This is how gender expert and author Allyson Jule sees the difference between how educators treat boys and girls in the classroom:
“If a teacher asked the question, ‘What’s the capital city of Canada?’ and … a girl replied, ‘Ottawa,’ the teacher would say, ‘Yes,’ ” she said.
“And if the same thing happened but it was a boy who responded … and says, ‘Ottawa,’ the teacher would say something more like, ‘Yes. People think it’s Toronto or even Montreal, but it’s not, it’s Ottawa, you’re right,’ and in that affirmation … the amount of language used in response to the boys was ten times more.”
Jule is professor of education and co-director of the Gender Studies Institute at Trinity Western University and author of Gender, Participation and Silence in the Language Classroom: Sh-shushing the Girls. Her story speaks to the not-so-subtle differences in attitude that educators may take with girls and boys.