Running head: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 1 Annotated Bibliography: Educating Girls: an Overview J. Anne Hagstrom Prescott College
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 2Akerlof, G. A., &Kranton, R. E. (2010). Identity economics: How our identities shape our work, wages, and well-being. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. „Identity economics‟ adapts standard economic theories toinclude the identities of individuals in 1) social categories, 2) norms and ideals, and 3) gains and losses in identity utility. Identities typicallyinclude „insiders‟ and „outsiders,‟ where„insiders‟ buy into and „outsiders‟ oppose the system. In order to improve academics and behavior,a school must promote belonging for all students, effectively removing the option of being an „outsider.‟ This requires broadening the definition of „insider,‟ to include diversity of genders, ethnicities, ages, and socioeconomic statuses. Changing labels (fireman to fire fighter, policeman to police officer) along with providing legal support of „insider‟ status to nontraditional workers (class action law suits against sexual harassment/discrimination) can increase the number of men and women crossing into nontraditional fields. Traditional responses to gender equality in schools have worked with changing labels and some measure of „belonging,‟ but the insider/outsider structure associated with patriarchal social norms maintains strong influence.Bonomo, V. (2010, Summer). Gender matters in elementary education: Research-based strategies to meet the distinctive learning needs of boys and girls. Educational Horizons, 88(4), 257-264. Retrieved from ERIC.(EJ895692) Recent research into physical differences between the sexesis mentioned, including multiple references to an earlier article published in the journal. Theresults echo traditional stereotypes: boys‟ brains are better at math and science, while girls‟ brains excel at reading, writing, and listening. Moreover, boys‟ and girls‟ brains develop at different orders, times, and rates. Autonomic nervous system differences between the
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 3 sexes predict that boys should thrive in competitive environments while girls should not. Strikingly, studies indicate that the ideal temperature for young men is 69 degrees Fahrenheit; girls do best at 75 degrees. Table 3 identifies typical genetic differences between girls and boys, including boys hearing 35% less than girls due to ear construction, girls developing language and fine motor skills six years earlier than boys, who develop targeting and spatial memory four years earlier than girls, differences in ability to transition, relate to a teacher, and remember details, and in the structure of interpersonal relationships. The article includes two lists of suggestions for adapting lessons to provide forboys‟ and girls‟ learning needs, however, being aware of the differences and then getting to know individual students seems a more practical way of implementing any changes to the classroom and lessons.Denith, A. (2008). Smart girls, hard-working girls, but not yet self-assured girls: The limits of gender equity politics. Canadian Journal of Education, 31(1), 145-166. Retrieved from ERIC. (EJ797189) As recently as the 1990s, How Schools Shortchange Girls exposed “biased teaching practices, curricular omissions, sexual harassment, unfair testing procedures, and limited access to or lower participation of girls in certain school subjects and programs.” The author interviewed students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs. The schools studied were in affluent communities, and girls‟ success was on par with boys‟ in school and college placement. Over 50% of the girls described their relationships with teachers and those teachers‟ skills as influential. Many comments reflect a desire to like or enjoy the teacher because the subject can be difficult or uninteresting; other students were willing to take the advanced class because of an
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 4 initial interest in the subject. The interviews indicated a link between performance and self-worth, where girls judged lower grades as evidence of inability or lack of intelligence. They felt that boys did not care about their GPAs and did not take lower grades personally. More troubling, when comparing themselves to boys, the girls commented that they do more work for the same achievements, and they expressed concern that any difficulties they experienced would be attributed to gender – as an innate quality, “a dumb girl who doesn‟t get computers” (p. 158) “I think girls have to work harder to get acknowledged and to achieve. Guys are viewed as well rounded if they take an AP course and do one sport. Girls take three AP classes and a sport and it is viewed as normal” (p. 159) “Boys will be boys, right? If I lagged behind, people would think I‟m not okay. It‟s the same with boys and teachers. Teachers seem willing to push the boys more than they push the girls. Girls are just expected to be good” (p. 160).The girls experienced their competition as other girls, believing there were limited spaces for females in the schools and professions of their choice. Moreover, they wanted the competition based on skills and not gender.While girls expressed spending more time on their schoolwork than brothers or male classmates, I think rather than showing that boys are more confident, it shows that girlslack an awareness of their achievements or appropriate measures of success. If, in fact, schools are disproportionately acknowledging boys, girls could absorb the unspoken message that they are not measuring up even while being aware of the hypocrisy. At the same time, this points to another facet of boys‟ underperformance, the realization that smaller efforts are adequate; clearly assumptions about innate ability are damaging to both sexes. The author concludes that individualism, competition, and personal entitlement are strongly
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 5 patriarchal and girls‟ attempts to fit into the system are ultimately detrimental.Hembrow-Beach, R. (2011, September).Developing the girl as a leader. Retrieved from ERIC. (ED524366) This paper examines how all-girl schools support girls. Self-confidence has been identified as a primary concern for girls; though girls in co-educational schools report higher levels of engagement,they report lower levels of self-esteem. Low- socioeconomic backgrounds further limit extracurricular activities known to boost confidence. Girls‟ develop social-emotional skills at schools, but this area is neglected in co-education; all-girls schools provide “exploration and community” (p. 31). While boys see difficult material as a challenge and put in more effort, girls are more likely to blame themselves and their abilities if a task is difficult, reducing their confidence and efficiency. Girls School alumnae say that these schools encouraged self-confidence, encouragement, leadership, and community, and believe their all-girls education was superior, providing more opportunities for public-speaking, technology, science, math, and writing as compared to co-ed schools. In Wales, primary school girls were viewed as good students if they had typical girl behaviors, whether or not they were academically successful. A study in Britain suggests that boys‟ disruptive behavior gains them greater teacher access and encouragement, while diligent girls receive less support. Girls in co-ed classrooms find boys‟ behavior more disruptivethan do other boys; additionally, girls are seen as individuals without reference to gender, and are able to assume all of the roles in the classroom. A study in Belgium underscores that single- sex classrooms do not provide the same advantage as all-girl schools.Anecdotal evidence suggests that all-girls K-8 educations develop the necessary skills for girls to
