Sociology Paper: Gender Role Socialization In The Classroom
Schneider Paper Option #3
S-317; Youth & Society
Gender Role Socialization in the Classroom
Educational settings are another area in which social scientists have found much gender role socialization taking place. Myra and David Sadker studied the differential treatment of males and females in the classroom. Among other things, they looked at the type of attention and interaction that males and females receive from teachers. In one study, they looked at how often males and females were called upon in class and how they were responded to by teachers. They categorized the types to the responses teachers made as follows:
a) praise- teacher commends the student on the answer (for example, “Excellent work, John”, “You are right on target, Lisa”, etc.)
b) acceptance- teacher simply acknowledges the answer, whether it is correct or incorrect (for example, teacher nods or makes non-commital comments like, “Uh-huh”; “Mmmm”; etc.)
c) remediation- teacher provides guidance to the student (for example, “Okay. You’re on the right track. But take it one step further.” Or, “Not quite, but try looking at it this way; etc.)
d) criticism- teacher berates the student for giving an incorrect answer (for example, “It’s time to start taking your assignments seriously”; “Maybe if you would come to class on time you might understand what we are doing”; etc.)
Paper Option #3 calls upon you to apply the concepts of Sadker to a classroom setting, gathering your own data to aid in drawing conclusions about gender socialization in the classroom. I will, of course, also want you to draw linkages to the observations of Orenstein (see March 5th) in “Learning Silence.” What are the realities of gender training in educational settings?
1. Identify at a minimum four different classes at a local elementary, middle, or high schools. I require that two of the four be elementary level, and the remaining two be either middle or high school. The classes must be different subjects, have a mixture of male and female students, and must be around 40 students in size. Ask the principals at the schools you selected for permission to observe at the school for the purposes of a sociology assignment. Feel free to show the principal a copy of this assignment and/or have him/her contact me. Assure the principal that the information you collect is solely for the purposes of this assignment and will be held in strict confidence. Rules of confidentiality are crucial here!
2. Prepare coding sheets that you will use to help you record what you see. Here is one suggestion of how it might be done:
a) At the top of a sheet of paper, list the following: name of the course; sex of the instructor; number of males in the class; number of females in the class.
b) Then create columns going across the page from left to right, with the following headings: male; female; praises; accepts; remediates; criticizes; and miscellaneous.
Make about twenty copies of these sheets. You should have about five sheets available for each class you observe.
3. Use these sheets to record the ways that teachers act toward students during each class period. Each time a teacher call on a student, indicate whether he or she calls on a male or female by placing a check in the appropriate column. After the student is called upon, indicate the teacher’s response by placing a check in one or more of the columns indicating “praise”, “accept”, “remediate”, or “criticize.” In the miscellaneous column you can write down any additional information that you think might be meaningful; for example, the topic of the question, the difficulty of the question, and so on. This is going to occur very quickly. In a single class period don’t be surprised if you have dozens of responses or more to code. So be prepared and be alert. Here is an example of what one of your coding sheets might look like after a few questions are asked:
Sex of Instructor: Female
Number of Males: 18
Number of Females: 17
Male Female Praises Accepts Remediates Criticizes Miscellaneous
X X Tough Question!
4. In your paper, summarize the data from your coding sheets. For example, count how many times a teacher called upon a male or a female. Count how many times males and females received praise as opposed to other of Sadker’s concepts. Be certain to submit your observation sheets with your Exercise!
5. Once you summarize the data, try to interpret them. What do the data tell you about the way males and females are treated in different types of courses? In different levels of education? By different sex versus same sex instructors? Are they treated the same? If so, why do you think this is the case? If not, why do you think boys and girls are treated differently? How do your findings either support or refute the findings of Peggy Orenstein in “Learning Silence?” Be certain to relay some stories or observations from you visits to substantiate your arguments!
Paper Option #3 is due by no later than 11:55 p.m. on April 9th in double spaced, readable font. Have fun “going back in time” to your own earlier educational experiences!
Important Notice! Prior S-317 classes have had difficulty submitting their rather large files of data coding sheets in the same document as their text. As such, I will be creating two drop-boxes for this assignment; one for the text of your work and a second for the coding sheets. Hopefully this will do the trick!