Imagine this: your daughter is good at what she does. But despite all her efforts, she is graded below her male peers. Why? Because her teacher feels that boys are better than girls.

It's sad that in this day and age, such a seemingly archaic bias would still be around in our school systems. But Sue Wilson, author of “Gender bias by teachers in math class affects girls later,” suggests that math teachers favor boys over girl students. According to research cited in the article, teachers have a tendency to grade their male students more favorably than females, as they hold the latter to higher level. Consequently, female students may receive lower grades due to a false assumption that they need rigorous grading scales. Earning lower grades, biased treatment, and unrealistic expectations then lead female students to have lower self-esteem than their male counterparts.

Driving force or slippery slope?

Research further explains that students in junior high will use their math and science grades as a driving force when choosing a career. Wilson observes, “Many adults’ feelings of fear and failure, and anxiety about mathematics, date from their early school experiences. Avoiding mathematics can limit future opportunities in our modern technological society.” As such, teachers and other professionals in the education field ought to assess their own mindsets and behavior in the classroom to ensure students are taught, examined, and graded fairly, regardless of gender. 

Earning lower grades, biased treatment, and unrealistic expectations then lead female students to have lower self-esteem then their male counterparts.

Key Takeaways:

A study suggests that girls tend to be graded more harshly than boys.
Educators need to be careful of letting bias affect their teaching.
How children do in school makes long-term effects on self-esteem and confidence.

After all, building self confidence and self-esteem is critical to a child's academic progress, regardless of their gender.

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