Gender equity: Still knocking at the classroom door.
The issue of gender inequality is one which has been publicly reverberating through society for decades.
(1997) stated that teachers generally agreed the there is a need for implementing gender-fair strategies, yet feel uncomfortable actively addressing gender issues in their classrooms.
They are often unsure how much authority they should exert in determining the content and direction of students' talk during classroom discussions.
Singh (1997) states educators need to decide upon a philosophical position to follow.
Teachers need to be aware of their role in shaping gender perceptions among learners. In 1992 Olivares and Rosenthal's research findings examined three areas: 1-interactions in the classroom that are both teacher-to-student and student-to-student 2-instruction features involving relation between classroom activities and the gender of the students assigned to perform the activities 3-the perceptions of gender roles through teachers modeling of sex stereotypes in the classroom. There are fundamental elements of the school environment develop and reinforce inequity: teachers may be unaware of their gender bias; there is a lack of school textbooks and other instructional materials are sex-bias free; and children may interact according to strongly stereotyped gender blueprints. The results clearly show that gender inequality definitely runs rampant in textbooks some of the sexism subtle and some overt.To begin with, it is apparent that historical texts show a distorted view of women by portraying them unfairly and inaccurately and neglecting to mention important female figures, instead opting to describe their sometimes less influential male counterparts.Actual teaching situations are also prone to sexism.For the most part teachers do not try to be sexist but, for sociological reasons, can not help it.One of the problems which became apparent was the fact that the policy-makers set a curriculum which, as shown specifically through textbooks, was sexist and for the most part still is.Textbooks are one of the most important tools used in educating students whether they are elementary school storybooks or university medical textbooks.In 1995 David and Jacqueline Sadker found that females were being shortchanged in classrooms. Girls received less praise, help, and intense instruction that creates academic confidence and success.