Adolescent Females and the Classroom Experience

Researchers have hypothesized that children will respond positively or negatively to a given environment, based on the praise or punishment received. Many of us would call this observational learning.  Often, people are reinforced or punished for modeling the behavior of others.  For adolescents, they quickly learn the acceptable norms for their behavior by observing peers around them. The classroom quickly because a microcosm for society among this age group. Researchers have suggested that if an adolescent female is criticized for speaking out in a classroom, she will not speak out again.  Once other female students observe this negative interaction with the teacher, they, too, will not speak out. The lines of division between what is acceptable for males and females become increasingly apparent and females begin to see dissimilar treatment of boys and girls in the classroom.  Many females can retreat and became docile or almost invisible in a classroom setting. Therefor, it’s important for parents to have open conversations with their daughters about school.  Asking “how was school today?” may not be enough.  Parents may need to dig a little deeper.

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About Carol Langlois
Dr Carol is a former University Dean and Associate Provost, trained therapist, researcher, educational consultant and writer. During her training, she counseled hundreds of clients in one-on-one sessions as well as in group settings where her work was with college freshman dealing with transitional and developmental issues on campus. Her primary research focus is female self-esteem development among teens. Her published dissertation “The effects of single gender versus coeducational environments on the self-esteem development and academic competence of high school females” focused on 15 year old girls in the Bay Area where her research findings showed disturbingly low levels of self-esteem across the board. This staggering discovery has led her to further research this topic. She is working on her second book called Girl Talk: Boys, Bullies and Body Image, which is a compilation of interviews with teens girls on the topic of self-esteem while offering an effective and practical system designed to RAISE (Resilience, Attitude, Independence, Self-Respect and Empowerment) teen self-esteem. In addition, she runs groups for non-profits interested in adding self-esteem training into their overall mission.

One Response to Adolescent Females and the Classroom Experience

  1. Pingback: Adolescent Females and the Classroom Experience | Γονείς σε Δράση

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