Faculty, Students Discuss Classroom Gender Dynamics

Faculty and students participating in a roundtable discussion on classroom dynamics and gender last night agreed that it is too simplistic to say that women talk less than men in the classroom.

Moderator Sandra A. Naddaff, head tutor of the literature concentration, told the group of five faculty and teaching staff members and nine undergraduates gathered in Union Parlor A that she had never observed men speaking more than women in class discussions.

"That's never been the case for me, perhaps because there aren't many men in literature," Naddaff said.

But several undergraduates agreed that they perceived males dominating some classes, particularly those in the sciences and in government.

One female undergraduate said she thought unequal participation "has a lot to do with differences across concentrations."

"There have been stereotypes of male and female-ish concentrations," the student said. "People tend to carry those stereotypes into the classroom."