Gender bias and teachers in the EFL classroom in 4-6

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Gender bias and teachers in the EFL classroom in 4-6

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Publication Student essay 15hp
Title Gender bias and teachers in the EFL classroom in 4-6
Author Brodin, Alexander
Date 2017
English abstract
In the curriculum for the compulsory school it is stated that teachers should provide gender equal environments free from gender bias. Furthermore, some researchers suggests that the EFL (English as a foreign language) classroom in particular is an important place for the regulation and production of gender. As a result, I decided to explore some EFL teacher’s attitudes towards gender bias and how they work with gender equality in their classrooms. To do this, I conducted semi-structured interviews with two 4-6 EFL teachers. Prior research on the subject suggests that EFL teaching materials often contain gender biased depictions. Despite this, some researchers do not consider this a problem since teachers should be able to work around these types of issues. Instead, looking at research on how much attention boys and girls receive in the classroom, boys often come out on top. However, this is likely due to the teacher more frequently telling the boys to not disturb their classmates. When it comes to students own attitudes, some research claims that boys undermine girls in the classroom and consider femininity as something negative. Shifting focus to the consequences of gender bias, research proposes that it may result in passivity and lack of self-esteem for the victim. Lastly, according to research, some strategies for counteracting gender bias includes teachers having students reflect on the problems with gender bias, changing the gender of characters in texts and alternating between boys and girls when asking questions to ensure a gender equal distribution of talking time. Through the two interviews I conducted, I learned that both teachers have seen consequences of gender bias similar to those described in the research. They also agree that there are norms affecting student’s behaviors that may restrict their participation and learning. The male norm is brought up as something particularly bad. To discourage these norms, and gender bias in general, the two teachers suggests several strategies. This includes complementing traditional teaching materials with more nuanced sources, encouraging a critical stance in terms of discourse, making sure that every students is active and placing their desks strategically.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Lärande och samhälle
Pages 46
Language eng (iso)
Subject EFL
ESL
Gender bias
Gender equality
Teaching materials
Strategies
Talking
Distribution
Discourse
4-6
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/22636 Permalink to this page
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