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From Research to Practice Examining Gender Differences to Increase Success for All Presentation to the American Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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Presentation on theme: "From Research to Practice Examining Gender Differences to Increase Success for All Presentation to the American Supervision and Curriculum Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Research to Practice Examining Gender Differences to Increase Success for All
Presentation to the American Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference March 2004 Edina Public Schools Minnesota

2 Presentation Organization
Gender Gap is a serious issue in American education--our stories mirror the world District Conducted Gender Research --Findings, Implications, Discussions, and Communication Further Implementations and Practices Future Commitment--District strategic planning

3 Why Did Edina Start the Innovation of Gender Difference Research in 2001?
Superintendent’s observations of award ceremonies and student lists over years Parent questions about class ranks and college applications Educators’ experience in the classroom Do both boys and girls fully benefit from the American educational system and its instructional delivery?

4 National and International News Support Edina’s Research Findings
Academic Achievement Gap Between Girls and Boys--Washington Bureau Special Report, Sep. 19, 2003 The Gender Gap: Boys Lagging--CBS 60 Minutes, May 23, 2003 Girls Top of the Class Worldwide--UK BBC news, Sept. 16, 2003 Promoting Boys’ Achievement--New Zealand, Education Review Office, 2000 Boys Performing Badly--Australia, The Age, 2002 A Yawning Gap Between Girls’ and Boys’ Achievement in Canada has been Revealed. --International, 2003

5 Female and Male Entry Rates to University
Data Source: BBC News Report,

6 The Gap between Girls and Boys in Literacy Scores at Age 15
Data Source: BBC News Report,

7 Edina Gender Difference Research A District Innovation in 2001
Superintendent’s objective in 2001 Gender Task Force Data collection and research Communication of Findings at local, state and national levels Implications and Considerations

8 Further Gender Difference Practices A Continuous Innovation
Changes in the English Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction Single-Gender Class Experiment Differentiation Instruction in Gender Differences Investigation of Gender Differences in learning in AP English Literature Future Commitment--District Strategic Planning in 2004

9 Research and Findings Phase I

10 Research Questions Are there gender differences that influence student development and learning? Can we identify evidence about gender differences in the classroom and school? Are there behaviors, expectations, and systems that impact student learning? How can classrooms and schools customize instruction best to meet the needs of both boys and girls?

11 Literature Review Research and commentary during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s focused on “girls in crisis” in education. academically socially psychologically The 90’s introduced research, public discourse, and educational literature focusing on male underachievement. emotionally

12 Data Collected Student Enrollment and Participation
Secondary Class Rank and Honor Roll Elementary Reported Student Grades Student Reported Survey Data Post-College Status of Edina Graduates State, National, and International Data

13 Edina Public Schools Enrollment

14 Edina Students Enrolled in Special Services and Remedial/Intervention Programs

15 Edina Elementary Student Grades from Report Cards

16 Edina Secondary School Class Rank, Honor Roll, and Awards

17 Edina Scholars,

18 Edina High School Students Enrolled in AP Courses

19 Results from the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, Grade 5

20 Edina Grade 10 PLAN Test Results

21 School Engagement Surveys from Edina Secondary Students

22 Edina Students Who Report They Spend Time Doing Homework Daily

23 Students Report Spending at Least One Hour Doing These Activities Weekly, Grades 6, 9 & 12

24 Edina Secondary Students Who Report Never Using Chemicals, Grades 6, 9 and 12

25 Percent of Edina Students Suspended 2001

26 Highest Level of Education Attained for the Class of 1996

27 Percent of Students Who Had Completed High School Nationally

28 Percent of High School Graduates Who Attended College Nationally

29 A Widening Gap in Achievement NAEP Scores, 4th Graders, 2000

30 Girls Also Dominate in Extracurricular Activities
Data: Education Dept, National Center for Education Statistics.

31 Most of the Industrialized World Ages 25 to 34, with at least a college education
Data: Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development

32 Number of U.S. Women Awarded Degrees Per 100 Men
Data: Andrew Sum, Northeastern University Center for Labor Market Studies.

33 What Does It Mean for the Economy, Business and Society that Boys Are Falling Behind Girls in Education? Leading more and more to a “girls’ club” in college Threatening the marriage squeeze Men could become losers in a global economy that values mental power For 30 years, the focus at schools has been to empower girls, in and out of the classroom. Adapted from The New Gender Gap, Business Week, May 26, 2003.

