Gender Discrimination in Your Child’s Kindergarten Class
Is there gender discrimination going on in your child’s kindergarten classroom? A new study by Christopher Cornwell, head of economics at University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, says that because of bias in elementary schools, children may be set up to fail from early on in their education.
The study, which included researchers from both the University of Georgia and Columbia University, shows that although girls don’t necessarily outperform boys in standardized tests, they regularly earn higher grades in elementary school.
The authors of the study say that girls do tend to outperform boys in areas like attentiveness, organization, flexibility, and eagerness to learn, leading teachers to award them better grades.
Researchers didn’t call teachers sexist, but did point out that most elementary school teachers are female.
In a statement on Wednesday, Cornwell said that this gender bias puts boys at a disadvantage academically from an early age. Admission into advanced classes and programs are often based on current grade standings, and college admissions are based heavily on grade point averages.
A similar study that ended in August 2011 found that girls typically earn higher GPAs than boys, but mostly because of higher self-discipline.
Other studies have found results that contradict Cornwell’s study, including one study that indicated that girls perform higher than boys on IQ tests, and one that shows that teachers tend to favor boys in classrooms, especially in math.
In elementary school, junior high, and high school, there were always kids who everyone knew was smart, yet never completed their homework or paid attention in class. I could be wrong, but the study done in August 2011 found that girls were more self-disciplined. Grades are based not necessarily on knowledge itself, but on how well children are able to show what they know, in tests and homework assignments. And to me, self-discipline translates into more time and effort put into tests and homework assignments. Whether boys or girls are testing higher but earning lower grades, I’m of the opinion that if they’re performing better in the classroom, that’s what matters. Gender bias may be happening in some classrooms, but I don’t think it’s the cause of higher or lower grades.
What do you think? Comment below!