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The debate regarding gender differences in learning has been going on for a long time. Researchers have tried to identify ways in which one or both genders are disadvantaged by the current education systems. This paper seeks to specifically describe how girls are disadvantaged in school by reviewing literature.
Science and mathematics stereotypes
The most worrying thing that is bedeviling the girl child is the stereotype that girls are naturally weak in Sciences and mathematics. Many young girls who could otherwise excel in the subjects often fall victims to stereotypes that they can’t excel in particular subjects.
Studies carried out in European and some Asian nations have shown that girls succeed in math just as good as their male counterparts when the social stigma is avoided. Countries that are affected can achieve better female results in math and sciences if the educational, cultural and environmental factors are made to be favorable(Brannon 107).
Lack of motivation
Most of the subjects taught in school, especially physics and mathematics have not been tailored to appeal to the girl child. Studies indicate that that number of females taking engineering causes has been falling steadily in several countries including the United States.
For instance, A survey was conducted whereby by top performing were asked whether they could pursue engineering causes after high school. The responses were almost a unanimous no, implying that even the top performing girls did not have any interest in engineering.
A similar question to boys with top grades in math and physics gave a unanimous yes. This is due to the way the two subjects are taught in school. Single sex schools in other countries such as New Zealand and Australia have identified ways in which physics and mathematics can be made to be more appealing to the girl child.
Gender related stereotypes
Different societies across the world stipulate what they expect from the girl child. The cultural messages are always clear about what is expected from either a girl or a boy. For instance, a girl child cannot freely do such as things as woodwork without raising eyebrows in her family and friends alike.
The gender related stereotypes are often perpetuated in different ways from an early age. Boys are usually allowed to pay in the sand and have access to more choices of toys than girls who can only have the dolls. Different materials to be used for learning are also used to perpetuate the stereotypes.
For instance, the primary colors for boys have a picture of a boy who is dressed like a train engineer while those for gals have a picture of a girl dressed like a nurse.
These stereotypes play a major role in the subject or career choices that are made by girls. It’s unfortunate that the gender related stereotypes find their way into classrooms whereby teachers tend to view girls differently in terms of capabilities in different subjects (Brannon 130).
This paper sought to identify ways in which girls are disadvantaged in school. It has been identified that there are different ways through which girls may be at a disadvantage in the learning institutions. The established ways through girls may be at a disadvantage include gender related stereotypes, science and mathematics stereotypes and lack of motivation.
Brannon, Linda. Gender: pyschological persepectives. Lake Charles: McNeese State University, 2007. Print