The Equitable Classroom Practices Institute developed the following strategy to cultivate gender-equity in the classroom. Teachers developed implementation plans that consist of the following strategies that cultivate gender equity in classrooms. For the most part, instructional strategies are based on the works of Anderson, Brooks, and Reavis, 1998; and Morrow, 1993; and Sadker & Sadker, 1994. The following practices are divided into the three main areas of gender bias, Sadker, 1994 and are proven best practices for all students.
STUDENT / TEACHER INTERACTION
* Call on girls as often as you do boys, and be sure to ask the girls some of the higher- level cognitive questions. Research shows that both male and female teachers initiate more interaction with boys, and on higher cognitive levels. * Have high expectations of both male and female students. Do not encourage learned helplessness by over-nurturing the girls. * Encourage girls to be active learners by using manipulatives and providing hands-on learning experiences. * Use gender-free language in classroom discourse.
* Use quality, precise feedback to girls' as well as boys' answers - not just a nod or a "good." * Keep an interaction journal. Keep tract of the quantity and quality of interactions with students. * Make eye contact with all students and call them by name. * Provide adequate wait time, perhaps 3 or 5 seconds, before calling on a student to answer the question. Females often wait until they have formulated an answer before they raise their hands; boys often raise their hands immediately and then formulate an answer. * Do not interrupt girls or let other students do so.
* Refrain from recruiting students to perform classroom "chores" based on traditional gender roles. Do not ask only boys to assist in carrying boxes and girls to clean the bookshelves. * Be a model of non-bias behavior for not only your classroom, but also the entire school.
* Mentally divide your room into quadrants. If students in all quadrants do not participate, you can say, "Let's hear from someone in the back right corner." * Balance cooperative and competitive activities. Research shows that most girls learn more readily in cooperative situations. * Establish rules for participation and rotate jobs within each group. * Give girls an equal amount of assistance and feedback. Boys usually receive more help and praise that builds self-esteem. * Ask students to discuss concepts orally. This helps students to learn the vocabulary of the subject. * Encourage all students to take additional math and science courses. Adult encouragement proves to be a major factor in students' decision-making processes. * Encourage girls to participate in extracurricular math and science activities. Some schools have organized Girls' Clubs where female students interact with mentors in the fields of math, science, technology, and engineering. * Sponsor a Girls' Technology Club. Plan activities that use technology in real life scenarios. (Do the same for math and science.) * Provide opportunities for female students to teach lessons or tutor younger students or even parents in math, science, and technology. As a teacher, you will ascertain that the girls really know the content and the opportunity to verbalize such fosters higher self-esteem. * Stress safety precautions instead of dangers. Girls will sometimes be reluctant to participate in lab activities if they seem too dangerous. * Insist that girls as well as boys learn to set up and use all electronic equipment: VCR's, video and digital cameras, printers, scanners, DVD players, etc… * Address inappropriate behavior with a fair and respectful attitude, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic class of students. Video tape yourself to monitor your actions. * Use computer and lab partners. Again, most girls work better in...
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