34 Implementation and Practices Phase II

35 Progress in Implementation and Practices
Gender Considerations for Selecting Language Arts Materials Differentiation Instruction in Gender Differences in Classroom Single-Gender Class Experience Continue investigation of gender differences in student learning style in AP English literature In the book—Teenage Boys and High School English—Bruce Pirie, the author details a conversation that he had with a colleague who suggested that he not bother writing a book about helping boys. Because after all—Don’t men have enough advantages already. The colleague’s skepticism is understandable. In May, 2000, the cover of the Atlantic Monthly provacatively declared—”Girls Rule!” but in truth they do not—not in ways that we all know matter. Women’s average salaries do not match men’s and men still dominate boardrooms and the legislature. To speak of an overall male disadvantage would be disingenuous. At least for the moment boys are far more likely than girls to grow up to be the president of the United states, CEO of a major corporation or winner of a Nobel Prize. However, males also figure disproportionately in other statistics as well. Congress may be packed with males but so are our prisons. Boys are more likely to die by accident before the end of their teenage years. They are more likely to commit suicide or be diagnosed with mental, emotional, learning or behavior problems. They dominate the school’s lists of “problem” students; they are much more likely to fail, be suspended, be expelled or simply tip out of school according to Michael Gurian.

36 Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction Practice

37 Gender Gap in Literacy Achievement
NAEP Testing PISA Testing American NAEP Testing in Grade 8 shows an achievement gap between girls and boys that is almost as great as the gap between white and African American students. Looking at gender differences is a good place to begin because it is the key to success—skills of reading and writing are critical to all other discipline. National Assessment of Educational Progress. Male underachievement in reading is measurable in virtually every country that took part. Differences in reading preferences show boys read more for information and less for enjoyment than girls. They read fewer books, comprehend less well and write with less fluency and style. PISA-Programme for International Student Assessment

38 Changes in Elementary Language Arts
Examine Writing Instructional Practices --Writing Workshop --Clear goals and feedback --Spelling We made decisions based on the best research in LA that is also aligned to gender research. Writing Workshop-process based—not a just final product. Accommodates need boys have for choice and variety. Mini lessons provide modeling of what good writers do. Clear goals and feedback- Rubrics and Six Traits of Writing provides clear objective goals. Spelling—based on sight words and high frequency used words rather than isolated words. If you’d like to know more I would direct you to our Webpage after May 1—for everything about LA

39 Changes in Elementary Language Arts
Reading Instructional Practices --Flexible Grouping --Classroom Libraries --Reading for Pleasure --Reading Comprehension Strategies Flex. Grouping- Change criteria for groups so there is variety—for example—interest one week, skills one week, etc. Class. Leveled Libraries-loaded with non-fiction, humor, action/adventure. Student choice is important. Resources have been put into this area. This is a priority of the district. Reading for Pleasure—partner with Media Specialists—using summer and contests (Wild About Reading—tied to the MN Wild Hockey Team) Boys like competition. Reading Comprehension Strategies throughout the grades— Metacognitive modeling of what good readers do—STRP Strategic Teaching and Reading Project.—Research based reading comprehension model. Developed in California. Across content in both elementary and secondary.

40 Changes in Secondary Language Arts
Instructional Considerations --Teach and practice concrete discussion strategies --”Frontload skills” --Social and Physical Considerations --Inquiry --Student Control --Clear goals and feedback Instructional Considerations- Discussion Strategies—literature circles—cooperative learning based—students have roles in circle that are concretely defined. Student led—element of control for boys. Paideia—Socratic Seminars—teach students the process and let them do it Much more willing to participate in a discussion if there is a process not just what did you think about … Blackboard—synchronous chat—boys much for comfortable sharing at that level—way to engage everyone. Frontload skills-(STRP-6 Traits of Writing) Sense of competence Natural preference of boys to have a concrete way of responding. Social and Physical Considerations: Not just groups or pairs but include topics that encourage discussion with like minded classmates. Drama—movement Inquiry—type of thinking that complements what we know about gender research Structure units and courses around critical questions—Crossroads— Thematic questions about identity Course that puts together The Odyssey—Truman Show—Animal Dreams (Barbara Kingsolver) All delve into question of self-identity. How people fit into a community Student Control- Offer choice and Activities in curriculum—every course has at least one required novel that student can make a choice—opportunity to read something that they have wanted to read in gr Clear Goals and feedback— Rubrics and 6 Traits

