Gender-Biased Student/Teacher Interactions

Studies have documented patterns in which teachers . . .

Questions and Answers

Praise, Criticism, and Feedback

  1. Praise girls for the form or appearance of their work, and boys for the content of their work
  2. Tell boys how to solve problems, but solve the problems for girls: learned helplessness
  3. Discipline boys more than girls even when they misbehave equally
  4. Give boys more criticism and corrective feedback

Physical Movement

  1. Position their bodies toward boys more than girls
  2. Circulate more to boys' seats than to girls' seats, or to the boys' "area" of the room


  • Permit students to make gender-biased behaviors or comments to each other
  • Give girls fewer experiences with science instruments and equipment
  • Allow students to self-segregate by sex
  • Allow boys to have more time with scarce classroom resources such as computers or equipment
  • Assign different tasks on the basic of gender

data compiled by:
    Jo Sanders, 1996
    Center for Gender Equity
    Washinton Research Institute