Incentive Structures in the Classroom and Teacher Accommodations for Gender



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To motivate students and to assist classes in being focused learning environments, teachers employ a variety of incentives in the classroom—both positive and negative. This research investigates the intersection of gender and incentives looking at perspectives of both the gender of the student and the gender of the teacher. Thirteen elementary school teachers (seven women and six men) participated in in-depth interviews about their use of incentives in the classroom.

Boys received the least positive incentives and the most negative incentives in all classrooms, but boys received more positive incentives and fewer negative incentives in men’s classrooms than in women’s. Female teachers tended to view children in a gender-blind way treating all students with equal expectations regardless of gender. Male teachers tended to look at their classroom as gendered and held different expectations for boys than they did for girls. Male teachers also reported that they focused on having a fun classroom with edutainment-style lessons and greater in-classroom flexibility as compared to female teachers. Male teachers also had higher levels of concern about maintaining a good student-teacher relationship.



Sociology, General