The third section of the book entitled Through the Looking Glass, focuses on a sixth grade classroom that practices gender equality. There are a new set of issues that are raised when teachers like Judy Logan make an effort to change traditional classroom practices dealing with gender. A number of activities are given to the reader that can be used by teachers at all levels. Orenstein makes it clear that gender equity in the classroom can be achieved, but one must put in the effort. The hidden curriculum that is found today needs to be reformed if gender fair classrooms are going to exist.
SchoolGirls has brought to light very sensitive issues within a classroom. I believe Orenstein did a great job of with holding her own biases and opinions from the reader. This really helps us to draw our own conclusions from the girls’ experiences. She does however; provide the reader with important information about girls’ experiences as well as their behaviors, perceptions, and choices that go along with them. Equality in the classroom is a subject that has been debated for years along with sexual harassment.
We still hear of stories in the news about unfair situations that have undermined our country’s children. Our forefathers fought long and hard to give every person in this country the right to be treated equal. SchoolGirls: Young women, self-esteem, and the confidence gap brings to our attention that children are being treated unfairly. I believe that all teachers, current or aspiring, need to read this book. It is our duty as well as our job to provide a safe and fair learning environment to every student that walks into our classroom.
I also feel that as parents, it is up to us to teach our children that girls can be just as smart as boys and they deserve to be treated this way. Children look to adults to set examples and this is how they learn to act for themselves. In order for our children to act civilized, they must see the adults in their lives acting this way. In my opinion, the only way to achieve this goal is to provide the proper education. We must start young and adults can start by reading SchoolGirls. This book provides a great in sight into what some girls go through at such an early age.