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Gender Differences in Elementary School Discipline

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1 Gender Differences in Elementary School Discipline
Jenny Drake & Sarah Kamplain

2 Past Research A good deal of anecdotal evidence suggests that boys and girls have different experiences in the classroom (Sadker & Sadker, 1995).



5 Past Research The empirical evidence suggests that gender differences may be small (Eccles, 1992) and that both teachers and students contribute to these differences (Altermatt et al., 1998).

6 Research Questions Do boys and girls engage in different amounts and types of misbehavior? Will teachers use different strategies when disciplining boys and girls?

7 We examined inductive and correcting discipline strategies.
Inductive discipline: explaining why misbehaviors are inappropriate Correcting discipline: telling the student to behave correctly, inflicting a punishment, etc. We predict that teachers will use inductive discipline more with girls and correcting more with boys.

8 Research Questions Do boys and girls engage in different amounts and types of misbehavior? Will teachers use different strategies when disciplining boys and girls? Do boys and girls respond differently to discipline? We predict that boys are more likely to cease their misbehavior after receiving correcting discipline, and girls after receiving inductive discipline.

9 Procedure We videotaped 8 hours of classroom interaction.
Videotapes were made in two 5th grade classrooms at a private Catholic school. Girls: N=13, Boys: N=21 We coded instances of student misbehavior, teacher discipline, and the result of the discipline (N=58).

10 Coding Sheet sequence # gender misbehavior BA=being away
DIS=disruptive AGG=aggressive SI=side involvement discipline C = Correcting I= inductive Result R=recurrence C=cessation 1 2

11 Reliability We coded 2 hours of data together, then coded 3 hours separately in order to calculate and establish inter-rater reliability. After inter-rater reliability was achieved, we coded the remainder of the data together. Misbehavior 75% Discipline strategy 83% Result 100%

12 Questionnaires BDIC: Beliefs on Discipline Inventory for Children (Wolfgang & Glickman, 1997). Assessed type of discipline preferred by students: inductive or correcting.

13 Example Question If I interrupt my teacher by talking to a neighbor:
A. I should be moved away from others so that I don’t waste any more class time. B. I would like the teacher to tell me when I become disruptive and remind me of how it would make me feel if someone interrupted me.

14 Instances of Misbehavior
Girls: N=13 z = .873, ns Boys: N=21

15 Types of Misbehavior BA – Being Away (X2 = .42, p = .52)
DIS – Disruptive (X2 = .07, p = .79) SI – Side Involvement (X2 = .83, p = .36)

16 Type of Discipline

17 Effectiveness of Discipline

18 Questionnaire Results

19 Discussion The current study’s results support a growing literature suggesting that boys and girls behave – and are treated – much more similarly than differently. Although there was little inductive discipline implemented, it seems that it would be a more effective means of disciplining students. In fact, students prefer inductive discipline.

20 Implications for Future Research
Do students perceive themselves as being treated differently than one another based on gender? Has the anecdotal evidence hypersensitized teachers to treating boys and girls similarly?

21 Implications for Future Research
Why do teachers tend to choose the correcting approach to discipline when students may, in fact, prefer inductive discipline? Suggestion: Teachers use correcting discipline to maintain order and flow of classroom environment. Are there differences in short versus long-term effectiveness when using one type of discipline or another?

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