41 Changes in Secondary Language Arts
Curriculum --Young Adult fiction in Middle School --Non-fiction --Range of difficulty and length --Include humor, action/adventure --Non-print (Video, TV, Film, Internet) --Choice --Goal of Lifelong Reading Text selection will be on line after May 1 Sensitive to what is best practices in LA as well as gender specific info. 8th gr. Took 1 quarter to read Great Expectation—trying to provide much more variety in length and difficulty—doesn’t mean classics are gone but simply more balance. Important to try to engage students in reading. Back to PISA research—we want to engage boys in reading. Distinction—particularly in Middle School—language arts vs. literature class. (Bombs, barf, fights, and jokes) Lifelong reading—partner with Media Center—Before Breakfast bookclub at EHS--

42 Differentiating Instruction in Classrooms with Attention to Boys
Have lots of things for boys to touch, when reading and writing are be taught. Use boy only groups when needed. Encourage close bonding between teacher and students. Allow physical movement in the classroom. Offer opportunities for storytelling and other activities that develop imagination and verbal skills. Minimize the amount of teacher talk in order to allow more discussion among students. Allow the use of silent manipulative. Allow sufficient waiting time, 3-5 full seconds, to answer questions.

43 Boys and Learning Some boys prefer to work independently.
Some boys may get bored easily and need stimulation. Some boys enjoy abstract conversations, e.g., debates. Some boys need to be able to move. Some boys like non-fiction with diagrams and charts. Some boys are visual. Some boys need more time to process questions. * adopted from Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland

44 Single-Gender Class Experiment
Middle School Social Studies Classes

45 Single-Gender Classes 2002-03
In May 2003, two classes (24 males and 18 females) of 9th grade American government were selected as single-gender classes. This research attempts to study different needs of boys and girls, and seeks approaches to reduce achievement gaps between genders embedded into NCLB. Say this—this should not be a slide --46 Not a slide—say it

46 Study Design The single-gender classes were scheduled for the first block of time with 89 minutes, every other day. Two teachers, one female and one male, who taught these students in co-ed gender classes, taught the single-gender classes. The curriculum, activities, and behavior management policies for the two single-gender classes were to be as similar as possible.

47 Data Collection Achievement data--students’ test scores from 2 quizzes and 2 tests before and after experiencing the single-gender classes. Data included students from the single-gender classes and randomly selected co-ed classes. Survey data--students’ experience and opinions about the single-gender classes. Teacher data--Teachers’ experiences and perspectives.

48 Percent of Students Reporting Enjoying Being in Social Studies Class

49 Percent of Student Reporting Students in Class Help Each Other

50 Percent of Students Reporting Discipline and Class Order are Appropriately Maintained in Class

51 Percent of Students Reporting They are Satisfied with Their Social Studies Classes

52 Percent of Students Reporting Students in Their Class are Fun to Work with

53 Percent of Students Reporting Students in Their Class Participated in All Kinds of Class Activities

54 Percent of Students Reporting They Would Like to Stay in Co-Ed Class

55 Achievement Comparison

56 Teacher Preconception
Female Teacher: Girls would be more open to participation. Girls would be more relaxed in class. Fewer student discipline and classroom management problems. Girls would be more likely to achieve academically at a high level. Male Teacher A “boys will be boys” group mentality takes over the class. Boys would cause more classroom management problems. Boys will be less distracted by girls and focus more on the content of the class.

57 Teacher Observations for All-Girl Class
Girls were quiet at the beginning. By the end of the quarter, discussions were really flowing. An atmosphere of respect for each other that was not present in a co-ed environment was present in the all-girl class. Girls appeared to focus on the merit of the topic and not on trying to impress either the teacher or classmates. Fewer offered dissenting opinions than in the all-boy or co-ed classes.

58 Teacher Observations for All-Boy Class
Boys began right away to participate eagerly, even aggressively in classroom discussion. A variety of opinions existed and were shared openly among boys. Students discipline and classroom management were even better than the teacher predicted. The group or mob mentality did not really take off.

59 Student Observation and Perceptions
Female Students: Diversity of perspectives in class discussion. Male Students Diversity of perspective in class discussion. Girls study better than boys and they can help boys.

60 “Boys are fun.” --9th grade girls

61 “Girls are easy on the eyes.” --9th grade boys

62 Findings Girls have a more positive attitude toward the single-gender classes than boys. When elements of equitable education are present, such as equitable class size, teaching practice, academic curriculum, and teacher collaboration, both boys and girls have an equitable opportunity to succeed. Effective instruction is more important than grouping of students in single-gender or mixed gender classes.

63 Considerations We need to continue exploring the option of single-gender classes, which may provide experience for students and teachers that they may not be able obtain from the co-ed classes. The single-gender class may be more suitable for subjects which require less discussion and less emphasis on diverse opinions. It is too early to judge the success of the single-gender classroom experience.

