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Gender equity in science - Essay Example

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Gender Equity in Science Table of Contents I. Background of the Class 3 II. Discussion 3 References 6 I. Background of the Class I was an observer to a 4/5 seminar combo and in particular to a science class consisting of seven girls and thirteen boys, roughly a ratio of 1:2…
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Download file to see previous pages The exact ratio is 10:24 favoring boys. II. Discussion From the data there seems not much difference in treatment between the boys and the girls in terms of interactions with the teacher. The slight variation in the ratio of interactions to the number of students by gender does not seem to be that significant, given the small sample of tallies made, and the small class size. The tallies ratio by gender roughly corresponds to the student ratio by gender. Taking a step back we look at the literature to inform us about the nature of gender equity in science in general, and in particular, science education and the science classroom. There seems to be much focus on this subject in the literature, with some studies, for instance, finding out that gender equity in science and in the classroom in general is something that requires concrete interventions to achieve. The implication is that without intervening the natural state o affairs is that of the lack of equity along gender lines, with the status quo tilting towards a more favorable view of males, and a less than equal treatment of the females. The foundation of the inequity is said to rest in some geographies, as cited here, on some deeply-rooted stereotypes about the superiority of boys in terms of intellectual abilities (Esiobu, 2011, pp. 244-257). The same bias and stereotypes are noted in other studies, pointing to the need for interventions such as educating teachers and students about the presence of such stereotypes and about actively going against those stereotypes in order to achieve gender equity in science education, as well as technology education. Science is to be a venue for both boys and girls in an environment where there is an active role on the part of the system to counter the stereotypes and the weight of tradition regarding the inferior treatment of females (Wokocha, 2009, pp. 51-54). The inequity meanwhile is accepted in the literature as a long-standing problem, and something that has been wrestled with and minutely studied by way of finding solutions and interventions to narrow down the inequity and level out the playing field between genders in the classroom as well as in the laboratory. By laboratory here is meant life after the classroom, and in the professional science arenas where, as a rule, boys outnumber girls as well. The problem is said to be rooted in inequities to be found at every step of the process that advances students from the classroom all the way to the professional stages of the science career. Interventions at every step of the process have been crafted and tried, and documented in the literature, with heavy emphasis on inequities in the classroom. This thorough look at the inequities and the proliferation of the literature on teaching interventions point to the gravity and to the importance of the issue for the general science and education communities (Brunner, 1998, p. 120; Gerhard, 1995, p. 53). In particular, one piece of literature collates at least 192 different methods and interventions to foster classroom equity in science education along gender lines, with emphasis on many different aspects of inequity, and many different areas of the learning process where the inequity exists. These interventions are baked into the curricula for science education along different levels, and are woven into different classroom and learning activities, such as reading, research, the conduct of surveys, and other classroom-related activities. These intervent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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