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  1. Gender: separate or equal

    April 14, 2016 by Tonisha Pitchford

    Recently I discovered that there was a school in North Branch, MN that decided to choose a new form of learning for their student. One class was for girls and the other was for boys. Now this may seem weird, given that it was a public school. However, two teachers thought that the learning experience would be beneficial for the classes to be single – gender classrooms to enhance the learning environment.

    I found this story very interest because I have only heard of schools that were either all girl’s or all boy’s school. I found it strange to know that there was a public school that incorporated a program just for single – gender classrooms. It was the parents’ choice if they wanted their child to participate within the single – gender course or not. The program was used to help students “find their individual voices” as the news story put it. There are currently twenty-nine states, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee and others who have adopted to this form of learning. There was a research study on “The Effects of Single-Sex Classrooms on Classroom Environment, Self-Esteem, and Standardized Test Scores” that explained the importance of this form of teaching and the benefits that students can possibly gain from that experience. It was found that, “Supporters of single-sex education claim that when removed from the social pressures and sexual biases inherent in mixed-sex environments, especially during the middle-school years, many students demonstrate more attention to academics, fewer sexually stereotyped behaviors, and higher achievement than their coeducational peers.”

    Since 2001, when President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act, it was put in place to clear up any concerns in regards Title IX. The law was giving permission for single – sex classrooms for public schools as long as the academic environment was equal among students. However I don’t think it is equal. When dividing these students into single – sex classrooms room. I had second thoughts about the idea of single – sex classrooms.  I understood benefits of single – sex classrooms but what about their interaction with those that are not like them. As you can see in the video, the girl’s teacher was female and within the boys classroom the teacher is male. This story made me think of Julia T. Woods concept of feminine and masculine speech communities.

    Within feminine speech communities the conversation consist of sharing personal experiences and learning about others. The language is more about connecting, supporting and understanding those around you. I think of it as building a connection with people through emotional support. You get the opportunity to understand others situation and/or feelings.  Feminine speech commart2_webunities are more about the relationships rather than the message. One of the young girls in the class said, “You don’t need to be embarrassed when you do something wrong. Because all of the girls are your friends.” There was that sense of
    comfort-ability and support she gain from the girls around her.  It seemed that it made her learning experience better.

    Compared to masculine speech communities,  the conversation exhibits a sense of control and concrete goals. Masculine speech is used to accomplish objectives. It is the use of ideas and a sense of control or authority to gather information or talk amongst people to seem as if one is of a higher status.  The male teacher is a prime example of one who exhibits masculine speech. He incorporated things that they boys may be interested in like fishing, sports, or anything that challenges there mind that allows them to engage physically rather than mentally. The boys are reaching goals together within the learning environment.

    However, I am convinced that this form of learning is beneficial for both boys and girls within the classroom. It may seem as though the students may suffer from the none engagement portion among one another. But just as the reporter said, the students“find their individual voices.” I figured I rather the students grow to find there own voices at young ages, so that when they out out into the world. The don’t have to worry to much about not having a support system or learning how to gain control. They learned those lessons at an earlier age.


  2. Is an Apple really an Orange, or does it just look like one?

    February 28, 2016 by Tonisha Pitchford

    Photo By cornishdave

    Photo By cornishdave

    You may be wondering why I tried to make an attempt to compare an apple to an orange. What if I made the statement, “a female looks like a male, but her sex is still female.” The first thing that may come to your mind could be that she is a “lesbian”. However you are mistaken. The female may just like to wear men’s clothing, instead of female clothing. It is okay, I had the same mind set but let me explain. First things first, know the difference between gender and sex?

    Gender and Sex 

    I have stumbled across the subject of gender and I am understanding the various terms that come along with it. “Gender” according to the American Psychological Association,  is behaviors that are compatible with cultural expectations. “Sex ” is categorizing people ad either male, female  or intersex. Currently take a gender studies course that teaches the concerns and values of our perspective of gender and identification with those who classify themselves as either more than just male and/ or female. I find it interesting to learn there’s this chunk of information, that we hinder ourselves from learning. Traditionally, it is something we are not accustom to.

