I don’t have a particular issue with this worksheet. I honestly believe that differences exist between genders and understanding these differences can help you as a teacher or parent. My problem is with the teacher’s corrections. This young girl was entitled to respond the way they she did. It was an open-ended task that clearly had no right or wrong answer. By insisting that she fill out the table in a certain way, the teacher is in fact undermining the very nature of the task.
The girl’s father was far less generous about the objective of this activity than I was:
A little girl’s school assignment has generated impassioned debate online after her father, blogger Steve Bowler, sparked outrage by posting the third-grader’s worksheet, which dealt with gender stereotypes.
Dad, who designs and blogs about video games (@gameism on Twitter), pointed out his daughter’s unsuccessful attempt to separate items into three categories: boys, girls and both. On Saturday, he posted her completed worksheet and tweeted: “Proud my 8yo girl failed this worksheet. Wish she had failed it even ‘worse.’ #GenderBias”
Based on the image alone, Bowler tweeted that it looked like his daughter’s class was asked to sort activities and products like “Barbies” and “Erector sets” into gender columns. She crowded all the answers into a column labeled “Both,” and the teacher wrote at the bottom, “We talked about how each square needs to be filled in.”
“My wife brought [the worksheet] to my attention Friday night when we were looking through her schoolwork folder,” Bowler told HuffPost via email, adding that his daughter hadn’t complained about the assignment herself.
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