64 Recommendations for Future Single-Gender Class
Offer a single-sex class based on students’ and teachers’ voluntary choice. Offer single-sex classes at different ages and in different subjects over a longer period of time. Encourage all teachers to gather data about the results of instruction by gender. Consider replicating the design of this study and change the gender of the teacher.

65 Further Investigation of Gender Differences
AP English Literature Class

66 Further Investigation of Gender Differences in Learning Styles
A survey designed by high school AP English teachers was conducted to all classes of AP English Literature in Fall 2003 and will be conducted again in May 2004. This survey intends to find any differences between genders in learning styles and their preference in reading materials. One hundred and nine students, 38 male students and 71 female students, participated in this survey. Research in Process—in progress

67 Students Reporting What They Like to Reading in AP English Literature Class
It fits with what we know—you can see why we made the changes in our curriculum—These students are gifted and by choice want to be in the highest level of course we offer in our district and yet the gender differences prevail. It doesn’t surprise us that boys like biography and non-fiction and are challenged by poetry—emotional response required. Reinforces the decisions we made in the curriculum.

68 Students Reporting What Genre that Most Challenge Them

69 Students Reporting Approaches They Prefer to Show Their Understanding

70 Students Reporting the Ways They Prefer in Discussion

71 Students Reporting When Students Disagree During Discussion
Disagree during discussion—respectful exchange—not just dominated by most verbal or most confident.

72 Students Reporting Reading for Pleasure

73 Students Reporting Their Preference in Reading in Their Spare Time

74 Findings From the AP English Literature Survey
Females prefer to read novels, while males prefer to read short stories and biographies. Females feel the most challenging genres are nonfiction and biography, while males feel the most challenging genre is novels. More females enjoy reading for pleasure than males. Females like to read literature,universal themes, romances and family, while males like to read science, history, biography, sports, hobbies, and technology.

75 Further Considerations and Implementations

76 Further Considerations for Educational Practices
1. Both male and female teachers and staff need to be represented at all levels of education. 2. Initiate and systemize professional development for educators that focuses on gender differences and similarities in social, emotional, physical, and intellectual characteristics in learners. 3. Using the data, engage in strategic planning that includes information and communication about gender differences.

77 Further Considerations for Educational Practices
4. Engage parents, students, and educators in dialogue and planning that results in further understanding and communication. 5. Pay attention to adult and student socializing culture in schools and classrooms. 6. Apply brain-based research that gives attention to understanding innate gender differences. Consider innovative classroom arrangements that customize teaching and learning to meet the unique needs of boys and girls.

78 Further Considerations for Educational Practices
7. Invite and consider the use of dads, moms, grandparents, big brothers and sisters to school/ classrooms. 8. Design mentor programs for both boys and girls. Coach, tutor, and sponsor individual students based on each individual’s specific interests and goals. 9. Don’t confuse discipline with “breaking the spirit” of youth. 10 Consider educational alternatives to suspension from school. Boys need to be in the classroom and in school.

79 Further Considerations for Educational Practices
11. Conduct student to student, girls to boys dialogues and allow the students to ask the opposite gender: What are the conflicts and questions we have with each other? What do we want in the way of behavior and understanding from one another? What do we appreciate or admire about each other? 12. Continue to explore and find effective ways to support academic engagement on the part of all students, especially boys. Consider summer school, after and before school options.

80 Further Considerations for Educational Practices
13. The models of best practice are multiple and complex, yet very attainable for educators and communities. Know that this is pioneering work; so involve other school districts in solutions. Engage in information sharing seminars with other school districts. 14. Overall, keep expectations high for all students and communicate that regularly to them!

81 Future Goals and Commitments Phase III

82 Studying Gender Differences becomes the District Strategy in 2004
The district will develop and implement programs and practices that will address gender differences in student performance and other measures of success. Implement strategies to better support successes of both genders.

83 Key Components Identify best practices.
Identification of student special needs. Provide staff development on gender differences. Exploring scheduling and course offering to accommodate different needs. Hiring practices. Programs and activities.

84 Presenters Ken Dragseth, Ph.D., Superintendent (National Superintendent of the Year, 2003), Yi Du, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation, Maria Giampietro, Director of Administrative Services, Julie Hatzung, Principal of Coutryside Elementary School, Katie Williams, Principal of Concord Elementary School, *Eileen Johnson, English LA Curriculum Specialist, is absent due to illness,

85 Thank you very much for attending this session!
We greatly appreciate your feedback! For Information, please go to the District Website at:

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