Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Literature Review - Introduction

Discovering how gender affects the educational outcomes for both boys and girls leads to interesting findings. There appears to be a substantial divide between the results that are noted between boys and girls in the elementary ages. However in all the findings, few, if any, are dissecting the results without having a prior opinion on the subject. Additionally, researchers appear to be ignoring ideas such as Bandura’s social learning theory when attempting to conclude why a situation may be the way it is. The review of the literature will Review the literature which discusses students’ need for a role model, the affect of the feminization of education, and the need for males in elementary classrooms, through the lens of Bandura’s self-efficacy.

Gender is an important issue within elementary education given how few males, according to the NEA, are present in the classroom. Sadker and Zittleman linked this idea through stating,

In reality, gender bias is very much an issue for both boys and girls, an issue too many educators fail to see. For example, can you imagine a teacher organizing a spelling bee by matching black students against white students? Certainly not in today’s society.

But consider the same teacher organizing the same activity by gender, boys against girls. That’s a practice so common that it has become an acceptable, unquestioned part of school life…Still, we see some schools separating girls and boys in lunchrooms, class lines, playgrounds, and school buses (Sadker & Zittleman, 2005, p. 27).

There is, then, not only an obvious gender bias within education, but similarly a bias towards gender bias. Sadker and Zittleman (2005) asserted that those who claim there is a gender issue within primary education, utilizing statistics which state girls are outscoring boys on standardized tests, should be careful what impact de-feminizing education will have on the girls. That is, there is a potential for negative results to occur on girls within classrooms if they are taught by predominantly males rather than predominantly females.

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