Things I learned:
I was not aware of the severe affects poverty has on children and how it begins as early as in the womb. I understand that families, specifically the mother may have a difficult pregnancy due to ongoing stress factors. People in poverty have to worry about having enough money to live a healthy life not only for themselves but for their family and unborn child. These stress hormones may result in a higher chance of premature births, which can be detrimental for both the mother and the baby. The mother and families stress that occurs in daily life will transfer to the child throughout their childhood when they become aware of their environmental surroundings. Once a child can understand and compare their life to the ones of their peers they may be affected by the lack of resources and opportunities their family can afford for them.
I was not aware that reading level abilities are effected by socioeconomic class. On page 198 in the textbook it states that “students in poverty begin school about six months behind in reading compared to students in wealthier families.” This is due to families in poverty not being able to provide appropriate reading resources for their kids outside of school. I hope that the education systems can find a way to give these families a free library card for their local library to give the students more opportunities to receive legible resources.
Until now, I have not considered the repercussions followed by asking students to provide their gender on standardized tests. I have learned that this can negatively effect their overall testing grade before they even begin writing the test. The textbook mentions that this commonly takes place for females during mathematics or science exams. The stereotype pertaining to the female gender not being adequate achievers in these subjects causes females to fear conforming to the stereotype. This activates an unnecessary amount of anxiety.
Connections I made:
I would like for education systems to consider why it is mandatory for students to reveal their gender on exams. As a teacher we have to constantly find ways to disrupt gender binary stereotypes because many students do not identify with the gender given to them at birth. I believe that asking students to identify within the gender binary is an unnecessary aspect and a waste of stress. Asking students what gender they identify with can cause uncomfortable situations and may impact the students mental health if they are struggling with their individual gender identity.
A common way to encourage success towards people of minority is by focusing on their strengths. Discover what they enjoy and excel at, then find a way to help them transfer those strengths they already acquire to benefit them in the subjects they lack skills in. It is important to provide opportunities for your students to boost their confidence. You can achieve this by believing in their abilities and hope that your positive energy brushes off on their beliefs.
Gender roles are portrayed throughout the entirety of society, causing males and females to receive different types of attention at school. Is it took late to disrupt gender binary roles in the classroom? For example, asking females to help lift the heavy chairs down the hall, instead of the boys. Or asking the boys to help decorate the classroom over the recess break.
If students receive a particular understanding of specific gender roles from alternative educational learning opportunities such as from families, friends, sports teams, religion, television networks, etc,. Is it possible to change the way they see gender if the only educational system challenging their beliefs is taught in school?