Research Study on Gender Bias in Education

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Gender Biases in Education: Math
Nicole S. Tester
Bryant University

Abstract
This research project conducted was to find out whether women were more affected by gender based expectations than men. This was done by giving both young men and young women a simple standardized math test which most likely they had all been taught and exposed to in the past. This particular test was designed to be at or below the performance level of most college students. There was two versions of the test instructions, with one version providing information about men typically outperforming women on the test, and the other version stating the opposite. These instructions were used as a form of deception to prove my hypothesis. My hypothesis was that women would be more affected by this deception than would the men. My results proved otherwise. Results showed there was little difference in the way the women and men performed on these tests on either version. The ANOVA testing showed these clear results.

Does Performance Reflect Success?
Gender biases are present in the American culture. Women are put in a stereotype as the one to stay at home cleaning and cooking while men are believed to have to bring home the paychecks. How we live though is not the only area with gender biases. There are biases when it comes to sports, who can do what jobs and even education. Women are believed to be better at the education aspects having to do with words and comprehension while men are believed to be better at numbers or math. In the research world there is much controversy on whether the bias presented is true or not. Researchers have not been able to support this belief or disregard it due to the many conflicting results. A study done with the purpose of determining whether gender expectations still exist in present time, resulted in the idea that more and more genders are becoming equal in education (Jordan 2008). It was found that both sexes are more likely than ever to complete their high school education and even be able to obtain higher degree. The study also showed the gender gap in scores on the National Association of Education Progress becoming more and more narrow over time. Jordan does not refute the idea of gender bias in education but supported the idea that it is diminishing. These two researchers on the other hand, Fisher (2008) and Johnston (2005), have studies supporting their beliefs that gender biases in teaching are simply a myth. Both constructed research to support the idea that neither females nor males perform differently according to gender expectation or that these gender expectations are implemented at all. Fisher more, specifically, researching in math and Johnston in math and education. Chapman (2012) and Goetz (1996) though, both have studies that seem to prove otherwise. Chapman conducted a study, in Canada, which lead to the belief that gender discrepancies in teaching and education focus more positively on females. Chapman believes males are the ones taking losses in education expectancies. Goetz on the other hand, researched and came up with results which led him to believe American educators focus their attention more on males allowing them a positive advantage. After learning so much from previous research it can be accurately inferred that the gender bias in education does exist. A psychologist, Ghandi (2006) stated in his study the truth behind the bias. He used this truth to conduct a study in which he found that women not only believe the bias but are subject to it when they are told they will fail due to their gender. This particular study is what laid down the foundation for my research study. All of the above researchers knew the biased existed and all tried to support it or disprove it. This research project has one purpose; to find out not if gender biases exist but whether women are affected...
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