The Gender Equation in Schools

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Manage episode 329027038 series 2604891
By Janet Allison, Jennifer LW Fink, Janet Allison, and Jennifer LW Fink. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Gender bias affects boys’ experience in schools. It’s most often unconscious and unintentional bias but it affects how our boys see themselves and how they feel about school and learning. And until we admit that fact and grapple with the gender equation in schools, things aren’t going to get much better. Educator Jason Ablin learned that lesson the hard way. Early in his teaching career, he assumed he was doing a great job connecting with students of all genders. An in-depth, in-classroom evaluation, though, helped him see that he disciplined his male students more harshly -- "which, ironically," he says "reinforced the messages they were receiving about manhood, versus providing them with a different paradigm of how to open up and express frustration or vulnerability." The need for gender-aware education has perhaps never been greater, but too many people, Ablin says, forget that gender affects boys as well. "When I go into schools and mention the word 'gender,' there are two assumptions that are made immediately," he says. "One, that we're talking about girls and feminism. Two, that we're talking about LBGTQ kids. That's all extremely important, but it limits our ability to address the concerns of teachers in the classroom who are struggling to connect with and teach kids." Boys, meanwhile, frequently feel like they're "never winning," Ablin says -- which, in some boys, can escalate into reactive behavior. Other boys fall into a depressive spiral. ALL boys need the adults around them to recognize their need to be seen. Without this support, boys often create social hierarchies based on dominance; these hierarchies frequently perpetuate unhealthy forms of masculinity. In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Jason discuss: How gender affects student/teacher interactions Helping boys succeed in school The boy crisis in education The "kept prince" phenomenon Disciplining boys Boys and mental health Boys' social hierarchies How parents can encourage change in schools Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode: ablineducation.com -- Jason's website (includes preview chapter of his book) The Gender Equation in Schools: How to Create Equity and Fairness for All Students -- Jason's book Need help with your boys? Subscribe to Jen’s newsletter, Building Boys Bulletin Join Janet Allison’s real-time, monthly group coaching program, Decoding Your Boy Sponsor Spotlight: Q for Quinn Sensory-friendly organic cotton socks for kids (and grown-ups!) Use the ONBOYS coupon code to SAVE 10% off your order Sponsor Spotlight: NextGenMen Use the ON BOYS coupon code to save 15% on their Raising Next Gen Men e-course

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