Regardless of how much educators wish it were otherwise, the data speaks for itself and declares that there’s a gap between how the two genders learn. In the categories of academic impact and social satisfaction, there has always been a correlation between each of these and the student’s gender. To argue otherwise is to put the proverbial head in the sand instead of approaching a solution to the issue.
The question, therefore, shouldn’t be, “is there a correlation;” it’s “why is there a correlation, and what can be done about it?”
Through decades of evaluations of interdisciplinary academic success broken down by gender, the findings frequently show consistent differences between male and female students. From a lower GPA to higher social satisfaction, there is a valid correlation between gender association and academic impact - for some.
Why is the Role of Gender Considered in Education?
If the goal is to treat everyone equally and leave no child behind, why is gender even a subject of discussion in public school settings?
It’s true that if everyone was performing equally at secondary and university levels, it wouldn’t be an issue. But the fact is that many students under-perform across the globe, prompting the need to look into why. While there are many variables that must be taken into account, such as socioeconomic status and race, gender is often also one of the top reasons classified for the discrepancy.
To get a clear picture as to the true cause of academic inadequacies, the entire gamut of variables must be analyzed from multiple perspectives, including that of the student, teacher, parent, family, school, and beyond. This pyramidic level of possible factors starts with the student, which, of course, entails the gender association.
Why Is There Such a Gap in Gender Roles in the 21st Century?
In developed countries such as the United States, we like to consider ourselves as above gender discrimination. Yet it’s obvious through the amount of data collected that there is still a tremendous gap between male and female behavioral expectations.
To truly understand the analysis of gender and its result on academics, one must first acknowledge what “gender” encompasses. In data analysis for most research on this field, the term “gender” applies to any characteristics that relate to a person’s physical, biological, mental, and behavioral aspects.
It’s common knowledge that many studies have correlated gender as plays a large part in academic learning, particularly in the areas of math and science. This was to be expected a century ago, when women were denied the right to all but a basic informal education. But why is it still relevant when both sexes have equal opportunities for learning in the 21st century?
When gender analysis stops at the school level, educators miss out on the true reason for the discrepancy. The correlation goes beyond the classroom and into the student’s environment and society.
Sociocultural differences between males and females make a huge impact on an individual’s way of thinking. Each person grows up with a unique set of circumstances that determine how they portray the expectations of their sex, the possible vocations and career roles they should aspire to, and even what types of tasks they should and should not approach.
This environmental shaping and molding moves into the classroom, too. Based on each child’s expectations, they will have different prior knowledge, varied goals, and disparate support from their home.
To assume that any individual teacher, textbook, curriculum, or role model can overcome this powerful influence is to do a disservice to the student. By the university level, these expectations have become so ingrained into many a person’s psyches that they are inseparable from the person themselves.
Reducing the Impact of Gender Roles on Academic Success
The societal and environmental molding of a person based on their gender can’t be discounted or completely countered. But the impact it makes in the classroom can, however, be reduced.
It begins with the entire campus and heavily relies on the faculty to diminish preexisting stereotypes. Beyond simply gender identities, students have multiple self-perceptions of themselves based on factors such as race, ethnicity, weight, income class, and others. By abolishing the confusion of their gender-based identity,
When a student enters the classroom, their comfort level can impact their academic learning. How well they feel the curriculum is relevant to them, their perception of the environment and how it encourages or discourages their gender, and the teacher’s behavior and communication play a large part in the student’s success.
Stereotypes such as denying a student access to a class that is frequently geared towards the other gender, implying that a student’s gender might make them less successful in a course, and other typical societal biases, have no place in the classroom or school.
By getting rid of those outdated cultural norms, we can reduce the impact of gender on academic success.
Using Impactio to Reduce Gender Biases in the Classroom
Regardless of the level of education they have, not everyone understands the impact that these gender stereotypes have on the success of a student.
Unless academic research is compiled and displayed via scholarly publications and citations, the full breadth of this problem isn’t always acknowledged. Through data collected and displayed by tools Impactio provides, you can make a difference amongst your peers and other professionals.
The correlation between gender association and academic success is vast, but it can be minimized through the application of already available research.