Gender bias in high school counseling
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 09:37:50 -0500

A physics teacher at a local high school recently told a school board
member that she was concerned about something she has observed over the past
few years when someone wants to drop her class. As part of the drop process,
a student must go to his or her counselor to have a drop slip signed.
According to this teacher, when the student is a girl, the drop slip is
signed - no questions asked. When the student is a boy, time is taken to
discuss what doors the student might be closing to future opportunities by
dropping the class. That story became the seed for an article I am working on
for the Minnesota Women's Press which will explore messages or actions in
high school counseling that are gender-biased.
Does anyone know of current or recent research addressing this particular
subject? I am also in search of anecdotal evidence, especially in Minnesota
secondary schools, about positive and negative personal experience with high
school counseling. Also, are there damage-control programs at the
post-secondary level for women students whose focus about their opportunities
and option have been narrowed by high school counseling?
Although my article deadline is not until January 1, due to the number of
holiday breaks at educational institutions between now and then, the time
frame is quite narrow. Your prompt responses would be greatly appreciated and
may be private. Thank you.

Mary Miller

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