Education“E D U C A T I O N PROFOUNDLY AFFECTS PERSON’SLIVES, AND THE GENDERED NATURE OF EDUCATIONCAN POSITIVELY AND NEGATIVELY INFLUENCE THOSELIVES” (175) GENDER COMMUNICATION IN SOCIAL INTUITIONS BY: TANYA IVERSON CMS 498
Influences on Education Teachers and students core beliefs, values, and resulting behaviors influence the transmission and acquisition of knowledge. “When those values include essentialist views regarding gender/sex, race, and class, a contradiction emerges in the heart of education ideals”(176) Public Education is a political tool in society to legitimize ideologies, such as particular types of knowledge and learning, at time reinforcing stereotypes.
Education is an InstitutionAccording to Sociologist Margaret Andresen(2006) “Institutions define reality for us” Institutions are an established pattern of behavior with particular and recognized purpose Institutions include specific participants who share expectations and act in specific roles, with rights and duties attached to them
Education as a Gendered Institution Education has a long history of teaching gender/sex identity 1800’s –British Public School Model of preparing boys how to be ruling-class men, preparing them for leadership in the armed services and business. (176) This British model became the basis for schools in formerly colonized countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, South Africa, and the United States (Kimmel, 2004; Swain, 2005). (176) U.S. public education originally was intended exclusively for White, upper-class boys. (176)
Early Women’s Education Before the 1900’s- only White women from wealthy families could obtain higher education They were discouraged from taking courses in what were considered the masculine domains of business, science, and mathematics. Training in mathematics and the sciences was virtually nonexistent.College for women consisted of coursesconsistent with women’s domain,focusing on domestic skills.
Common ArgumentsFemales and males minds were radically different Harm girls by assimilating them to boys ways and works robbing them of their sense of feminine character. Harm boys by feminizing them when they need to be working off their brute animal element and lead to homosexuality.“Some worried that educating women and men together would emasculate the collegiate curriculum, watering it down by forcing the inclusion of subjects and temperaments better omitted, slowing down the pace, or otherwise reducing standards that would allow women to keep up” (Kimmel, 2004, P. 160)
Common Hidden CurriculumEducational practices that implicitlyassume a white, male, middle classstandard for both the knower and thatwhich needs to be known.Examples: History texts that do not acknowledge women & minorities contributions (Lowen 1995) Childrens storybook portraying gender/sex careers.(Gooden & Gooden , 2001) Teachers who discourage boys from arts and girls from math & science (AAUW, 1992) Most elementary teachers are female and underpaid (NEA Research, 2003)“Such omissions help to maintain stereotypes, inequalities, and privileges tied to gender/sex, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, social class, and physical ability.”(177)
Interlocking Institutions The institution of education influences work, government, family, and media, and is influenced by each of these. (177)Women now account for more than 50% of students.Educational Opportunities = Future Job OpportunitiesMany majors continue to be dominated by one sex: Computer sciences (28% women 72% men ) Education (77% women 23% men) Engineering (20% women 80% men ) Foreign languages (71% women 29% men)(US Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, 2003).
Hegemonic Power A critical gender analysis of communication in and about education explores the very way societies conceive of and pursue truth and knowledge. …Hegemonic power is at play in the very construction of truth, reality, and wisdom: that is, knowledge construction. (178) Epistemology- asks a communication question: How do humans know what they claim to know? This area of study recognizes more than one way of knowing and that there are fewer absolute truths than the institution of education and the predominant culture recognize. The process by which a belief comes to be labeled as “the truth” is a rhetorical process.(178) “THE RECIEVER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE AND THE PROCESS USED IN CONSTRUCTION”
Knowledge Creators Most “knowledge” in the U.S. is the product of White, Western, Capitalist, Masculine viewpoints.What society comes to recognize as legitimate knowledge anduseful information are the reflections of their makers’ views ofthe world, silencing other was of knowing” (179)
Challenging KnowledgeEven as education maintains Feminist theorists employedand transmits predominant this capacity to challenge whensocial beliefs, It also can they critiqued the theories and research methods used bychallenge cultural stereotypes traditional academic disciplinesuch as the binary view of to produce biasesgender/sex. knowledge.(178)
Feminist Epistemology1. It rejects rigid disciplinary boundaries in research.2. It recognizes that insider views may not be the same as outside researcher views.3. Insider does not mean biased, and outsider does not mean bias free.4.It embraces collaborative rather than hierarchical control of learning.5. It includes researchers’ values and perspectives as part of the research instead of pretending that researchers are all-knowing and objective.
