Ever noticed your children’s homework shows boys playing sports while girls bake cookies? It drives me bats. I’m so happy that mom, Elizabeth Mandel, wrote a letter to her child’s teacher about gender bias in homework. All of us should do this. Here’s part of her letter:
My daughter is absolutely thriving in your classroom. As you know, she has a particular affinity for math, and she adores doing math homework (I hope she feels like this about homework forever).
While sitting with her while she was doing her math homework tonight, I noticed that in the examples, Shawn and Mike have robots and baseballs, while Lucy makes sandwiches for her friends. As I mentioned when we met last month, I am very invested in keeping my daughters, and all girls, interested in STEM subjects, and in diminishing the subtle cues that contribute to the gender gap in all areas. I strongly feel, and I am supported by research that shows, that subtle cues that assign boys certain interests and girls certain interests are absorbed by young children and impact how they see their roles in the classroom and in society at large.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for this letter. Thank you to Pigtail Pals for posting it. You can read the rest of the letter and information about the teacher’s reply on Pigtail Pals Facebook page.