Equity strategies?

Robert Tighe (tighe@APSICC.APS.EDU)
Mon, 4 May 1998 16:14:05 -0400

>From: JenPiazza <JenPiazza@aol.com>
>I have a question I have been thinking about and wanted to get opinions from
>the rest of you. If you could sit down and talk to elementary, secondary and
>post-secondary teachers about thier curriculum, instruction, and assessment
>decisions as they relate to gender equity, what would you say to them?

I often provide training sessions on equity for K-12 teachers, or
try to slip equity information into my more frequest technology
sessions, and these are a few of the tips I mention:

1. Be aware of classroom behavior and language (including
body language) for stereotypical sexist/racist generalizations.
I try to provide examples, including boys demeaning other
boys by calling them girls (or "like a girl") and teacher
language which categorizes or demeans students.

a. Avoid the generic "he" and "man".
b. Use the same questioning and disciplinary strategies
for all students (modifications--not exemptions--may
be required for a few special needs students).
c. Find frequent opportunities to provide positive feedback.

2. Use instructional materials which depict women and minorities
in varied occupational roles.

3. Emphasize cooperative rather than competitive activities.
Support peer mentoring activities.

4. Try to structure activities in a way which requires everyone
to participate.

5. Use instructional materials (including readings, videos, and
computer software) which depict and reward teamwork and encourage
social interaction.

6. Use instructional materials which require more complex thought
patterns and which have multiple possible correct answers.

7. Use technology as a tool, not as a tutor or reward device.

8. Allow at least five seconds for an answer to any question.

9. Use a random method to choose which student gets to answer
a question, even when hands are raised.

10. Use a random method to assign students to seats and groups,
and change the assignments regularly. Use some method to
keep track of time spent (approximate) with each group of
students, and try to balance the amount. Make sure you
aren't missing anyone.

11. Take time to listen to students.

All of the above methods will support equitable treatment of all
students and will encourage participation by female and minority
students. Some of these strategies are intended to convert
sub-conscious influences into conscious ones (i.e., 1,4,5,8)
and others are intended to reduce unintentional preferences
involved in teacher choices (i.e., 1,9,10).

The following are a few strategies directed more specifically at
encouraging young women:

1. Make special efforts to encourage girls to take higher-level

2. Provide time for girls-only discussion groups and computer
lab use. Encourage girls to bring their girlfriends.

All of the above are brief and generalized. If I need to provide
more detailed information or justification regarding a particular
strategy, please let me know. If you can help me improve or
expand any strategy, please let me know.

-- Bob Tighe

Robert Tighe Resource Teacher tighe@apsicc.aps.edu
Instructional Technology
Albuquerque Public Schools Never doubt that a small group of
220 Monroe SW thoughtful, committed citizens can
Albuquerque, NM 87108-2811 change the world; indeed it's the
USA only thing that ever has.
505-256-4266 -- Margaret Mead


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