Well I don’t think it will be a surprised to anyone to know that my “aha” moment was with the gender equality trend. Specifically, the neutral language. However, there was a quote in my article that I have not discussed yet that hit home for me. “A study carried out in the UK found that the gender of teachers had very little effect on the performance of either boys or girls” (OECD, 2014, p. 5). I wonder if this holds true for adult students?
As I often find myself being challenged as a female sailing instructor, I have just assumed that this is due to the fact that older students are used to seeing male instructors. As noted in my previous post I do not take this personally, but I view it as a challenge to better my teaching. However, do they get more or less out of my classes because I am a female? I have had sailing schools approach me with requests to teach for them specifically because I am female and they want to broaden their sailing student market and get more women involved in the sport. Maybe in this case using gender neutral language is not enough? Maybe having a same-sex instructor would bring more out of the female students?
I myself have decided to offer a Women in Wind sailing series this summer for women-only sailors here in Nelson. I know there is a market out there for it as I have specifically been asked to run it. But why? Why can we not have both sexes working together being taught by whichever sex but with the same outcome?
Well, now I know that I will have to keep digging further into this trend to see if I can make heads or tails of it. I am glad that I chose this trend to look at as it has really caused me to reflect on something that I have always known is there, but I’m not quite sure why it is there or if it will ever go away.
In the meantime, I will keep sailing along…
Photo credit: Pinterest.com
OECD (n.d.) Trends Shaping Education 2015 Spotlight 7, OECD Publishing. Retrieved from: http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/Spotlight7-GenderEquality.pdf