Achieve Equity Gender in the Classroom
Gender equity is a key objective of efficient education system. This paper discusses and analyzes findings related to the role of the teacher in achieving gender equity in a class. It outlines the role of the teacher in enhancing gender equity in a classroom environment. With evidence from my past school life in Saudi Arabia in comparison with the United States of America where boys were separated from their counterpart girls in classes, this paper addresses a research that gives results of various strategies that a teacher can use to achieve gender equity in class. The over emphasis on the gender inequality is addressed in the paper. The need to point out the students’ strengths and help the weak ones to rise up from their fears is addressed too. Principles that should be applied while implementing the equality in the classes are as well highlighted to give point outs to follow. The next important thing discussed in the paper is how to put up strategies that improve the teaching and maintaining equality participation in the class. Dynamics for equality of students’ participation in class are emphasized in the paper too. How this dynamics have been of great benefit to the previous schools applying them are stated as well. The ways that may cause this dynamic not to work are mentioned in the paper. The success of a class may not be based on the understanding of the students but on how they have been arranged when receiving the instructions. The class structure has been highlighted in the paper, giving the best conducive environment for the students to learn.
Teachers Role to Achieve Gender Equity in Class
Teaching requires strength of character for tutors since there is great diversity involved. Issues such as gender are very sensitive and require the teachers to handle them with delicacy. One of the components of diversity in the teaching career concerns the issue of prejudice or bias for gender and discrimination based on either male or female in the classroom. Teachers use different teaching approaches to handle diversity in their classroom. One of the pertinent issues that one would ask is how teachers might enhance teaching strategies that would enhance gender equity. Some of the concepts developed in the paper would assist society as an instructional resource that would in turn help in promoting gender equity in classrooms for tutors.
Various contemporary issues in the education system have occurred lately in education institutions. The existence of these issues has caused complexity of education in various means depending on the emphases they have received. Some of them are gender biasness, response to Intervention (RTI), differentiation, and best practices among others. Gender representation in the education institutions can be viewed as one of the contemporary issue arising in most institutions. Teaching should not only mean passing knowledge from the teacher to the student but also ensure that the students’ gender equity in the class has been achieved. Some years ago, various circumstances led to gender biasness in the classes in representation as well as participation. This was caused by the way both male and female tutors selected their students and how they treated them in class. Teachers should not only consider representation of both genders but also make sure that the participation of students in class does not have predominance of one gender. Findings from the research will seek to answer this question and further give more on how the teacher can emphasize gender equity in classrooms and in life beyond the class.
The issue of gender equality should be overemphasized as the main important reason to live with one another in school and in society. The teacher should promote this matter with great passion. The attention on equities in class and out of it should be one of the teacher’s priorities. He must ensure equal students’ participation from the time a student enters the class until the time of departure.
Traditionally, male students used to dominate in class after receiving more attention by their teachers than the way female students did. Developing students’ thought and ideas has always been vital. However, the way it was done before made some students more confident than others. After all, the ideas of male gender were more important than others. Therefore, the female students would not take much attention into details even when given assignments. A teacher must enhance this idea by calling every student into answering and participating in class in equal proportion. Students also should be careful to be positive towards this move in class to encourage the teacher’s role of ensuring that equality is implemented. The recent experiences have been that the quality in class discussion can be observed if there has been equal gender participation in the group assignments. This is a healthy learning environment created by the teacher and the student. The result is good response from students, frequency of response, and accuracy in the response to what teacher comment. Eventually, gender equality in class can be achieved in the aspect of students’ participation.
One of the key issues that affect the gender equity is gender stereotyping. For instance, gender stereotypes hurt the young women since they act to destroy their self-esteem and confidence. Many women develop depression as the result of gender stereotyping and they develop negative attitudes as well. Furthermore, they tend to doubt their intellectual capabilities. Therefore, teachers must play a significant role in addressing such issues so that students feel comfortable in the classroom, once they feel that gender-based stereotypes have been appropriately addressed.
