Topic 2 Teachers’ practices, regarding gender

Teachers’ gendered assumptions and expectations may influence the way they treat girls and boys in the classroom. They reinforce discriminatory sexist practices against boys and girls, which are either a direct or an indirect expression of gender stereotypes and bias. In this way, boys and girls sitting in the same classroom may not experience the same courses.


  • interact more with boys and give them more time and attention than girls, because girls are perceived as the ones who can take care of themselves and do not need additional support, compared to boys.
  • tend to move on from girls and not give them enough “wait-time”, on the assumption that they do not know the answer to a question, or they are not quite up for the work too.
  • address students differently, with boys being addressed with their first names more often than girls, attributing to them a sense of familiarity and friendliness.

Girls who are immature, active, loud and assertive and tend to misbehave are at more risk of being isolated, dismissed or punished, as this behavior is not anticipated by them. Therefore,…

Girls are consulted to adopt quieter, more sedentary, and structured activities and teachers tend to notice when a girl does something that is considered wrong, more often than when a boy’s mischief.

Except for the attention they take, boys may be more encouraged to participate, speak and express their ideas, as teachers call more often on them, direct them more questions and assign them more tasks. They also  receive academic recognition and criticism on a regular basis.

Girls are often encouraged to be subtle and compliant and are rewarded for their ability to be cooperative and helpful. It is also of great interest that girls are criticised more for their appearance and the appearance of their schoolwork. They receive praise for neatness while teachers often fail to give them direct feedback for their achievement, because they do not think that they will handle it emotionally.

Except for praise, teachers show more pity and less anger towards students with low achievement attributed to low ability, which are usually supposed to be girls, whereas they expressed more anger when low achievement is attributed to low effort, concerning boys.

Influenced by the idea that “schools are not meeting boys’ needs” or that “girls are better at playing the school game”, many teachers modify their teaching practices, to be in accordance with gender expectations.

The truth is that in this way they undermine the female intellect, they make girls synonymous with adaptability, in an environment that they do not count and put a lot of pressure on boys that do not fit in their gender roles.