30 August 2006

That's not so strange, is it?

The Effingham Daily News last night ran an Associated Press story headlined, "Teacher's gender affects how girls and boys perform in classroom."

The article begins, suggesting:

For all the differences between the sexes, here's one that might stir up debate in the teacher's lounge: Boys learn more from men and girls learn more from women.
This is the claim of new study published yesterday by Thomas Dee of Swarthmore College and Standford University. Frankly, I don't find this at all surprising.

Recognizing that gender does have an effect on people's attitudes, Dee also found that

...with a female teacher, boys were more likely to be seen as disruptive. Girls were less likely to be considered inatentive or disorderly.
Again, I'm not at all surprised here.

From my own brief experience teaching - all of one year - this already seems quite evident to me. This study should not cause controversy but cause us to ask the further question, "Why?" I have no real answers, but I do know the study's findings to be real, and this is no bad thing.

What are your thoughts?

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