From an insightful perspective, most of the negative gender stereotypes tend to shape the way the adolescents think and act. Therefore, several measures can be taken in order to enhance the students’ self-esteem. These negative attitudes can be undermined. For instance, teachers need to create an enabling environment where the female students will be able to express their concerns on the negative stereotypes that are brought to them to change their perception regarding those stereotypes. One of the basic aspects of encouraging participation is making sure that all students are included, promoting respect, encouraging multifaceted teaching techniques as well as using recent technological curriculums broadly.
Teachers are supposed to cultivate a culture of inclusivity. In this case, all students are supposed to be actively involved in a discussion. By allowing all the students to be active in classroom discussion, the teachers will cultivate a positive mentality to all the students so that they will own the class. In addition, notions such as some students are ineffective listeners or they speak excessively will be erased. Involving all the students to participate in a class discussion is also another way of ensuring that those who keep silent are encouraged to talk while those who participate excessively are given equal times of expressing their opinions just like others. Any sort of imbalance that teachers might not have recognized will be noted and dealt with before becoming one of the key factors that will facilitate the failure of students.
Students are supposed to receive a fair share of teachers’ time in both the classroom and attention out of the classroom. This is one of the concepts that enhance the students to develop a positive attitude towards learning as they will note that the teachers are interested in them and they value their presence. Recognition is one of the factors that lead to the development of a positive attitude by the students.
Teachers should know their students well in terms of their goals, backgrounds and names. Tests such as giving questionnaires can assist the teachers in knowing where the students might be weak or strong. This individual approach to want to know the personal weaknesses would ultimately assist the teacher in helping all the students in his/her class. Utilizing the information from the answers to the questionnaires, teachers can use it when posing questions to the students.
Teachers must also guide students while in the classroom so that they are able to address one another by their names in order to foster a culture of gender equality. Students should be encouraged to know one another. It is also imperative to make sure that all students will be able to see one another during a class discussion, a mechanism that might tend to erase the concept of any gender differences that might be present among them. Plate spinning is one of the mechanisms of making sure that all the students are included in the discussion without only allowing a handful of the students to dominate the class discussion. Once several students seem to dominate the discussion in the classroom, the teacher is supposed to take away the privilege from such students and toss the same opportunity to others.
Some of the students might feel inferior when giving their own opinions about a certain concept in the classroom. In such cases, the teachers can give the students privately monitored questions at the beginning and end of the lessons even before discussions are developed. Therefore, this would encourage the students to answer the questions without fearing as they would be personally rectified by the teacher before they air their views to the entire class.
The language that is used on the classroom needs to be monitored by the teacher. For example, the use of masculine statements might make women feel invisible. There should be no offensive comments that are posed by members of the opposite gender and that might threaten the others. It would not be recommended for teachers to ignore them. Such actions might act to affirm them. The best way is to address them through making sure that they are not repeated in the activities done by students in the classroom.
Students of both genders are supposed to be given precise feedback and encouraged to work through their problems. There should be similar approaches for both genders in an attempt of creating a favorable and conducive environment for all students. There should be precise criticism as well, and the approach for both the genders should be the same. For instance, teacher can criticize or correct the students positively by probably outlining to them the areas in which they may be wrong. On the other hand, teachers need to encourage the students through statements such as ‘I know you can do it’. Encouraging and fostering different learning styles such as visual learning techniques, listening to lectures, taking tests, is also one of the techniques of fostering a gender equity in the classroom. There are also unique ‘gifts’ that students bring to the classroom through their life experiences and that need the teachers to appreciate. Through connecting these life experiences to the curriculum content, the teachers will make the students see the value of the concepts that they lear.
Dynamics in classroom is profitable and it has the student’s high performance interest in mind. Sometimes, classes can be taken outside to create an environment that learning is also social. The boring set up in a class can be minimized through moving it to the environment. Equality in class does not specifically mean treating every student equally but giving equal opportunities to the students. Students can never be equal since some are quicker to learn that others, but their existence together can mean more chances of lifting up those who are weak. Class should be arranged and structured in a way that gives all students an equal opportunity to participate. Sometimes, the normal arrangement can be rearranged to make lessons more interactive. Those who are quiet can also be involved by calling out their opinions to the rest. They can talk more when they are set in a small group of discussions. They will feel less threatened when they are in a small group. Later, they can transfer the little confidences to the whole class. Concentrating on not only male students but also on female ones through class participation creates a better learning and teaching environment. The male students will not have dominance and females will not feel dominated.
