ERIC Number: ED411552
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Diversity in the Classroom: A Case Study in Gender Awareness.
du Pre, Athena
A college classroom in a southern U.S. university served as the location for a case study on the effects of gender on communication. Of 31 students in the class, only 8 were men. The majority of class time was devoted to discussion; a typical class consisted of a presentation of terms and theories in a text, and an effort to find "real life" evidence for or against the ideas in print. Students frequently reviewed elements of popular culture on television or in movies or magazines. Each student wrote three personal experience papers under detailed guidelines of "reflect and respond," and also wrote in journals. Students swapped written material (with anonymous title pages) and commented on it. The students' written responses to the reflect and respond exercise suggested that they were respectful of differences and noted some similarities. Student papers which described unconventional gender roles provided an interesting contrast to those of students with more traditional upbringing. The give and take of such an assignment presents unique opportunities for all involved. Although the exercise was directed toward gender issues, it could be adapted to a range of perspectives. Assuming that diversity appreciation is a goal to be pursued in education, it would be wise to develop exercises which affect classroom culture and expose students to new ways of thinking about themselves and others. (Contains 13 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern States Communication Association (Savannah, GA, April 2-6, 1997).