GENDER AS A FACTOR IN THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN AFRICAN THINKERS COMMUNITY

ABSTRACT

This research work is meant to investigate gender as a factor in the performance of students of the science education in African thinkers community of inquiry (ATOCCOE), Enugu. The population for this research was drawn from department of science education- degree program from one hundred level to four hundred level respectively. A total of 117 students compressing males and females gender were randomly chosen and used for this study. The data for the study was collected using a structural questionnaire while decision rule was used in the date analysis. The following are the results made, thus, (i) Gender as a factor is a product of cultural perception of the male and female child (2) Female in science education have gender tendency of not completing their academic progreme (3) Gender affects the students towards difficult courses (4) without adequate handling of gender as a factor, only few percentage of female can contribute their quote to national development. He researcher stressed that (1) Audragogicla system should be used to embrace the gap between males and females (2) leadership position in the departs should involve both gender. Finally, the researcher recommends that (1) government and private agencies should help to assist the females in realizing themselves, and (2) family life education be changed in its scope and content.

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

1.9 Background of the Study

The evolution of the gender gaps in achievement as children matures suggests that what occurs in classrooms may play an important role in the larger society. According to the department of education’s early childhood longitude study, when children enter kindergarten, the two gender perform similarly on tests of both reading and mathematics, but a few years later by the spring of the 3rd grade boys on average outperform girls in Maths and sciences. Disconcertingly, the National Assessment of Education Progress, “NAEP” – results shows that for children between the ages of 9 and 13, the gender gaps in science and reading roughly double and the Math gaps increases by two thirds.

Some cognitive scientist suggests that teachers may subtly communicate different academic expectations of boys and girls and these biased expectations may become self-fulfilling.

Teachers/facilitators are the directors and initiators of learning, they are faced with the task of empowering all the participants to benefit from the classroom as a result of classroom discussion or taking turns. Adepoju (1998) noted

That the facilitator has no excuse in area where the students are not able to learn as expected. The controversy becomes the faults of the children/students when teachers or facilitators stand to be blamed for the inability of their school students.

According to the National Education Longitudinal Survey (NELS), which contains data on a nationally representative sample of nearly 25,000 graders. The teachers/facilitators perceptions of students performance was examined and students perceptions of the subject taught has a positive impact towards learning the subject been taught, here is because, all the avenue for the promotion and retention of learning content are the cardinal aim of teaching profession. The classroom teacher or facilitators has every need to know the processes through which learning takes place, why? Because, there cannot be adequate learning in areas where the teachers cannot significantly note these things that can make or mar knowledge among the students. Many individuals fail because some facilitators/teachers are yet to note that there are various factors that hinders the learning ability of children/students, therefore, without finding out those factors, students would always be blamed for certain failures experienced in the art of teaching and learning.

Facilitators/teachers cannot just wake up to deny that gender differences do not exist. Gender factors has to be really studied if the female child is considered part of the Nigeria future, but the undue belaboring of this concept is to the detriment researchers on the extent to which gender can really be called an issue in the studying of sciences, engineering, chemistry education and Maths education with special emphasis on African Thinkers Community of Inquiry (ATCOI) Enugu. The socialization of gender within our schools assures that girls are made aware that they are unequal to boys. Every time students are seated or lined up by gender, facilitators/teachers are affirming that girls and boys should be treated differently. When different behaviours are tolerated for boys than for girls because “boys will be boys’ schools are perpetuating the oppression of female. There is some evidence that girls are becoming more academically successful than the boys, yet, in higher position of authority the male gender occupying most of the key positions, however, examination of the classroom shows that girls and boys continue to be socialized in ways that work against gender equity, this reinforces the nation that “girls misbehaviour to be look upon as a character defect, whilst boys misbehaviour is viewed as a desire to assert themselves” (Reay, 2001).

A permissive attitude towards sexual harassment is another way in which schools reinforce the socialization of girls as inferior. “When schools ignore sexist, racist, homophobic, and violent interactions between students, they are giving tacit approval to such behaviour”. (Bailey, 1992), yet boys are taunted for throwing like a girl, or crying like a girl, which implies that being a girl is worse than being a boy.

According to the American Association of University Women Report, “The clear message to both boys and girls is that girls are not worthy of respect and that appropriate behaviour for boys includes exerting powers over girls … or over other weaker boys? … (Bailey, 1992), from the time immemorial, the girl child had being viewed as the weaker sex. Clearly the socialization of gender is reinforced at school, Because classroom are microcosms of society, mirroing its strengths and ills alike, it follows that the normal socialization patterns of young children that often lead to distorted perceptions of gender roles are reflected in the classrooms” (Marshal, 1997) yet gender bias in education reaches beyond socialization patterns, bias is embedded in textbooks, lessons and teachers/facilitator interactions with students. This type of gender bias is part of the children curriculum of lessons taught implicitly to students thorugh the every day functioning of their classroom. In accordance with Myra and David Sadker’s research, they noted four types of facilitator praises, providing positive feedback for a response; teacher/facilitator remediate, encouraging a student to correct or expand their answer; critics, explicitly stating that the answer is incorrect, or accepts by acknowledging that a student has responded. The Sadkers found that boys were far more likely to receive praise or remediation from a teacher or facilitator than were girls: The girls were most likely to receive an acknowledgement response from their teacher/facilitators. (Sadker 1994).

Departments of education should be providing mandatory gender equity resource modules to inservice teachers and gender bias needs to be addressed with all pre-service teachers/facilitators.

“Why so few? Women in science, technology, Engineering, and Mathematics … A 2010 report about why, in an era when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law, and business, there are still so few women scientists and engineer, it presents eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers, including stereotypes, gender bias, and the climate of science and engineering instruction. The report also includes up to date statistics on girls and women’s achievement and participation in these areas and offers new ideas for what each of us can do more fully open scientific and engineering fields to girls and women.