Gender in the Classroom

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This editorial called “Gender in the Classroom”, written by Debrorah Tannen, was mainly about her study of men and women in the classroom. Throughout this editorial she discussed the various behaviors among people that result from gender-related styles of talking. After observing how people conduct themselves in different environments, she then explains how she changes her teaching methods to accommodate these behaviors. She states that a colleague of hers found that “more women began to speak up in his discussions if he would begin with a relatively open-ended questions and letting comments go unchallenged,” (The Norton Sampler, 284). I could relate to this because I personally would be more likely to speak up if there was no right or wrong. Most of the time the reason I wouldn’t participate in a conversation is because after I say something and am wrong, I would make myself feel stupid and think about it forever. So unless I know I am right or it relates well to the discussion, I just keep my thoughts to myself to avoid that situation. Tannen also shared her classroom experience where she made her own class groups to encourage students to speak up. “In fact, the Japanese woman commented that she found it hard to contribute to the all-women group was because “I was overwhelmed by how talkative the female students were in the female-only group.” This is particularly revealing because it highlights that the same person who can be “oppressed” into silence in one context can become the talkative “oppressor” in another,” (The Norton Sampler, 286). I also can be the same way. For instance, in one situation I might be the oppressor when I am too comfortable with the group of girls I am with and do not realize it, but in another I might feel intimidated by the girls or feel almost overwhelmed as well by the talkative student and would contemplate over what to say to prevent me saying something stupid. After reading this, it made me more aware of how I personally...
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