The Gender Struggle

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<BR>Are boys and girls treated differently by the teacher in classroom situations? This is a question that has frustrated many psychologists and educators. In many cases, I think gender does play a significant role in the education process. Teachers may unconsciously give more attention to the boys in a classroom. Peggy Orenstein proved this in her essay, "Learning Silence: Scenes from the Class Struggle," in which she did field research in junior high schools interviewing and observing the interaction of teachers to their students. I think the reason teachers unknowingly give more attention to a particular gender is because of the way that the teachers were brought up to think. The roles of each gender have already been laid out and embedded in the minds of the teachers from their own teachers and parents while growing up. I think that teachers have many preconceived notions of the gender relations of their students. The teachers unknowing pass the ideas that they learned as a child onto their students, who also do not realize that it is being done to them. <br> Peggy Orenstein very effectively tackles the question "are boys and girls treated differently in school?" (Italicized paragraphs 7). She concluded from her field studies in junior high schools that the teacher sometimes treats boys and girls differently in the classroom. She also admits that boys and girls do have many differences, which cause them to behave differently. Orenstein observed that in many situations the teacher ignored the girls when they raised their hands while the boys would blurt-out answers without the teacher scolding them for it. The boys, she observed, usually dominated the classroom discussions while the girls would be very hesitant to raise their own hands for fear of having the wrong answer. Many of the girls Orenstein interviewed said that boys do not care if they are wrong
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