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Gender Socialization in Morocco

"In a very real sense, we are the authors of our own lives." –Mandy Aftel


The World Bank publication by Judith Evans, Early Childhood Counts: A Programming Guide on Early Childhood Care for Development (, includes this story in a chapter on evaluation procedures:

"In Morocco, teachers underwent a gender sensitization course. When asked if the course had changed their behavior, one teacher indicated that it had; she now called on the same number of boys and girls during a class session. Her answer could have been taken at face value, but there was an opportunity to follow up on this through observation of the teacher in action.

"The observation indicated that the teacher was in fact calling on children an equal number of times. What the observation yielded that was not provided by the frequency counts, was that there was a difference in how children were treated once they were called upon. If girls gave a wrong answer they were scolded and told they knew nothing. The teacher then moved to another child. If a boy got an answer wrong, he was encouraged and guided until he came up with the right answer. As a result, girls were discouraged from raising their hands; they were belittled when they did not have the right answer. On the other hand, boys were quite confident that even if they did not know the right answer to begin with, they would 'discover' it and at the end of the experience they could feel good about themselves as learners."

For ideas on learning through observation, check out the Beginnings Workshop, "Observing Children", at

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