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The Sociocultural Foundations of Education: Gender Studies Essay (Article)

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Updated: Jun 18th, 2020

Teaching is one of the most complicated issues of the contemporary social studies, it has multiple layers and it is based on working with very diverse groups of individuals and creating special approaches and connections between the educations and their classes, and within the members of the classes so that no one misses out on the reception of the important knowledge and live experiences. In the modern world the educators started to distinguish between multiple categories of students, their features, needs and requirements.

The process of interaction between the teachers and their classes have been studied and researched in order to find the connections between the methods and techniques the teachers employ, communication between the givers and the receivers of education and the reasons of the absence of academic success among some groups of students. The modern researchers of the teaching process started to notice that female students tend to perform academically better than male ones. Besides, among all males in classes the worst academic performance is a characteristic of mainly students of African-American and Hispanic origin. The fact that this is a tendency happening in the majority of American schools made the researchers wonder about the possible causes of this phenomenon.

The differences of the ways of thinking applied by males and females have been discussed by writers, psychologists, comedians, movie creators and artists. The fact that men and women percept the world and all of its aspects in two very different ways is well known today. These differences can be observed not only among adult men and whole but also among babies and toddlers. For example, male babies in the streets tend to pay attention to moving vehicles, while female babies show less interest in them, but always notice other children.

The issue of academic underachievement of male students in schools has brought the attention of scholars to the subject of gender differences. Equality between men and women has been the main focus of our society for decades. Ironically, the new approach towards education notes that the differences between men and women are real and requite individual approach.

In this case, the easiest way out seems to be separate education and the creation of schools for boys and for girls, which can basically be seen as a new wave of segregation based on gender, the old fashioned rule that our society is so proud to have eliminated. This approach is not viewed as effective by the scholars, because the students that spent a long time in single-sex schools tend to demonstrate limited perceptions and social imparities in communication with individuals of the opposite sex or understanding the correlation of relationships between the two genders (Herr & Brown, 2010).

The discovery that follows the research of the role the students’ genders play in the process of education is based on the role of the relationship of the connection between the students’ genders and ethnicities. The researchers notice that African-American and Hispanic male students demonstrate the lowest levels of academic success. The scholars conclude that this could be inflicted by the stereotypical image of these students created in the society.

African-American and Hispanic male students are viewed as violent and aggressive, which causes fear from the side of the educators, and makes teaching ineffective (Herr & Brown, 2010). Fearful attitude towards some social groups is not a new phenomenon in the modern society. For example, after the events of 9/11 the United States experienced a massive wave of fare-based hatred towards Muslim people.

The mass media such as news shows or movies shape the social consciousness by presenting it with stereotypes such as teen pregnancies among Hispanics or adolescent criminals of African- American origin. Educations fall under the influence of such stereotypes even though their job is to defeat such misconceptions. Stereotypes and discrimination depower their victims, make tem insecure, as a result, the discriminated individuals tend to behave aggressively in order to communicate power and compensate for their insecurities.

Even though race is a biological characteristic, the contemporary scholars tend to view it socially exploring the effect it makes on the cultural and social interactions between the groups of individuals of various racial origins (Burton et al., 2010). Over the last several decades the racial complexion of the population of the United States obtained high level of diversity, which brought a lot of complications to the social process and interactions. After the millennium the American social experts started to pay a lot of attention to the multiple ethnic and racial groups dividing the society, their needs, differences and various prejudices. White privilege is not a myth, unfortunately.

It is real and its existence can be proved empirically through a simple test among the school children. One of the test questions would have to ask the children to identify themselves. In the majority of cases, the students of color name their race or ethnicity, while white students never even mention it. This behavior demonstrates that being white is unconsciously taken as a “norm”.

In order to be able to defeat racial prejudices, an educator, first of all, needs to eliminate their own stereotypes, which is quite hard to do because we all live under the influence of social opinion communicated through the all-consuming mass media.

Reference List

Burton, L. M., Bonilla-Silva, E., Ray, V., Buckelew, R. & Freeman, E. H. (2010).

Critical Race Theories, Colorism and the Decade’s Research on Families of Color. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 440-459.

Herr, K. & Brown, T. L. (2010). Masculinities and the Schooling of Middle-School Boys. In Tozer. S., Gallegos, B. P., Henry, A., Greiner, M. & Price, P.

Handbook of Research on the Sociocultural Foundations of Education (pp. 583-592). London, United Kingdom: Routlege.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Sociocultural Foundations of Education: Gender Studies." June 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-sociocultural-foundations-of-education-gender-studies/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Sociocultural Foundations of Education: Gender Studies'. 18 June.

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