Future teachers in B.C. should be required to take a course on gender in the classroom, according to Allyson Jule.
The professor of education at Trinity Western University in Langley has conducted research on elementary-school and college classes and found teachers tend to “unwittingly” prompt boys to speak more than girls.
“It doesn’t even matter if the teacher is male or female,” Jule told the Straight by phone. “There is a privileging of what boys contribute to the classroom.”
Jule is a co-chair of the eighth International Gender and Language Association conference, which will bring researchers from 20 countries to Vancouver. From Thursday to Saturday (June 5 to 7), the event will take place at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre campus.
As an example, Jule said a teacher might ask students to identify the national capital. A girl with the correct answer might receive a “Yes” in response. However, a boy with the same answer might hear, “Yes, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. That’s right.”