Cognitive Developmental Psychology StudiesWomens Study Mens Study(Belenky & Assoc. 1986) (Perry 1970)Stages of Knowing Hierarchical Model1. Silence 1. Simplistic perspective2. Received or passive 2. Multiple perspectives3. Subjective ways 3. Social perspectives4. Procedural 4. Personal perspective5. ConstructedLimitations-----If one truly wants to question knowledge construction, it is important not to assume that any single set of participates can speak for all persons
Elementary Education No other social institution promotes the notion that girls and boys are different as constantly as education.(181)Sex distinctions a central part of children’s identities, with sex segregation Boys and Girls in separate lines Division of class for tasks Sports teamsTeachers reinforce the notion of difference by referring to their class as girls and boys, rather than students. These practices also reinforce the assumption that one is only a boy or only a girl.
ResearchAdults often assume that children have same-sex preferencesfor friends, whether they do or not, and plan activitiesaccordingly (Frawley, 2005).Teaching styles can enforce gender lessons for children.Competition, constant testing, strict discipline, and hierarchyemulated by many women and men teachers reflectstraditional masculine qualities and teaches these qualitiesparticularly to boys (p. 216). (Jon Swain (2005)
SportsCultural identity of an athlete = gender stereotypes. The better the male athletes are, the more masculine they are perceived to be. The better the female athletes are the less feminine they are.
Educational Materials-StorybooksStory books: Female characters are much more likely than male characters to be seen caring for children or doing household chores. Male characters are portrayed in a wider variety of roles and careers (Gooden & Gooden, 2001). Male characters are significantly more likely than female characters to be portrayed as possessing traditional masculine traits, such as argumentativeness (Evans & Davies, 2000). Women may pursue diverse careers, portrayals of boys and men remain rigid, omitting them from nurturing roles (Kimmel, 2004).(183)
TextbooksPrimary Textbooks Male characters, references to male authors, and male depictions still greatly exceed those for females. Whites still are portrayed in texts more than other racial and ethnic groups.(Cheri Simonds and Pamela Cooper (2001)College Textbook Out of 15 educational psychology texts to train teachers, no gender/sex stereotypes (Yanowitz, Weathers (2004)) EXCEPT-Boys students as troublemakers
Gender Stereotypes in CurriculumFEMALE CLASSES MALE CLASSES Home economics Auto Mechanics Literature Shop Class Language arts Math Reading Science WritingCurriculum’s history of gender/sex typing alone cannot explain girls’ andboys’ gravitation toward these subjects and tendencies to excel in thoseconsistent with traditional gender expectations, nor can it explain whymany children do not follow these patterns. (184)Other explanations are needed, such as students’ own contributions to theiridentities and the influences of teachers, administrators, parents, and society.
Higher EducationMany studies document discrimination experienced by womenin higher education (Fox, 2001; Sandler, Silverberg, & Hall,1996; Statham, Richardson, & Cook, 1991). This discrimination is not just relevant to students. The university professorship traditionally has been considered a male position, and men continue to dominate this profession (Fox, 2001). (185)Women and minority faculty continues to have a difficult time:•Getting Hired•Being evaluated positively students & administrators•Getting Promote
Gender Wars- FemalesAmerican Association of University Women Research (1992)Girls self esteem suffered due to less attention from teachers. “ Self-esteem, or how one feels about oneself, affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life, including the ability to learn. People with high or positive self-esteem tend to experience greater social popularity, attractiveness, confidence, competence, grades in school, and mental and physical health (Payne, 2001).
