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July 29 – August 2 Face to face sessions M-F 8 AM – 5 PM August 2 – August 9 Work on action plan and final paper
Instructor: Mary Martha Whitworth Location: UVM campus
Girls’ self esteem is often lower than boys’ and schools contribute to this by unintentionally providing male students a better education. This course will examine the many places where girls are shortchanged including the curriculum, student-teacher interaction, language, school atmosphere, textbooks, sports, and leadership opportunities. The course will also examine some of the gender bias relating to boys and how it effects their education. Participants will also explore ways to reduce this gender bias in their own classroom and their school, thus encouraging girls, and boys, to achieve to their fullest potential. The course is appropriate for teachers K – 12, as well as guidance counselors and administrators.
Goals: To make participants aware of the research showing that girls’ self esteem is lower than boys’ and decreases as they progress through school. To examine the places in schools where gender bias exists and help participants understand how this effects girls’ self esteem. To examine the classroom interaction between teachers and students for gender bias. To become familiar with women who were important in American history, but are often omitted from the curriculum. To evaluate language for gender bias. To recognize sexual harassment in schools and know ways to deal with it. To have participants develop a plan for reducing gender bias in their schools.
-2Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to: 1. Recognize ten places in their schools where gender bias exists. 2. Integrate into their curriculum important women from whose contributions are not usually recognized. 3. Use techniques for classroom interaction with students which eliminate gender bias. 4. Utilize gender criteria to evaluate children’s books for gender bias and select classroom books based on these criteria. 5. Employ recent research on gender bias in schools to make their schools more equitable. 6. Evaluate language for sexism. 7. Assess the extent of sexual harassment in their school and develop ways of reducing it. 8. Develop an action plan for reducing gender bias in their own classroom or a plan for sharing their learning with colleagues in their school.
General Course Information
Course Policies/Expectations: Participants are expected to participate in class discussions and activities, complete assigned readings and other assignments in a timely manner, and develop a plan to implement some of the course theories and activities in their classrooms.
Attendance Expectations: Because most of the learning in this class takes place in class through lectures, discussions, activities, and processing, 100% attendance is required. In case of emergency, participant should consult with instructor about making up work missed.
The official policy for excused absences for religious holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work. Contributions in Class: All participants are expected to contribute to class discussions and to participate in all class activities.
-3Academic Honesty & Professionalism: All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the “Academic Honesty Policy Procedures” delineated in the most recent edition of “The Cat’s Tale”. (http://www.uvm.edu/~dosa/handbook/). Accomodations: Accommodations will be provided to eligible students with disabilities. Please obtain an accommodation letter from the ACCESS office and see one of the instructors early in the course to discuss what accommodations will be necessary. If you are unfamiliar with ACCESS, visit their website at http://www.uvm.edu/access to learn more about the services they provide. ACESS: A-170 Living Learning Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. PH: 802-656-7753, TTY: call 711 (relay), Fax: 802-656-0739, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Instant Messenger: UVMaccess. General office hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Call to make an appointment.
Required and/or recommended readings: Required textbooks – Sadker, David and Myra and Karen Zittleman, (2009) Still Failing at Fairness, New York, Simon and Schuster.
Recommended readingsAmerican Association of University Women.(1998). Gender Gaps:Where Schools Still Fail Our Children. Washington, D.C.: AAUW Educational Foundation American Association of University Women. (1995). Growing Smart: What’s Working for Girls in School. Washington, D.C.: AAUW Educational Foundation Checkley, K. (1996). “Reducing Gender Bias in School.” Educational Update. 38, 1 Greenberger, R.S. (1999, May 25). “Justices Say Schools Could Be Liable When Students Are Sexually Harassed.” Wall Street Journal, Section A, p.3. Harris, Lewis and Associates. (1993) Hostile Hallways: the AAUW Survey on Sexual Harassment in America’s Schools . AAUW Educational Foundation. Kelly, Kevin, and LaVerne Jordan. “Effects of Academic Achievement and Gender on Academic and Social Self-Concept: A Replication Study,” Journal of Counseling and Development 69 (November - December 1990), pp, 173 - 77. Kerr, Barbara. (1985) Smart Girls, Gifted Women . Columbus, OH: Ohio Psychology Publishing Co. Mason, Cheryl, and Jane Butler Kahle. (1988) “Student Attitudes Toward Science and Science-Related Careers: A Program Designed to Promote a Stimulating Gender-Free Learning Environment,” Journal of Research in Science Teaching 26:1, 25 - 39. Miles, J.B. (1999). “ Technology and Gender Bias” Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 91, (3), 75-76. Piper, Mary.(1994) Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Souls of Adolescent Girls. Tandem Library Quinn, R.J. and Obenchain, K.M. (1999, September/ October). “Exploring Gender Biases in a General Methods Class.” Clearing House, 73, (1), pp. 16 - 18. Sadker,D (1999). “Gender Equity: Still Knocking at the Classroom Door.” Instructional Leadership, 56, (7), 22-
-426. Shepardson, Daniel, and Edward Pizzini. (1992) “Gender Bias in Female Teachers’ Perceptions of the Scientific Ability of Students,” Science Education 76:2, 147-53. Simmons, Rachel. (2003) Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. Harvest Books. Stein, Nan. (January 1993) “Sexual Harassment in Schools,” The School Administrator, 14 - 21. Wellesley College Center for Research on Women. (1992) How Schools Shortchange Girls: The AAUW Report. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. Walker,C. and Foote,M. (1999/2000, Winter). “Emergent Inquiry: Using Children’s Literature to Ask Hard Questions about Gender Bias” Childhood Education, 76,(2), 88 - 91. Wiseman, Rosalind. (2002) Queen Bees and Wannabes. Crown
Electronic Submissions/Internet Use: - If applicable
Grading: Final Paper Class Participation and Attendance 20% 40%
Class participation includes contributions to class discussions, and participation in the numerous group activities in class. The instructor will observe and evaluate this participation. Readings and Assignments 40%
Description of Class Assignments Class readings –Participants will be assigned readings to be discussed in class. For each reading, they will complete a written assignment to be handed in. Final paper – Write a 10 - 12 page paper describing a plan you have developed for implementing the ideas from the course in your classroom or school. The first few pages should include a rationale for the plan, Explain how your ideas are grounded in the research presented in class and in your readings. Discuss the benefits this plan would have on all the students, girls and boys. As an alternative, you may develop materials to supplement your curriculum in order to make it less gender biased. This project would need to be accompanied by a paper explaining how your materials are based on the research and how they would benefit all the students, girls and boys.
