The Gender Equation in Schools
How to Create Equity and Fairness for All Students
This compelling book takes you inside a teacher’s journey to explore the question of gender in education. Jason Ablin uses his background in math teaching, school leadership, and neuroscience to present expert interviews, research, and anecdotes about gender bias in schools and how it impacts our best efforts to educate children. He provides practical takeaways on how teachers and leaders can do better for students. There is also a handy Appendix with step-by-step guides for facilitating faculty-wide conversations around gender; writing learning reports without gender bias; using student assessments to check gendered attitudes about learning; evaluating learning spaces; and creating an inquiry map of your classroom. As a teacher, administrator, DEI director, or homeschooling parent, with the strategies and stories in this book, you’ll be ready to embark upon your own journey to balance the gender equation and create greater equity for all of your students.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Who's Teaching Whom: Math, Literacy, and Making School for Everyone 2. Natural Versus Acquired Aptitude: Of Precious Eggs and Kept Princes 3. Learning from the Anomalies 4. The Writing on the Wall: The Gender Influence of Student-Teacher Interactions 5. Learning Liberation and Integration: It’s not About the Math! 6. It is About the Math: Gendered Mediators and Executive Functioning Skills 7. Rage On! Gender/Sex, Emotional, and Physical Expression in Schools 8. The Crippling Impact of Mental Health Issues and Trauma: Gender Informed Responses 9. Conclusion: Reconstructing Schools and Celebrating Gender Diversity 10. Appendices A-G 11. Endnotes
Jason Ablin (@JasonAblin) has served as a teacher, department chair, principal, and head of school. He holds national certification in leadership coaching and mentoring from the National Association of School Principals and has been supporting and mentoring new leaders throughout the country for over ten years. At American Jewish University and in school-based teacher workshops, he trains teachers to create gender aware classrooms and has taught year-long courses to teams of educators in graduate level seminars regarding the relationship between cognitive neuroscience and education. He is also the founder and director of AJU’s Mentor Teacher Certification Program.
"Jason Ablin’s authenticity, deep understanding of children and teens, and years of experience in education come through in this practical guide to addressing gender inequities in education. As a school counselor, I appreciate that he brings kids' stories to life with warmth, affection, and humor, but still keeps it real. He writes about real children with real needs, and as a result, readers come away feeling highly motivated and better prepared to support, raise, coach, and educate all the children in their lives."―Phyllis Fagell (@Pfagell) school counselor, licensed professional counselor, journalist and author of Middle School Matters: The 10 Key Skills Kids Need in Middle School and Beyond.
"In this engaging and accessible book, author Jason Ablin weaves together insights from research with poignant and often humorous stories from his work as a principal, educator, and parent to reveal the challenges that schools face in addressing gender inequities in education and offer steps they can take to better support students along the way."―Jessica McCrory Calarco (@JessicaCalarco), Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, inequalities in education and family life, author of Negotiating Opportunities (Oxford, 2018), and A Field Guide to Grad School (Princeton University Press, 2020)
"A poignant and detailed exploration of how gender inequities manifest in schools and classrooms. Using a robust mix of research, anecdotes, interviews, and practical tools, this book provides many insights into how the system and those within further entrench gender inequities without being aware. This is often done with the tasks educators assign, the assessments they use, and the class structure they set up. If you are looking to enhance your practice and strive for more significant equity in your class, then The Gender Equation in Schools by Jason Ablin is an essential resource."―Chey Cheney (@Mrccheney) and Pawan (Pav) Wander (@Pavwander), hosts of The Staffroom Podcast with Chey and Pav (@staffpodcast)
"Reading The Gender Equation in Schools is like wearing new glasses after years of nearsightedness. Teachers, administrators, and parents will see―with stunning clarity―themselves, their schools, and their students in this book that probes how our attitudes about gender get in the way of teaching and learning. With thoughtfulness and provocative questioning, Ablin expertly demonstrates how generations-old habits of mind and practice can hold children back. He challenges us to dislodge these, sending us off with the resources and motivation to make it happen, and now."―Anne Lutz Fernandez, author of Schooled: Ordinary, Extraordinary Teaching in an Age of Change
"Jason Ablin brings a rare wealth of experience to his new book, The Gender Equation in Schools. The pages also teem with real life--specifically the decades Jason has spent in schools both as a teacher and a principal. As a math teacher of middle school students as well as a father of a girl and three boys, I found the book irresistible. Jason not only peeks into the engine, but throws open the hood on gender dynamics in our classroom. This book invites the reader to engage with the ways we force gender onto our children--and the ways we too often let their chosen gender determine educational outcomes. It is a must read for educators and parents alike."―Jay Wamsted (@JayWamsted) is an education writer, middle school math teacher, and TEDx speaker ("Eating the Elephant: Ending Racism & the Magic of Trust")
"Ablin’s own reflective voice will validate and motivate teachers as they rethink some of their own assumptions and design their own pedagogy for the 21st century. Especially valuable are the cases of speaking with parents as well as observational tools to improve one’s craft, with learner success as the ultimate outcome."―Professor Miriam Heller Stern, PhD, Vice Provost for Educational Strategy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and Director of the School of Education