Gender Wars-MalesResearch by Klienflied (1998)“The over-representation of males in special education classes and in virtually every other category of emotional, behavioral, or neurological impairment is undisputed” (Kleinfeld, 1998, p. 8).
Race/Class War??African American boys lag the farthest behind in U.S. education. A 2001 report by the National Center for Education Statistics found in grades 1-12 Black-White reading gaps did not differ consistently for boys and girls. What differed was White students consistently did better as a group than Black students (“Educational Achievement and Black-White Inequality,” Washington, DC) Many young African American boys and men contribute to educational underperformance because of the way they construct their masculinity: as a masculinity that challenges a school climate that excludes and labels them as having academic problems. They may perform a hypermasculinity to protest and defy authorities. James Earl Davis (2001),
Winners?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 (Sadker & Zittleman, 2005). Gender Wars distracts from the reality that both boys and girls are being shortchanged in education, especially if of a minority or lower economic class.
Single Sex EducationWHY?- belief is that it will help counter a multitude of social problems: underachievement, low self-esteem“This movement is relevant to our study of gender in communication because several of its underlying assumptions reflect stereotypes about gender/sex differences addressed in this text. Furthermore, the movement may reinforce such stereotypes and maintain gender/sex norms in communication.”(187)
National Association for Single Sex Public Education Assumptions is that universal gender/sex differences appear in the learning styles students prefer which are tied to physiological differences.(Sax, Executive director NASSPE)
ResultsThe NASSPE (2006b) assumes thatfemales and males have differentlywired brains, which calls for teachingmath separately: “In girls, navigational tasks areassigned to the cerebral cortex, thesame general section of the brainwhich is responsible for language. Inboys, the same tasks are handled bythe hippocampus, an ancient nucleusburied deep in the brain, with fewdirect connections to the cortex”(“Teaching Math”). With girls, thewiring calls for more appliedexamples; with boys, teaching shouldfocus on the numbers and less on thecontext.(188)
Limitations The NASSPE website cites cases of improved grade performance for students in single-sex education programs around the United States and abroad. However, these examples have limitations:1) The sex-segregated education is based on sex, not gender and/or sexual orientation. It assumes that sex equals gender2) Truth that any improvement is a combination of factors used to improve student performance: having the same teacher for multiple years, requiring uniforms, involving parents ect.3) Single-sex education will not address the problem of essentializing gender/sex and related inequalities.“If the goal is to improve gender relations, studenets need opportunities to build their communication skills, trust, and respect by working togther”(189)
Peer PressurePeer groups provide boys and girls with collective meanings andinfluences on what it means to be a boy or a girl. At this pointpeer groups have more influence on gender than parents, orindividuals. If a battle is being waged, it is not between girls and boys but among them. By the third grade, students have been found to migrate to same-sex groups and to chastise those who do not. “Adolescents tend to experience intense peer pressure to conformto group norms in order to be part of the group.(Swain 2005)Thusone’s gender identity construction is more a collective process thanan individual one.”(Connell,200)
Bullying Bullying is “physical, psychological, and/or verbal intimidation or attack that is meant to cause distress and/or harm to an intended victim” (Christie-Mizell, 2003, p. 237). Bullying is usually done by older children against younger or physically smaller children and by boys against girls and effeminate boys. Internet is now use cyber bullying by girls. The estimated number of students who experience bullying in a given school year ranges from 20% to 30%. Students surveyed, 75% report being bullied at some time in their elementary and junior high school years (AAUW 1993)(190)
Bullying link to Sexual HarassmentBullying creates a cultural context in which sexual harassment iscommon, and that schools become training grounds for domesticviolence. Nan Stein (2005)AAUW (1993) defined sexual harassment as “unwanted and unwelcomesexual behavior which interferes with your life” (AAUW, 1993, p. 6). Most students reported doing the harassment simply because it was a part of the school culture. Students overwhelmingly acknowledge the existence of bullying and sexual harassment in schools, but they are not likely to report it because they see it as normal and/or they are afraid to come forward. (Hand & Sanchez, 2000; Stein, 2003, 2005). Sexual minority students in public schools, face a high risk of abuse, particularly by peers. Existing research finds that female forms of harassment tend be less physical, relying more on mean-spirited words (“slut”) and actions of exclusion.(190)
