(March 23, 2007) Federal law prohibits sex discrimination in schools, yet inequities remain. For examples, teachers often treat boys and girls differently when it is not appropriate to do so. Other issues include limiting access or dissuading girls from participating in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, over-representation of boys in disciplinary actions, and the impact of stereotyping on access and inclusion. Frances Guzmán, M.Ed., an IDRA education associate, discusses where gender inequities tend to show up in classrooms and how educators can make changes to ensure equity for girls and boys. Frances is interviewed by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center.
A Guide to Co-Teaching: Practical Tips for Facilitating Student Learning By Richard A. Villa, Jacqueline S. Thousand, and Ann I. Nevin (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin 2004) http://www.nprinc.com/co-teach/gtct.htm
00:53 Host Aurelio Montemayor opens the show. He describes the mission of IDRA, asks for listener feedback, and invites listeners to subscribe to the podcast series in iTunes.
01:47 Bradley welcomes and introduces this show's guest, Frances Guzmán, M.Ed., an education associate at IDRA, and he notes that Frances coordinates IDRA's work in the area of gender equity.
02:51 Frances gives an overview of gender equity in schools. True gender equity celebrates diversity, looks at differences between boys and girls in a positive way, and looks at educational opportunity that is equal for boys and girls.
03:35 Frances describes why boys and girls have experienced education differently.
04:26 Frances introduces the concept of gender inequity, particularly for girls, through a story.
06:25 Curriculum holes, lack of effective teacher training, and pre-existing expectations for boys and girls in academics and athletics all lead to the two genders being treated differently.
07:57 The Civil Rights Act, Title IX, Section 504, and the Disabilities Education Act are all supposed to prevent discrimination, Frances says, "but until we put it into practice in classrooms, it doesn't happen."
10:10 Frances says that if the stereotypes of little girls being more passive and little boys being more creative and better problem solvers continue to be reinforced in the early childhood classroom by teachers, gender inequity will continue.
12:00 Frances says that creative and problem-solving activities need to be taught equally to boys and girls by making sure both sexes are mixed together in the classroom, and that they problem-solve together and present together. Teachers and administrators must also make sure that reading materials are free of biases and must improve funding for equitable educational opportunities, including field trips. Also, both boys and girls must equally be exposed to all careers.
14:15 Frances addresses the question of gender inequity within the family structure. For example, she says, nurturing responsibilities should fall on both parents, not just the mothers.
16:35 Frances says that research over the last 40 years has shown that the educational experience of a child is often impacted by the sex of the teacher. Women tend to give more attention to the boy students than the girl students.
17:27 Frances says that the gender inequity really starts to manifest itself in middle school.
18:50 Frances explains how better gender equity in education will improve the nation's economy.
20:44 Frances explains how boys are also hurt by gender bias in education.
22:57 Frances says that gender inequity in education is a problem not just in the United States, but around the world.
24:05 Frances concludes: "It is very much contingent upon each one of us as adults to make sure that [children] not only have opportunity, but that they do grow, both spiritually and in body and in academics, to their full potential. And that is what equity is all about. Gender equity is just one piece of that."
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