Specific Techniques for Helping to Eliminate Sex Discrimination in the Classroom
- Avoid universal generalizations about any social group. Base your general statements on accurate information.
- Respect all students. Avoid humor that demeans other people on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, physical appearance, or physical ability.
- Find a comfortable alternative to using generic masculine terms such as "man" or "he" to refer to people of both sexes. They tend to render women invisible.
- When illustrating a point with examples, avoid stereotypes such as making all men authority figures & all women subordinates.
- Choose course material that does not perpetuate sex stereotypes.
- If you must use course material that deprecates or ignores one gender or another, be clear with your students about why the material warrants their consideration.
- Add a question concerning discriminatory behavior in the classroom to teaching evaluation forms.
- Monitor your behavior as a teacher, or ask someone to observe you for the following patterns:
- Do you give more time to men than to women students?
- Do you treat men more seriously than women?
- Are you systematically more attentive to questions, observations, and responses made by men?
- Do you direct more of your own questions, observations, and responses to men than to women?
- Do you assume a heterosexual model when referring to human behavior?
Paludi, Michele & Richard Barickman. (1991). Academic & Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Resource Manual. New York: State University of New York Press.
For more information, please see Improving Classroom Climate in Science and Engineering.