    Whether it is our religion, or culture, it can hinder people from wanting to understand. I met a women at a Social Justice and Action Leadership Summit at Longwood University by the name of Robyn Ochs that expressed her Bi sexuality. She is an activist in the LGBT community.  She had taken a term and coined her on personal definition that she fines that reflects her most. its people like Robyn who, use their experiences to help people be more knowledge able on the subject of gender. I myself  have learned more about gender norms in a course of a week verses an entire semester. I want people to understand that we have to break these social norm and educate ourselves of the things that may be foreign to us.  Currently we are embarking in a generation where people are trying to figure out who they are and embrace how they want to be identified.

    Gender and Cognitive Development Theory

    It seems that gender can come across as a tricky subject because it is such a huge topic right know. At young ages we are forming the gender we consider to be based on what we see. Julia T. Woods  talks about Cognitive Development Theory  in her book, Gendered Live. It is defined as children taking the role of developing their specific gender. As a kid we are shaping what we consider the model image of what it means to be either a female or a male. You are picking and choosing what you consider to be the most feminine or masculine of them all. Children go through stages of identity just to find there “label.”  It just like, when you a kid at the ages between 7-12. Your parents, family members and friends are labeling you into a specific gender. As a girl you are told that you need to be: “girly, cute, and proper”. You are picking behaviors that place you into a specific category. You’re taking form of your gender based on the environment you’re around.

    Knowing that I have been informing myself of the subject of gender and understanding others perspective. It is clear to see that gender choose some from early stages of development. It is no one’s fault why they are identify themselves of names that are not as simple as male or female. People are taking hold of labels from early childhood development. We must educate ourselves on the specific terms we don’t understand. However just because we do not understand, it does not mean things cannot be explain from another standpoint. It’s important to know that gender is not a one sided subject. It goes way beyond them the tradition context of what we know. Given that i am still learning I intend to educate those who need a better clarification of what gender is and the many lanes it included but is not limited to the norm of society.


  3. Attention Bloggers, I’m home!!!

    January 28, 2016 by Tonisha Pitchford

    It’s Me, Tee!!!

    Anything that's posted, is with a smile. All view's are valued and respected.

    Anything that’s posted, is with a smile. All view’s are valued and respected.

    Hey Blogger!! My name is Tonisha, but my friends call me Tee. I’m a student at Longwood University with a Concentration in Public Relations and I minor in Business Administration. Good news is I only live a 1 hour and 15 mins away from my home which is Richmond, VA.  If you are reading this blog, you have amazing taste in communicating with others in ways that allow you to express yourself and also have a bit of fun. I am one who strives to leave a long lasting impression, but in hopes that you remember me as the girl who just wanted to have a conversation worth discussing.

    Throughout my years at Longwood University I have been prepared to learn versus skills to help me further my career in hopes of gaining a job in my field. I have learned how to properly resolve conflict, develop intercultural communication skills, and public speaking skills. Currently I am involved I two different organizations, the Black Student Association and the Student Government Association. I use the skills I have learn to work with people and understand their views and actions as we work together within the organization. If not for these skills I would not be looked upon as a high ranking model of leadership among my peers. Communication is key when dealing with any organization and I try my best to keeps those lines clear and positive.

    Currently I am enrolled in a gender and communications course that explores the complications and triumphs of ours societies ability to handle the different gender norms. I personally have learned that, gender is more than just about sex, race, or ethnicity but the person’s identification of themselves. Even today we are faced with problems concerning gender whether it’s in the works place, educations, politics, religion, or region. Based on a previous class I had taken, within my sociology course, we don’t realizes that we generalize people all the time and not even know it. As you surround among a group of people, you may find yourself passing judgement, ridiculing, or stereotyping people but it is not your fault. It is no one’s fault. It is all in the morals and values we set of yourself or were bred to have from young ages.  Within my gender and communication course I seek to find the true meaning of gender norms and perhaps broaden my knowledge of how I consider myself as a women in today’s society. We only know as much as we are willing to learn and I intend to do just that.