Promoting Equity Education
Women and Girls' Gender and
Multi-Cultural Equity Education Program
studies and concrete experience affirm that gender
inequity is a constant in all classrooms. We know
girls perform less successfully in school because
of unequal teaching methods. Instructional inequity,
whereby participation is actively encouraged in
boys and actively discouraged in girls is not
the only problem. Elementary and secondary school
curricula present almost no information on women’s
cultural, literary, and scientific contributions.
Thirty years into the women’s movement, typical
textbooks show male inventors, authors, artists,
doctors, adventurers and leaders solving problems
and performing heroic acts. Women are invisible
or perhaps even worse portrayed as needy accessories
rescued from their ineptitude by male figures.
Two major phenomena combine
to undermine girls and women. First, even the
best-intentioned teachers ignore girls in favor
of boys. Although Title IX outlaws policies and
practices that overtly discriminate on the basis
of sex, more subtle imbalances exist to establish
classroom climate which diminishes girls’ productivity.
Countless studies now document that teachers call
on boys instead of girls, let boys problem-solve
while "fixing things" for girls, allow boys to
interrupt class, and discipline girls more harshly.
In short, more constructive attention is paid
to boys and less encouragement given to girls.
The results are low self-esteem, lowered scholastic
achievement, and sometimes even physical or mental
illness. Nor is the situation just bad for girls.
Indeed, it also reinforces in many boys a misguided
sense of superiority that causes them significant
difficulties later in life.
Second, our elementary and
secondary curricula have almost no information
on women’s contributions, so females rarely
find themselves reflected in educational materials
dominated by males. Women and girls in literature,
the arts, and the professions are almost invisible.
High school students graduate unable to name five
notable women who are not rock singers or actresses.
The Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide wants to break this cycle.
How we choose to educate
our children effects their life choices and how
respond to people in their world. This learned
behavior starts early and determines the profession
a young person will enter, how they will interact
with other individuals in the workplace and social
situations, and in the broader context of international
relations and multi-cultural relationships, how
they will associate with people of different
ethnic and racial origins. That is why the Saratoga
Foundation for Women Worldwide is accumulating gender and multicultural
balanced education curricula for children in
kindergarten through twelfth grade so they will
learn of women in history, the arts, literature,
science and exploration.
The Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide is
looking for teachers/educators to work with our
Women & Girls’ Gender and Multi-Cultural Equity
Education Program. If you are interested in working
with us to introduce gender and multi-cultural
curriculum in your class, please contact
us for more information.