Gender Dynamics In Educ Org Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Teaching Type: Term Paper Paper: #45235201 Related Topics: Public Vs Private, Gender Issues, Gender Difference, Group Dynamics
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Of the 19 students attending that day (gender breakdown was nine boys and ten girls) the boys asked questions 9 times and answered questions (those of the teacher and/or classmates) 13 times. By comparison, the girls asked questions 4 times, and answered questions 5 times. Then, when the students split into groups toward the end of the class to check each other's previous work, the groups were split along gender lines. The focus of the students, and the atmosphere of the class overall, was more diffuse than those of either of the other two classes. One interesting thing I noticed during this small group work (which could perhaps also have a bearing on the findings of Datnow et al.) was that in these groups, the now gender-segregated girls asked for teacher help with and clarification of the task at hand a great deal more than did the boys, in their similarly gender-segregated small groups. This led me to wonder if in fact the girls had "saved up" their teacher questions for a time when they would not have to ask them in front of the male students.

The second class I observed was a single-sex (male only) class at a private parochial high school. Fifteen students attended that day, and eleven of the fifteen were actively involved, for the whole class period, in asking questions, answering questions, completing short problems on their own, and sharing their work on the blackboard. This class (taught by a male teacher) was focused and on task, and at times, intense. There was much less student chit-chat, and more involvement in the class session by a greater number of students.

In the third


The class was taught by a female teacher. The female students seemed similarly engaged (in comparison to the previous, all male class), and many more of them asked and answered teacher questions than in the mixed-gender public math classroom. There was more chit chat among students than in the all male math class, but not nearly as much as there had been (among students of either gender) within the mixed student public school class.

Admittedly, these observations are just informal, and not at all scientific, but they did point out to me, at least, that there are likely some differences in classroom attitudes, behaviors, and performance based on gender. Overall, both males and females in gender-separate math classrooms were more serious, stayed on task better, and showed more interest in and commitment to their learning. This, it seems to me, would tend to bear out Datnow et al.'s conclusion ("How Context Mediates Policy: The Implementation of Single Gender Public Schooling in California," April 2001) that while gender is likely not6 the only key factor determining classroom dynamics and student performance, it may be a factor, and, moreover, one that has not received (and is less and less likely to receive in the future) adequate serious attention by educators, administrators, and politicians.


Datnow, a. et al. (April 2001). How context mediates policy: The implementation of single…

Sources Used in Documents:


Datnow, a. et al. (April 2001). How context mediates policy: The implementation of single gender public schooling in California. Teachers college record, 103(2). 184-206.

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