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FIELD NOTES - Post Halloween...

leamirella's picture


I think I'm getting to the point in my placement that I can expect how the day is going to go. But today, it seems as though the students had a lot of energy that I attributed to post Halloween sugar rushes. Thus, while the students followed the schedule as per usual, it was a little bit difficult trying to keep up. 

In the technology classroom, the students had the choice of either playing a game that involved building monsters and going on an adventure, or playing a game online that was meant to help them with their maths skills. 

So what?

Coming out of last week's discussion, I was more attuned to the choices that students were making about which choice they made the technology classroom. I assumed that more boys would pick the math option whereas the girls would choose to play the monster game. However, this wasn't the case. There did not seem to be any preference by either gender.

this exercise made me realise that there was a mass inequality in the class that I am observing. There are more boys in the class which makes me wonder if that has any effect on the way that the girls feel as though they can assert their own gender identity. Also, it was interesting to me to see that it was the girls that were more excited about technology class, rather than the expectation of it being the boys. In fact, the girls even came up with a chant as they were lining up to go. 

Now what?

i think that I'd like to pay a little more attention to the "gendered differences" within the classroom. Honestly, I've never believed in them but after last week's discussion, I'd like to take more of an evidence-based approach to considering this. 


leamirella's picture

Good Point!

I do think that 8 short weeks will not be enough to draw conclusions about gender and choice in this classroom but I believe that I could definitely make certain observations that could lead to deeper, more theoretical thinking about our assumptions of the classroom.

Something else that I also wanted to push on was how you mentioned "how one looks, what one looks for, and even who one is". I don't think I've really considered my place/identity/social function in the classroom but that's definitely something I'll keep in mind!

alesnick's picture

what counts as evidence?

The question of how quickly one can predict things in a classroom is highly contested and depends on how one looks, what one looks for, and even who one is!  Further, the valuing of prediction as the point of empirical work is also contested.  Ethnographic approaches to classroom research place more value on "thick description" than on prediction, for example.  How long do you think it could take to know something about gender and choice in this classroom?