The issue of gender in the education sector has persisted continuously over time despite the establishment of various measures to countercheck educational challenges. Girls are normally the victims of these challenges. As girls approach adolescence, their interest in sciences and math diminishes (Sadowski 2008). On the other hand, a weakness in literature related subjects has been exhibited among the male students as compared to the female ones (Gresham 2008). Girls have been known to perform better in linguistic due to their better listening capability. Because of these disparities, the education fraternity has established appropriate policies, practices and strategies intended at making education equally accessible to both genders. Subsequently, girls have successfully narrowed the gender gap in relation to math and science (Gresham 2008). However, considering that girls have persisted to performance poorly as compared to boys in computer related courses, there is still the need to minimize gender related disparities in education. Generally, psychologists argue that female students face numerous as compared to their male counterparts in matters of education.
In the recent past, the society has been encouraging female students to have positive attitudes towards math and science related courses. In this regard, girls have been significantly motivated and the enrolment of female students in math and science classes tremendously increased. In extracurricular activities, gender disparities have been exhibited in various fields. Sports activities are suppose to develop student’s talents and engage them in social interaction. However, statistics shows that more male students participate in sporting activities than the female students (Blumenthal, 2005). Girls seem to be more interested and are actively involved in performing arts, clubs and other school societies. These statistics demonstrate how extracurricular activities have contributed to the gap in gender disparity instead of bridging it.
Ideally, the issue of gender equality among students should be emphasized and no one should be treated differently because of his or her gender. Teachers and administrators should lead in this cause by advocating for gender equality since gender related issues could greatly influence an individual’s educational experiences. Analyzing the inconsistency in the knowledge possessed by different students reading similar books and listening to the same teacher clearly demonstrates this occurrence. Furthermore, gender related issues affect an individual’s self -esteem. Through social interaction in class and in co-curricular activities, an individual’s self-esteem is expected to develop and progress. However, some students may be subject to prejudice by their fellow students or teachers based on their gender. As a result, the affected individual exhibits emotional distress and sense of being unloved which may lead to isolation and incidences of school dropouts. In severe cases, gender biases can lead to mental distress in teenage students when they cannot cope with intense prejudice. Subsequently, these challenges may compel students to seek refuge in drugs and alcohol, which further affects their social behavior and education.
Gender inequality is significantly attributed to poor performance and social conflicts in the classroom environment. The social interaction between the teachers and students considerably determines an individual’s educational performance. However, gender biasness may interfere with such social interaction leading to reduced productivity in the classroom environment. Teenage students normally exhibit these socialization challenges (Sadowski 2008). As children approach adolescence, they become more sensitive of the members the opposite sex (Sadowski 2008). As a result, tension between both genders develops in teenage classes with some individuals opting for seclusion. In this regard, girls may start defining their association with boys by exhibiting flirtatious behavior or shying away. Classrooms are normally the representation of the future society (Grossman 1994). Therefore, students’ socialization in school will have a significant influence on their future behaviors. However, gender biasness is not the only catalyst of an individual’s social behavior. Other factors such as textbooks and the teachers also play a major role in molding behavior. Teachers’ response to students is the main contentious issue. Research shows that through praising responses, students are positively motivated whereas teachers’ criticism tends to discourage them (Grossman1994). Similarly, some authors have enhanced prejudice in their literary work by targeting a specific gender hence creating controversies.
A significant progress in education depends on motivation. Teachers should strive towards motivating their students. For instance, appreciation can be extended to neat girls while boys are recommended for creativity. Similarly, through motivation, victims of gender prejudice can be challenged to disapprove this myth. Eventually, due to the determination of students affected by this vice, some of them may end up being gender activist thus taking the responsibility of protecting the vulnerable. Unfortunately, most of the students who face these challenges end up with poor self-esteem. This will not only affect their education, but also their social behavior. In my opinion, to lessen these challenges, educational departments need to establish more appropriate strategies for motivating students discriminated against because of their gender.
Due to the need to promote equality between both genders, schools should be pressurized to develop the appropriate policies aimed at fighting gender disparity in education. Furthermore, schools are supposed to establish policies that are gender neutral. Of late, a lot of advancement regarding gender equity has been realized as compared to the past. Moreover, the government has mandated national schools to abandon all policies that are gender biased. In the U.S, the Title IX Amendments, passed in 1972, require all educational institutions to develop practices and policies that allow equal opportunities to all sexes (Blumenthal 2005). Currently the act provides legal protection to over 60 million students. The act covers all educational institutions from elementary schools to higher education institutions. Similarly, this act has ensured that all students have equal opportunities in sports and athletics (Brake 2010). In addition, the law covers other gender related issues in educational institutions such as racism, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
Social constructs of gender have greatly influenced individuals’ academic development since the inception of education. In my opinion, societies should consider beyond sex, clothes and gestures in defining gender. This is the case in some cultures, which bring up their children by treating them as neither boys nor girls. In this regard, the child grows up doing all the things done by both genders. However, most guardians have created a gender-oriented world by naming their newborns with gender-oriented names. As a result, children grow up identifying themselves to specific gender groups. In schools, these children, through their cognitive abilities, associate with similar gender and reject the opposite gender. This phenomenon is normally illustrated during the adolescence stages. For instance, if a student’s social values are regarded highly, he values himself hence improving his self-esteem. Because of improved self-esteem, students’ educational progress will be significantly enhanced because the student can interact with his colleagues and teachers freely hence gaining more knowledge in the process. On the other hand, when a student is associated with low status, his or her self-esteem becomes compromised. With low self-esteem, students normally perform poorly due to their compromised participative roles in their classes.
In some instance, the society has perceived gender as a means of structuring social lifestyles. Thus, varied interests, task and talents are assigned as per the gender. In the past, some courses in the U.S were specifically meant for men. Such courses included engineering and calculus. At the same time, home economics courses were specifically meant for women. In this regard, several students were denied chances of pursuing their desired careers. In my opinion, gender is socially constructed and all gender should be given equal opportunities in education. Furthermore, I personally believe that until gender biasness is eradicated in our learning institutions, social constructs will continue to affect students’ learning process.