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Gender in Education

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Why should we learn gender issue? Because this issue is also a product of culture. It means that gender issue happen because of human behaviour, and usually it is related to unequality in the society. Students in Britain or in States learn from their school that there is human right that means there should be no descrimination among people. They also learn that people shoul have equal opportunities and understand their rights and responsibilities. Gender is sometimes defined as sex and actually its term more than just a sex. If gender differences mean sex diffeences between a man and a woman, but gender inequalities are behavioral differences between man and woman that is socially and culturally constructed. Gender defferences will eventually cause gender inequalities in many apects of the human life such as in education, workplaces and society.

Gender In Education
1. Short Historical Perspectives On Gender and Education Before 1960s According to Cole (2000) the education in the nineteenth (19th) century was organized along the lines of a social class. Girls rarely features in general histories of mass schooling. For instance, there are a number historical documents on woman struggle to get access to secondary and higher education. Some researcher noted that around the 19th century there were a few school for girls. Girls were less likely to be sent to school, between boys and girls did not have the same access to a common curriculum. Also in 1960 the boys are focus on goverment but girls are at home. Around the 1900s, the school curriculum still differentiated between boys and girls. Girls had given lessson related to housework and to being a mother, but the boys were not. During the time, the government stated that women were different with men; not only biologically but socially, intelectually and psychologically. Because of the statement, there were improvement that occured gradually in spite of the rise is only in general social question, that is, the issue wether girls and boys shoul receive a different sort of one another. Here is Talcott Parson’s view of gender roles.

The Parsons model was used to contrast and illustrate extreme positions on gender roles. Model A describes total separation of male and female roles, while Model B describes the complete dissolution between gender roles. (The examples are based on the context of the culture and infrastructure of the United States.) | Model A – Total segregation of roles| Model B – Total integration of roles| Education| Gender-specific education; high professional qualification is important only for the man| Co-educative schools, same content of classes for girls and boys, same qualification for men and women.| Profession| The workplace is not the primary area of women; career and professional advancement is deemed unimportant for women| For women, career is just as important as for men;

Therefore equal professional opportunities for men and women are necessary.| Housework| Housekeeping and child care are the primary functions of the woman; participation of the man in these functions is only partially wanted.| All housework is done by both parties to the marriage in equal shares.| Decision making| In case of conflict, man has the last say, for example in choosing the place to live, choice of school for children, buying decisions| Neither partner dominates; solutions do not always follow the principle of finding a concerted decision; status quo is maintained if disagreement occurs.| Child Care and Eduation| Woman takes care of the largest part of these functions; she educates children and cares for them in every way| Man and woman share these functions equally.|

2. Short Historical Perspectives On Gender And Education After 1960s
By the 1960s a radical restructuring of English state education opened up new possibilities for changes. This program had main purpose which was that the role of education was crucial to the development of economic growth. Reassessment of the concepts of equal access for boys and girls saw the gradual shift to a non selective system secondary schooling in England and Wales. These changes made the number of children went to the government mixed schools. The norm was shifted from the single-sex schooling to the mixed-sex schooling on academic. It was expected with the presence of female pupils would have a ‘civilizing’ influence on their male peers.

The feminist made an effort to raise gender discrimination to support women’s rights during the 1960s. This legislation was related to the concepts of fair treatment and equality. Because access to education was seen as a basic right, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) was empowered to remove unfair behavior through the courts.

In 1975, there were high levels of sex stereotyping in option choices and teachers found themselves being criticized for influencing the preferences of pupils choosing subject after age fourteen. Evidence of illegal segregation of subjects was found in 19 per cent of the school studied from 1975 to 1978. Research on schoolgirls option choices showed a significant pattern of gender segregation informed by expectations of future employment. As it was shown in this example, male students who took ‘girls’ subjects were considered to learn a skill for future use in labor market. They were more serious than their female peers in the same classes. Female students who took boys’ subjects were presumed to be interested in flirting with the boys or discounted as unique exceptions. However, early analysis of the education provision of the Sex Discrimination Act indicates mild success.

In the middle of 1980s, the English state education raises quality as its national goal. Education can give opportunities for women to change at an individual or social level. The current report says that girls and women have been granted to get more access to education. However, it seems that women still concentrate in traditionally female subjects like ‘caring’ occupation, hair dressing and business administration, and men are still in ‘men occupation area’.

The gender discriminations in education still existed around 1990s. Gender pattern in post compulsory education still shows the implication of sex-stereotyped decisions. Furthermore, female success is often assumed as the result of their diligence rather than ability. However, main factors in learning performance are motivation, esteem, teacher behavior and expectation. The fact that women’s lives are still restricted by the assumption about domestic responsibilities and family life makes changes in males work patterns important.

Forms Of Sex Discrimination In Education
Sex discrimination in education is applied to women in several ways. First, many sociologists of education view the educational system as an institution of social and cultural reproduction. Existing patterns of inequality, especially for gender inequality, are reproduced within schools through formal and informal processes. Another way the educational system discriminates towards females is through course-taking, especially in high school. This is important because course-taking represents a large gender gap in what courses males and females take, which leads to different educational and occupational paths between males and females. For example, females tend to take fewer advanced mathematical and scientific courses, thus leading them to be ill-equipped to pursue these careers in higher education. This can further be seen in technology and computer courses. Also, cultural norms may also be a factor causing sex discrimination in education. For example, society suggests that women should be mothers and be responsible for the bulk of childrearing.

Therefore, women feel compelled to pursue educational pathways that lead to occupations that allow for long leaves of absences, so they can be stay at home mothers. Furthermore, the idea of a hidden curriculum further adds to the discrimination of women in the educational system. The hidden curriculum refers to the idea that teachers interact and teach each of their students in a way that reinforces relations of gender, as well as race and social class. For example, teachers may give more attention to boys, resulting in them becoming more social, whereas girls become quieter and learn that they should be passive and defer to boys. Students are also being socialized for their expected adult roles through the correspondence principle of sociology through schools. For example, girls may be encouraged to learn skills valued in female-dominated fields, while boys might learn leadership skills for male-dominated occupations.

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