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 6 then be active leaders in co-educational high schools. It seems apparent to me that no adjustment of public school education will match the positive effects of all-girls education, but recognizing the separate needs of students is an important move.Luik, P. (2009). Would boys and girls benefit from gender-specific educational software? British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(1), 128-144. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.01005.x While some studies indicate that boys have a greater affinity for and skill with computers, other studies find no significant differences between the genders. This study examined differences in posttest scores of girls and boys in terms of several variables. The data indicates that catering to girls‟ preferences may in fact lead to decreases in their achievement. Instead, girls‟ scores correlated strongly with learner controls, while boys‟ scores showed no difference. Boys‟ scores indicate a preference for graphics, while girls‟ scores indicate these graphics should be as simple as possible. In conclusion the author believes there are several things to keep in mind when designing software so that it is optimally arranged for both genders.Madigan, J. C. (2009). The education of girls and women in the United States: A historical perspective. Advances in Gender and Education, 1, 11-13. Retrieved from the Montgomery Center for Research in Child and Adolescent Development, http://www.mcrcad.org/ Madigan begins her summary of the history of education for women in the 1700s, noting key years for legal changes. She states that coeducation began in the 1800s, at the same time as single-sex schools were being established. However the movement West played a role in making schools coeducational, as smaller populations made single-sex schools impractical. Despite coeducational schools, vocational tracks were pushed for girls, and
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 7 girls occupational choices were essentially secretarial, nursing, teaching, or motherhood. It was 1972 when Title IX made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex, and 1974 introduced the Womens Educational Equality Act. More recently, in 2006, the US Department of Education amended Title IX to allow gender-separate educational opportunities, viewed as a positive move for girls.McMahon, L. (2009, Fall). Of the utmost importance to our country: Women, education, and society, 1780-1820. Journal of the Early Republic, 29(3), 475-506. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier. This article discusses the historic motivations for allowing women equal access to education, namely, to ensure educated citizens for the good of society. During this time period (late 18th and early 19th century), women were primarily homemakers, mothers, and wives; yet their education was promoted in order to control “the manners of a nation” (p. 478). This push led to the establishment of many schools for women, providing educations to “mostly white, middle- and upper-class women” (p. 483). These schools advertised a more rigorous curriculum than „finishing schools‟and were similar to male academies of the period. At this time it was acknowledged that women were equally capable of intellectual pursuits and, many argued, better at rhetoric than men. The concern turned to appropriate subjects for women, so as not to damage their ability to care for family and home: they should be “useful and ornamental” (p. 494), with complementary roles to those of men, in order to „balance‟ each other.This emphasis was important, because many educated women became more vocal and public figures interested in promoting equality in all aspects of life. This article reveals that women‟s education has been a concern for nearly as long as America has existed.
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 8Skelton, C. (2010, May). Gender and achievement: Are girls the "success stories" of restructured education systems? Educational Review, 62(2), 131-142.doi:10.1080/00131910903469536 This article focuses on the British education system, but similar cultures and historical symmetry make many of the points applicable to America. Skelton notes current government and media accounts of girls out-performing boys on tests, and greater numbers of girls graduating from high school and then attending college. According to studies done in classrooms during the 1970s and 1980s, girls showed a lack of self- confidence, and boys were assessed as more able due to their relatively greater assertiveness. Yet current studies find that girls are still anxious and less confident than boys, despite the social belief in their "success." One perspective goes so far as to describe the underachievement of boys as victimization by girls. That is, because girls are now winning, it must mean that boys are losing. Interestingly, teachers have consistently rated boys as needing more time and attention. Even more striking are indications that girls are "hard working," whereas boys have "innate if untapped potential." The author concludes that girls will not have success without increased confidence and control, and that adjusting education to make up for the perceived decrease in boys performance still fails to address fundamental gender stereotypes.Wells, R. S., Seifert, T. A., Padgett, R. D., Park, S., &Umbach, P. D. (2011, January/February). Why do more women than men want to earn a four-year degree? Exploring the effects of gender, social origin, and social capital on educational expectations. The Journal of Higher Education, 82(1), 1-32. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier. This study looked for concrete reasons that a greater percentage of women than men are now attending college, particularly among racial/ethnic minorities. The data set was
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: EDUCATING GIRLS 9 sizeable, with 14,713 students. Previous research indicated that “educational attainment is predicated on one‟s expectations of educational success” (p. 2). The study therefore considered parents‟ early and peers‟ later influence (social capital) on students‟ beliefs (valuing/expectation of higher education). In this study, women indicated higher levels of social capital overall.Although historically a luxury, educating girls has become sensible and necessary in the parents‟ view due to increased availability of work and decreased stability of marriage. Studies suggest that parents now hold higher expectations for daughters than for sons, and this study saw a stronger positive effect for women relative to men. Parents are also less involved in sons‟ academic lives and have lower expectations for academic achievement.As previous studies suggested, mothers‟ education had more influence on daughters, while fathers‟ education had more influence on sons, certainly a concern given the rates of absent fathers among minorities. The increasing gap between men and women is not a result, then, of girls‟ increasing opportunities, but a breakdown in the support network for boys.