Writing Assignment Example 1: GENDER AND ACHIEVEMENT Gender differences on most

mathematics sections of standardized achievement tests are very small. Teachers often encourage gender-stereotypic behavior for both boys (e.g., high performance in mathematics) and girls

(e. g., high performance in language arts). In considering the impact of teacher attitudes and behaviors on academic success, I am left wondering what happens when teachers attempt to

correct the common misperception that boys are better at quantitative reasoning than girls. My

experience in math classes all thr0ugh grammar, middle, and high school was that boys were expected to excel in quantitative courses such as physics and mathematics, whereas girls (and

other underrepresented groups, for that matter) were held to much lower standards in terms of achievement in these courses. For example, if a boy received the highest score on a math test, the

teacher did not make a big deal about it. If, on the other hand, a girl outperformed all others on a

similar test, the teacher always called attention to this, either by the comments hex’she made on the test or by announcing to the class who had the highest score. When trying to correct the

misperception that bays are better at math than girls, teachers may actually be reinforcing this stereotype by overtly drawing attention to the fact that girls can perform just as well as boys.

Public achievement is often threatening to girls; therefore, teachers who make a big deal about

girls‘ superior academic performance may actually prevent many girls from outperforming boys

in the future.