczewski. "Education."
Communicating Gender Diversity: A Critical Approach. Los Angeles:
Sage Publications, 2007. 175-97. Print.
"Percentage of Students Attaining Writing Achievement Levels, by Grade
Level and Selected Student Characteristics: 2002." Percentage of
Students Attaining Writing Achievement Levels, by Grade Level and
Selected Student Characteristics: 2002. National Center for Education
Statistics (NCES), 2002. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
Rea, Brian. Title IX. 2012. Brian Rea. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.