Tagged: Education

Title IX v. The Boy Crisis: Toward Single-Sex Education?

A few weeks ago I posted some thoughts on the impact of Title IX beyond collegiate athletics and last week my colleague, Markus Gerke, wrote brilliantly about the myth of the boy crisis in education.  In this post I will illustrate how Title IX proponents and believers in the boy crisis myth have come to clash over the topic of single-sex education. The movement to single-sex education in the US has been framed as a solution to both girls’ absence...

How not to talk about Gender and Education – Is the 'Boys Crisis' in Education a Reality?

In her latest piece for the Atlantic, Christina Hoff Sommers – author of “The War against Boys” – continues to make the case that boys are losing out in education, are being disadvantaged by schools that supposedly cater exclusively to girls and are thus in need of remedial help in order to catch up to girls educationally. Arguments like hers are still going strong in public discourse, although a vast amount of research has shown the situation to be much...

Is THAT Cheating?

Last week, a survey of 1,300 incoming freshman at Harvard University found that 42 percent of respondents had cheated on a homework assignment or problem set before starting at Harvard. This study lead to countless editorial pieces with provocative titles such as “Welcome to Harvard, Cheaters of 2017” and “More Incoming Harvard Students Have Cheated On Their Homework Than Had Sex.” However, what the study and related articles did not discuss was how “cheating” was defined both for those conducting...

Title IX: Way Beyond Athletics

When most people hear talk of Title IX, a 1972 law that states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…”, it is most commonly in the context of high school and collegiate athletics.  People opposed to Title IX often claim that it is responsible for diminished funding for men’s sports...

Girls Who Code: Gender, STEM, and the Importance of High School Intervention

Last fall, like any good teacher of the sociology of gender, I introduced my class to the patterns of gender bias in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). My students were not shocked by the observation that few women enter these fields in college. In fact, one of my students raised her hand and explained the bias first hand. She was a computer science major, enrolled in a computer science course held in the same lecture hall in the...

Gender and Children's Books

One field of inquiry in the sociological study of gender and education is the depiction and stereotyping of male and female characters in children’s books. Historically, male characters are more prominent, usually taking the role of main protagonist. They are more active, adventurous, and autonomous. On the other hand, female characters historically have been more likely to fulfill smaller roles in children’s stories; they are less active in the plot and play more passive characters. Not surprisingly, they are more...

Debating Gendered Workplace Inequality

The presidential debates have raised some interesting and important questions about gender inequality in the U.S. Specifically, the second debate (transcript) brought up the issue of fair pay and equal wages for American women. While Governor Romney’s response—which involved “binders full of women”—rightfully took a lot of heat, both candidates could have benefitted from a brief lesson in the sociology of gender discrimination. Perhaps their aides will pass this on.Gov. Romney’s answer focused on increasing women’s participation in the workforce...

“Life Isn’t Always Fair”: Mayor Bloomberg on Alleged Racial Discrimination in NYC Elite Schools

New York City is a city characterized by its diversity and multiculturalism. Some of the U.S.’s largest populations of racial and ethnic minorities live within the city limits. And yet, in many ways, NYC continues to drop the ball when it comes to truly integrating its diverse population. A recent example illustrates this problem. The NAACP recently filed a federal civil rights complaint, stating that the city’s elite public schools, like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science, have accepted far too few...

Gender Bias in Mentoring Practices

In a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, a group of scholars reported on the continued gender discrimination in the hard sciences. The researchers asked 127 male and female professors in biology, chemistry, and physics to rate male and female job candidates for a position in their labs. The portfolios of the candidates were exactly the same, but half used the name, “Jennifer,” and the other half, “John.” The professors rated...

What's missing from the debate over higher education funding?

For many people, from the first-year students traipsing around campus in search of the correct lecture hall to the senior faculty preparing to teach courses for the nth time, the beginning of the academic year tends to be frantic and exciting time. This year, when back-to-school coincides with a heated Presidential race, education and politics are bound to mix. President Obama has made access to higher education – measured primarily by greater access to grants and student loans while trying...

Clipping Colorism at the Knees

“Mr. Leighton, Mr. Leighton! So-and-So said a bad word.” This is how my day has stared for the past two weeks.  Like many sociology graduate students, my department does not offer summer funding so I’m forced to find it on my own.  This summer, I am a Summer PALS (Play and Learn Sessions) Director in Maui. The work is hard, the hours are long, and the children are challenging, but through this experience I am able to hear the stories...

Some critical thoughts about "critical thinking"

The two professors sat in front of me, making conversation before the talk. The speaker’s title slide already projected on the wall ahead: “What (if anything) are undergraduates learning during college?” The professors laughed at just how apt they thought the title was: “Isn’t that right?” “Yes, anything, please!” And then the more senior faculty member, a female, returned with a comment that made her junior colleague bristle: “Especially the boys. Some of those boys just try to get by...

Why College Educators Who Care about Critical Thinking Need to Pay Attention to White Privilege and the Tucson Unified School District

“I don’t know if I should be saying this right now,” sophomore Allie stated, her eyes making a cautionary sweep of the room, even though except for us it was empty, and the door had long been shut. White and well-off, she held a prestigious academic scholarship and took many of her courses through a selective honors program. But not this course: “[The professor] was a nice lady, but she felt like she had to tie every single thing she...

Book Review – Dean's List: 11 Habits of Highly Successful College Students

It would be nearly impossible to imagine John Bader, a dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs at Johns Hopkins University and author of Dean’s List: 11 Habits of Highly Successful College Students, ever uttering the lines of Larry Summers (fictional Larry Summers, that is, as represented in The Social Network). The Summers character, on the phone with his wife, glares up at two young men in his office and says: “I have to go, dear. Students are here. Undergraduates.” Those moments...

Words of the Year: Questions for "Assembled Experts" and Those Whose Expertise Those Assembled Experts Need…

“Oh, I hate that,” my colleague moaned, leaning on the hay- in “hate” with a weary sigh. The that in question was a grammatical construction I had not encountered in my previous TESOL experiences: from as a noun, linked to a country of origin on the other side of a being verb. My from is…Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru, Guatemala. “I don’t know where they get it from,” my colleague continued. “It’s not like they ever heard it from a native...