One Classroom, Two Genders [NY Times]

10 Sep

One Classroom, Two Genders [NY Times]

As the nation’s classrooms welcome back teachers and students, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the methods — and the gender — of your own favorite teacher. A 2006 study by Thomas Dee, now a professor at Stanford, suggested that boys do better in classes taught by men while girls are more likely to thrive in classes taught by women. The study found that girls were more likely to report that they did not think a class would be useful to their future if it was taught by a man, and boys were more likely to say they did not look forward to a particular subject if it was taught by a woman.

Many scholars suggest that other variables, like a teacher’s experience and the number of students in his or her class, are much more important to students’ success. And yet the way we relate to our students and our teachers surely has something to do with whether we are male or female.


By novelist and memoirist Jennifer Finney Boylan, a creative writing professor whose class I took when I was a sophomore at Colby. Incidentally, I’m not sure I sufficiently appreciated all the things she was trying to teach me, at the time. I did always have fun in her class, though.


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