Friday, March 6, 2015

Stop! Stop stereotyping boys and girls.

A good teacher should be quick to recognize the fact that gender stereotypes exist. I personally can attest to that being a teacher myself; though presently out of favor.

A recent OECD study, reported by the BBC, has shed more light on that fact.

I can prove it! I'm smarter.
Battleofthesexes by Welleman via Wikimedia Commons
If we tend to label boys as stupid and girls as cleverer, the answer does not lie in the gene. It lies in us, the adults and how we have structured the society. The answer lies in the self-confidence we have imbibed in these young adults as teachers, parents and guardians of their psycho-social, moral and intellectual capabilities.

The answer lies in parental and educational expectations we place on them. These expectations have created a gender inequality in education in Africa because most parents believe girls are good only in the kitchen and for giving birth to babies, so what uses wasting hard-earned money investing in them?

The answer lies in our cultural biases; as noted also above. How many girls are taught leadership education? A girl would be scoffed at if her aim is to be the President of the country in the future.

It is also found in the school system. How are the curriculum developed? What is the aim of policy, educational programs and teacher professional development programs in our schools?

Let’s start making these issues straight before labeling those young adults as clever, stupid, dull, smart, brilliant etc, especially writing gender labels that won’t wipe away easily.

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