Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

Equal conversational time

Teachers are often unaware of the gender distribution of talk in their classrooms. They usually consider that they give equal amounts of attention to girls and boys, and it is only when they make a tape recording that they realize that boys are dominating the interactions.

Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms.

Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.


From here, where there's a lot more. Via [tumblr.com profile] AndrewHickeyWriter

I'd love to see more research done on this. I try to make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak when I'm in conversations at work, and I bet that the men still out-talk the women (with a couple of notable exceptions who are good at not being shut up by people talking over them).

Edit:
Just chatted about this with Julie, and considered it from my history of an all-boys school. Where the conversation in the class-room would always be dominated by a few people. I suspect that if a teacher tried to make sure that the lower-status boys got equal talk time with the higher-status boys they would run into exactly the same problem.



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