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I would like to do my on the way different genders are educated and learn differently - Research Paper Example

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Gender and Sexual Studies. The way different genders are educated and learn differently. Since the middle of the twentieth century there has been an increasing awareness of the different experiences that men and women have in life, and the way that society defines and upholds what it means to be a man or a woman…
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I would like to do my paper on the way different genders are educated and learn differently
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"I would like to do my on the way different genders are educated and learn differently"

Download file to see previous pages In modern western societies gender is something which is flexible and is worked at by individuals in a social context: “an accomplishment, an achieved property of situated conduct… Rather than as a property of individuals we perceive gender as an emergent feature of social situations.” (West and Zimmerman, 1987, p. 126) One very important social institution for the “doing” of gender in this way is the education system. This paper examines the way that different genders are educated differently and explores why they learn differently and achieve different outcomes. In classical and medieval times formal education was reserved mainly for men, and women were restricted to domestic training and preparation for marriage. Theories why this was the case range from kind of biological determinism based on hunter-gatherer job distribution to political power struggles in which the patriarchs used superior physical strength to apportion most of the privileges to themselves. The stereotyping of girls as passive and nurturing and boys as active and combative comes from this kind of reasoning. In families and in nursery schools boys certainly display a general tendency to play with mechanical toys, while girls tend to choose dolls and clothes, largely because these choices are reinforced by parents and teachers, and opposite choices are often frowned upon. This is the power of socialization at work which sets up unspoken gender “norms” for boys and girls. With the arrival of feminism in the twentieth century many educators actively began to work against this stereotyping and it became clear that when equal opportunity and support is given for free choices, there is a far less clear distinction between boys’ and girls’ behavior. (Butler, 1999) Some studies point out that brain differences between males and females have been observed, (Gurian and Stevens, 2011, 43) and that these mimic the classic spatial awareness ability of boys and communicative prowess of girls. It is not entirely clear, however, whether these differences are innate, or whether they are learned during early childhood. Certainly the socialization of children is very important in the way that they perceive gender, both in terms of themselves, and in terms of the range of choices available to them in their lives. Boys and girls learn different ways of talking, and of behaving, and this predisposes them to particular subjects later in life. (Hall and Bucholtz, 1995, 5-12) After a period of intensive support for women in education, the situation of exclusion has been removed, and in fact the worry for modern society is now the under-representation of boys and men in education. It is estimated that in 2007 “the gender gap will reach 2-3 million, with 9.2 million women enrolled in U.S. colleges compared with 6.9 million men.” (Lopez, 2003, p. 2) The ratio in some minority ethnic groups is likely to show an even greater imbalance than this. It may be that such trends are due to factors in contemporary society, such as the effect of feminism on the education world, and the way that teaching and assessment methods have changed to favour homework and continuous assessment, for example, instead of final unseen examination. The underperformance of boys may also be due to a crisis in the way that masculinity is perceived: men are expected to relinquish their superior position in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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