-5Scoring Rubric: N/A Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment: see above
Instructional Sequence: - List the course topics for each scheduled class meeting date including
readings and assignment due dates The students will have two weeks before the face to face sessions begin to do pre-course reading. Session 1 (Monday) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Introductions/ logistics/expectations Get acquainted/trust building Famous women activity Sharing personal experiences with educational inequity Research studies on girls’ self esteem - AAUW Gender bias in participants’ schools Sexist language and how to change Groups to plan famous women presentations
Assignment; Read Preface and Chapters 1 and 2 in text. Write three “I Learned” statements and two “Wow” statements for each chapter. Due next session. Research and read two recent articles, at least three pages each, on sexual harassment in schools. Write a one page reaction to each of them. Due at session 5 . .Session 2 (Tuesday) ` 1. Writing women back into history 2. Women in science, math, and technology-encouraging girls in these fields 3. How women got the vote – Alice Paul 4. Gender bias in textbooks and curriculum materials -how to supplement these -resources 5. Discussion of readings 6. Group work on presentation
Assignment: Read Chapters 3 and 4 in text. Write three “I Learned” Statements and two “Wow” Statements for each chapter. Due next session.
Session 3 (Wednesday) 1. Self esteem and gender bias 2. Bias in classroom interaction -research by Sadkers -awareness videos on teacher-student interaction - small group reactions and application to participants’ classrooms 3. Discussion of readings. 4. Group work on presentation
-6Assignment: Read Chapters 5 and 6 in text. Write three “I Learned” Statements and two “Wow” Statements for each chapter. In addition, write a one page paper citing examples at your school of biases discussed in thus far in the book. Due next session. Find two magazine advertisements which you feel are sexist or represent sexual stereotyping and two which represent an effort to be non-sexist. Due session 5.
Session 4 (Thursday) 1. Bias in testing and results 2. Children’s literature -evaluating books for gender bias -examination of books with strong female characters -evaluation of reading lists from secondary schools -library collections – career books 3, Creating a bias-free environment - classroom design and decoration - materials, classroom library - job assignments - group work - speakers, parent helpers 4. Educating parents 5, Discussion of readings 6. Beyond the school -media -community - movie “Killing Us Softly” Assignment: Read Chapters 7, 8, & 9. Write three “I Learned” Statements and two “Wow” Statements for each chapter. Research and read two recent articles, at least three pages each, on sexual harassment in schools. Write a one page reaction to each of them. Write a one page paper explaining five changes you plan to make in your classroom as a result of reading the book. Due next session..
Session 5 (Friday) 1. Bias outside the classroom -sports (Title IX) -activities -leadership -educational role models 2. Sexual harassment -by grade level -school policies -effect -prevention 3. Beyond the school -media -community - movie “Killing Us Softly” 4. Creating action plans for change - in your classroom
-7- in your school 5. Compiling hints for teachers to make schools equal for girls 6. Hidden women’s history – movie “Iron-Jawed Angels” 7. Group presentations on little-known important women 8. Closing activity 9. Evaluations The action plans and final papers are due one week after the face to face sessions end.
Supplemental Readings 1. Owens, Sherry Lynn. (June, 2003) “Are Girls Victims of Gender Bias in Our Nation’s Schools?” Journal of Instructional Psychology 2. Orenstein, Peggy. (1994) School Girls: Young Women, Self- Esteem, and the Confidence Gap . New York: Doubleday. 3. Sadker, David, and Ellen Silber. (2006) Gender in the Classroom: Foundations, Skills, Methods, and Strategies Across the Curriculum. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 4. Shandler, Sara. (1999) Ophelia Speaks.Perennial