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Gender differences in responses to instructional strategies in a high school social studies classroom

1 January 1996


My primarily qualitative research on gender differences in responses to instructional strategies reveals several insights into specific instructional activities and the larger educational environment. The research presented in this paper is significant because it is an exploration in how males and females respond to instructional strategies. I have collected data, which is presented in this paper, that enables us to begin to understand some of the gender differences in responses to instructional strategies. Information is presented in this paper that shows female students feel they learn best from discussion and secondly from hands on activities. Male students, on the other hand, feel that they learn best from hands on activities and secondly from group work. It is also inferred from this research that students should have the opportunity to take some of their classes unisex, meaning all -female or all-male, if they choose to.

Also discussed in this paper is that males and females both feel like they learn the least from lectures, but that their teachers predominantly spend class time lecturing. This information suggests that we need to make some changes in our schools to better meet all of our students' needs. The suggestions made in this paper for what individual educators and the school system can do to create a more equitable environment for males and females are grounded in the philosophy of equity and the pluralism model of education. Alison Jagger claims that 'justice consists not only of treating like cases alike but also in treating different cases differently" (241). It is time for us to bring justice to the classroom while we continue to research and understand how our different students I needs vary.


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