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Promoting Equity Education

Women and Girls' Gender and Multi-Cultural Equity Education Program

Equity EducationCountless studies and concrete experience affirm that gender inequity is a constant in all classrooms. We know girls perform less successfully in school because of unequal teaching methods. Instructional inequity, whereby participation is actively encouraged in boys and actively discouraged in girls is not the only problem. Elementary and secondary school curricula present almost no information on women’s cultural, literary, and scientific contributions. Thirty years into the women’s movement, typical textbooks show male inventors, authors, artists, doctors, adventurers and leaders solving problems and performing heroic acts. Women are invisible or perhaps even worse portrayed as needy accessories rescued from their ineptitude by male figures.

Two major phenomena combine to undermine girls and women. First, even the best-intentioned teachers ignore girls in favor of boys. Although Title IX outlaws policies and practices that overtly discriminate on the basis of sex, more subtle imbalances exist to establish classroom climate which diminishes girls’ productivity. Countless studies now document that teachers call on boys instead of girls, let boys problem-solve while "fixing things" for girls, allow boys to interrupt class, and discipline girls more harshly. In short, more constructive attention is paid to boys and less encouragement given to girls. The results are low self-esteem, lowered scholastic achievement, and sometimes even physical or mental illness. Nor is the situation just bad for girls. Indeed, it also reinforces in many boys a misguided sense of superiority that causes them significant difficulties later in life.

Second, our elementary and secondary curricula have almost no information on women’s contributions, so females multicultural educationrarely find themselves reflected in educational materials dominated by males. Women and girls in literature, the arts, and the professions are almost invisible. High school students graduate unable to name five notable women who are not rock singers or actresses. The Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide wants to break this cycle.

How we choose to educate our children effects their life choices and how they respond to people in their world. This learned behavior starts early and determines the profession a young person will enter,Volunteer how they will interact with other individuals in the workplace and social situations, and in the broader context of international relations and multi-cultural relationships, how they will associate with people of different gender, ethnic and racial origins. That is why the Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide is accumulating gender and multicultural balanced education curricula for children in kindergarten through twelfth grade so they will learn of women in history, the arts, literature, science and exploration.

The Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide is looking for teachers/educators to work with our Women & Girls’ Gender and Multi-Cultural Equity Education Program. If you are interested in working with us to introduce gender and multi-cultural curriculum in your class, please contact us for more information.

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