Do teachers modify classroom instruction and management plans based on student gender?

Mitchell Raymond Stubbs

Abstract

National education statistics and data indicators show that a significant portion of both male and female learners struggle through their educational experience with little to no success. The male learner is less successful in school than the female learner and drops out of high school more often. It is even more alarming when these numbers are examined within minority populations. In 2009, almost twice as many African American males and females and three times as many Hispanic males and females dropped out of high school than Caucasian males and females. Caucasian males and minority students of both genders overwhelmingly populate special education classrooms, are more frequently disciplined in the classroom and schoolyard, and placed on medication in order to be successful in school. Each day, repeated across the nation, significant portions of both male and female students struggle and fail when instructional and behavioral plans are implemented with little to no consideration to the differences in how both genders learn and behave. This study examined whether or not educators receive sufficient preparation at the university level or training and professional development at the district and school level regarding the learning and behavioral differences between the male and female learner. Do educators recognize these gender-specific differences? In addition, do educators make adjustments in their instructional techniques in regards to the male and female learner? Furthermore, do educators make adjustments to their classroom behavioral management programs to take into account the maturity and behavioral differences in males and females? This study is intended to gather information in regards to whether or not formal course work, professional development, or training has a significant impact on gender specific instructional techniques educators' use, and to what extent, while teaching male and female students. The findings showed that formal courses and professional development regarding the how females learn and behave did have a moderate positive correlation to teachers' practices in the classroom. The study also found that teachers strongly agree that both males and females learn best when taught utilizing a variety of teaching methods. In regards to discipline, the study also found that teachers strongly agreed the male learner creates a majority of the classroom discipline problems and is more often referred to the office for discipline related incidents, and that the female learner does not create a majority of the classroom discipline problems and is not referred to the office for discipline related incidents.