AAUW college survey (2006): 62% of all college students report being harassed in some way, including having sexual rumors spread about them, being forced into unwanted physical contact (from ostensibly accidental touching to rape), enduring sexual comments, and being spied on. Female and male students were nearly equally likely to be sexually harassed on campus. Females were more likely to be the target of sexual jokes, comments, gestures, and looks. Males were more likely to be called gay or a homophobic name.(192)
Sexual Violence on College Campuses The National Institute of Justice (NIJ, 2000) published The Sexual Victimization of College Women (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner), which summarizes a national study based on 4,446 randomly selected women students from college campuses across the country.(193) “Jackson Katz (1999), a national gender violence educator who works with U.S. college campuses and military groups, argues that the predominant culture’s definition of masculinity as aggressive, virile, and dominant perpetuates violence against women, LGBT persons, and other men.” (194)*Warning the following video is graphic and eye-opening*
Emancipatory EducationBias in education in theform of gender/sex, race,ethnicity, and class mustbe eliminated.Education researcher Jane Rolland Martin (1991) calls for “a gender sensitive model of an educated person” that does not fall into the simplistic trap of biological determinism and false dichotomies (p. 10).(194)
Gender Sensitive Model Children should be exposed to a variety of teaching styles Children need to learn to work together Classroom and playground environment need to reflect inclusive, nonstereotypical message Use gender relevant approach vs. gender specific approaches
DistinctionGender Specific Gender Relevent Most of the existing Educators directly changes in education address stereotypical and curriculum have assumptions as a part embraced a gender- of the lesson, be it specific model that reading, writing, math, targets only one sex. or science.
Why?“The Symbolic gendering of knowledge, thedistinction between “boys subjects” and “girlsubjects” and the unbalance curriculum thatfollows, require a gender relevant not gender-specific response– a broad redesign of curriculum,timetable, division of labour among teachers, ect.The definition of masculinities in peer group life,and the creation of hierarchies of masculinity, is aprocess that involves girls as well as boys. It canhardly be addressed with one of these groups inisolation form the other.(Connell, 2000, pp168-169)(195)
Teaching StylesLecture based instruction can be Connected teaching can be oppressive to those already liberating when topics are marginalized and silenced. concretely related to learners individual life experiences.Bank Model – Teachers role is to deposit knowledge into a Connect model-The teacher students brain, in which the works with the students to student is expected to retain construct knowledge through for future withdrawal interaction.
Global Education “The United Nations and many nongovermental organizations have long recognized the intersecting, systemic influences of gender/sex oppression in education, family, poverty, health, and other social factors that contribute to human rights and livable lives.”(196) “Focusing on girls education is important because females are the caretakers and educators of children; when organization invest in girls and womens literacy and education, they invest in families and communities”(196) “It reminds us that the strategies and solutions developed in the United States should be informed by what is happening elsewhere and should be held globally accountable.”(196)
Conclusion Education has a long history as an institution of communication practices including: lectures, books, and activates, that teach children to perform gender Acceptable knowledge itself can be gendered/sexed Children reinforce these gender roles amongst themselves through peer pressure, bullying harassment, and violence. Gender sensitive model in which educators address stereotypes and use alternative teaching methods will help alter needs to perform. Global education practices influence steortypes
SourcesAll quotes where obtained fromDeFrancisco, Victoria L, and Catherine H. Palczewski. Communicating Gender Diversity: A Critical Approach. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2007. Print. All photos where obtained through Google image searches All videos where obtained via Utube