The participation of all students must be pointed out at the beginning of the lesson, and the students must be encouraged throughout the course. The participation should also be designed so that it counts for the final grading. The students participation in class may not be everyday but can be often to have students open up to the discussions.
A certain cycle can be generated that allows all students to participate fully within a short period. The students who have problems of speaking before the rest can be asked to have meeting with the teacher to get points on how they can be active participants. Afterwards, they can be asked to read some texts during discussion until they can be fully confident. Students should be encouraged to be attentive to everyone giving opinion. The teacher should make sure to emphasize that everyone’s opinion is important and it should be respected. The discussion in a class should be given priority, and it should be known by everyone that no one is right or wrong. Students should understand when and how to speak or give opinions. Proper procedures should be followed whether it is raising the hands, replying promptly or debating towards coming with an answer to a given question.
There should be established a procedure necessary for application during class discussions to allow deeper understanding of the discussions. It is important to know students by name not only when they need to answer a question but also when they are referred to regarding some of their work. This makes them cheerful to want to participate even more. When giving examples in class discussion, teachers should incorporate male and female students. To be fair enough, none of the student should be made a spokesperson of the gender he or she represents. This allows the opposite gender to be more encouraged of their importance, and it eliminates the possibility of others feeling discouraged of belonging to a certain gender. Hate speech against a gender can also be eliminated. No gender should be made feel to have difficulties of understanding through pointing out one from that gender who has that weakness. Therefore, a teacher should make eye contacts with both genders represented in the class before asking for the answers. Eye contact should be the non-verbal communication that encourages students’ participation and it should not be used for intimidating them. Eye contact should be used not only to those near the teacher but also to those from far end of the classroom.
When getting answers from students, it is important to look around for non-verbal gestures from other students in order to confirm whether they agree, disagree, or they are even more confused. A comment at the end of a participation by a teacher can be helpful to confirm or clarify any doubts that could arise from the answers. Depending on the setup of the class, a tutor should avoid always staying in one section of the classroom.
Teacher’s moving around encourages the rest of the students and makes them feel important like the rest. A style of giving time to students before answering can be a way of giving opportunity for the shy to share. Students can be grouped and given the opportunity to share with one another before giving their final answer. As a result, the shy students may become confident with time. The class does not comprise of equal minds and therefore, calling the fastest one in solving problems or those who raise hand quicker may be demoralizing to the rest. It is important to give time to students for thinking. When the teacher is satisfied that at least quite a number of students are in the picture, they can be pointed to answer the questions.
To avoid ignoring some students’ comments, the teacher should refer back to those who have been interrupted, give a chance to the ones commented again to the first commenter to say something and when necessary, refer some information that has been mentioned by some to bring the point home. Those interrupted during answering must be remembered to enable them to finish their comments. The teacher should write comments on the board to emphasize them when winding up the discussion. This gives one the motivation to participate even more during the subsequent classes. The teacher should point out more on the quality and the content of a remark instead of evaluating how it has been stated.
The learning environment and praising the presentation may cause some to feel more important than those who had stood before him or start comparing those who stand after him. Class discussion is neither a debate nor a political ground. It is not a competition on who can speak better, and finally, it is not about who has won and who has lost. Everyone should participate in the discussions to feel important for the subject in discussion and the class at large
In conclusion, when it comes to teaching, it is important to take note that the representation of students in the classes meets the necessary number and capacity. However, most importantly, there should be healthy participation of both genders in the class. None should feel inferior to the other while on session. The male students who were dominant in early past should give opportunity for the female ones. The most active ones should be tamed to allow the less active students’ views to be heard. The opinions of the others are meant to be respected. The arrangement of the class must be in order to enhance participation. After all has been said and done, strategies employed in teaching become very helpful to students if equality of gender is maintained.