ERIC Number: ED363548
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Equity and Gender Bias in the Middle School Classroom.
Shmurak, Carole B.; Ratliff, Thomas M.
The objective of this study was to begin to examine middle school classrooms for examples of either gender equity or gender bias. Data were collected by visiting 80 classes in 10 middle schools in central Connecticut. Classes observed included 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes in social studies, mathematics, science, language arts, foreign language, health, and an assortment of electives. The research team members noted teacher behaviors, student participation, textbooks, other instructional materials, and room decorations and displays. Of the 80 classes observed, gender ratios were determined for 64. Of the 64 classes 26 could be categorized as equitable. Another 25 were male-dominated, while only 13 were female-dominated. Surprisingly, mathematics classes in the sample appeared to be the most equitable, while language arts classes showed the most extreme male domination. Science, social studies, health, and foreign languages fell somewhere in between. Of 41 incidents that could be categorized as sexist, six were related to the book in use, and were examples of embedded discrimination or sex role stereotyping. The other 35 incidents were related directly to teacher practices. Posters hung by the teachers in rooms pictured only male scientists, historical figures, athletes, and writers. Other kinds of sexism found were gender reinforcement, sex role stereotyping, gender domination, explicit sexuality, and active discrimination. Some of the more striking examples illustrate these categories. Discussion of gender issues occurred in only four observed classes, three of which were taught by females. The document concludes no unified effort is being made by most teachers or most middle schools to promote equity. (DK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut