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Gender and Teaching Evaluation

Stephanie Riger compiled the following public and private responses to her
January 1993 WMST-L query about gender bias in teaching evaluation.  
WMST-L subscriber Susan Basow later contributed her paper, 
Student Ratings of Professors are not Gender Blind .  For additional 
WMST-L files now available on the Web, see the WMST-L File List.
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1993 18:45:26 CST
From: Stephanie Riger <U29322 @ UICVM.BITNET>
Subject: student evaluation of teachers
My school is considering making student evaluations of faculty
mandatory.  I want to raise concerns about discrimination against female
faculty on teaching evaluations and want some research evidence to back
up my claims.  I would very much appreciate receiving citations of
recent empirical research on this.  A review article summarizing the
field would be especially helpful, but I welcome anything that anyone
can send.Thanks in advance,
Stephanie Riger
Women's Studies Program (M/C 360)
Univ. of Il. at Chicago
1022 Behavioral Sciences Building
1007 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, Il. 60607-7137
Bitnet: u29322  @  UICVM
Fax: 312-413-4122
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1993 12:17:30 LCL
To:           Stephanie Riger <U29322  @  UICVM.BITNET>
>RK Unger -- paper given at American Psych Assn 1977 (don't know if it was
>published): analyzed relationship between student ratings of faculty members'
>effectiveness and level of difficulty. Altho no sex difference were found in
>either variable, their correlation varied by sex. Difficulty and effectiveness
>were uncorrelated for male faculty but negatively correlated for female.
I inserted a copy of this paper into my tenure file <grin> as one of
the pieces of Evidence that I wished my university to consider when
evaluating my teaching evaluations for purposes of tenure or
promotion.  <grin>  According to our Blue Book rules (for promotion &
tenure), they are now obligated to do so. (There was nothing in the
rules for constructing a tenure file which said that ALL the articles
included in such a file HAD to be my OWN.)
Ruth Ginzberg <rginzberg  @  eagle.wesleyan.edu>
Philosophy Department;Wesleyan University;USA
======================================================================== 45
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1993 11:45:39 EST
To:           Stephanie Riger <U29322  @  UICVM.BITNET>
At my university,Syracuse University, teaching evaluations have been
mandatory for years in individual departments, to be used for such things
as merit pay increases and promotion. The university-produced survey
questionnaire began with about 5 questions that I refer to as "the warmth
quotient" -- e.g. is your lecturer warm? I fought like mad to have the
form changed, because 1) such questions are simply inappropriate in
evaluating a person standing in front of 200 students, 2) do feed into
the stereotype of the mother-like woman teacher, who can hardly be warm
(nor should she be) in such a situation, and thus loses out, and 3) then
influences answers to all of the following responses.
Three years ago, my college at the university made evaluations mandatory
for everyone, no matter what the rank. My department (anthropology)
produced its own, which I still think is problematic, because of questions
that ask things like, professor shows concern for students. I received
high marks last semester and yet, ALL of the men in my department (and I
am one of two women) got higher marks on the questions referring to issues
of listening to and showing concern for students.
It irritated me, and I began to ask around. A psychiatrist friend told me
unequivocally that women are going to lose out in such evaluations, because
of student ambivalence about women's authority. (He knew of research but
had no specifics.) My colleague Judy Long in sociology gave me 2 references,
both maybe dated, but maybe not: MB Harris 1976 in Sex Roles -- that
instructors of either sex who were perceived as male in style were evaluated
differently from those perceived as female.
RK Unger -- paper given at American Psych Assn 1977 (don't know if it was
published): analyzed relationship between student ratings of faculty members'
effectiveness and level of difficulty. Altho no sex difference were found in
either variable, their correlation varied by sex. Difficulty and effectiveness
were uncorrelated for male faculty but negatively correlated for female.
I too would like to know of other, perhaps more recent, such evaluations.
Deborah Pellow
dpellow  @  suvm
======================================================================== 79
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1993 21:08:55 EST
To:           Stephanie Riger <U29322  @  UICVM.BITNET>
In-Reply-To:  Message of Sat, 30 Jan 1993 11:45:39 EST from <DPELLOW  @  SUVM>
On Sat, 30 Jan 1993 11:45:39 EST <DPELLOW  @  SUVM> said:
>At my university,Syracuse University...
>...The university-produced survey
>questionnaire began with about 5 questions that I refer to as "the warmth
>quotient" -- e.g. is your lecturer warm?
Warm?  As in maybe, a warm body?(As opposed to the professor
televised?  or the disembodied voice of the professor teaching
via "distance education?")
You really meant "warm" as in chocolate chip cookie baking?
Oh my.
I've taught as a sessional lecturer at the University of Ottawa
off and on since 1987 (I'm a post-doctoral fellow here now),
and I've seen the university mandatory evaluation form
undergo revisions in that time period although the procedure
for administering it stays the same:  the teacher leaves the
room, a student volunteer hands out the form and the little
pencils, then collects them, puts them in a sealed envelope,
and deposits them wherever.  Months later, the tabulation
for four key questions is sent to the teacher AND the
department chair, the teacher receives the tabulation for
the other questions considered less important (e.g., does
the instructor use audio-visual aids effectively?), and
in a sealed envelope whatever handwritten statements
the students may have written on the last page of their
Do these evaluations matter?  I really don't know.
Mine have always been terrific.  Could hardly ask
for better.  On the other hand, my department chair
told me that she felt that high evaluations were
suspect--i.e, the professor was too easy (never mind
that my class grade averages run lower than most of the
other professors in the department and I still get high
Students supposedly can call up the evaluations by
course number when they are registering for courses,
but I do not know if they do that.  Seems to me evaluations
can serve as a good "consumer rating" to use them
that way because the four key questions asked are:
I find that the professor as a teacher is
   excellent, good, acceptable, poor, very poor
I think the professor conveys the subject matter effectively
   almost always, often, sometimes, rarely, almost never
I find the professor well prepared for class
   almost always, often, sometimes, rarely, almost never
When I need to consult the professor outside class, I find
him/her available during scheduled office hours and/or at
prearranged times
   almost always, often, sometimes, rarely, almost never, n/a
But, as I said, I've no idea how these evaluations factor
into tenure decisions because that is not my situation.
I have sometimes been asked to supply them when applying
for teaching jobs...  Are they viewed with suspicion then?
Wish I knew.  I think they are.  But I only think that, y'see,
because I'm still looking for a real job.
There is one "minor" question asked of the students that
I think is the most useful question of all:
  I feel that in this course I am learning
     very little, little, an adequate amount, much, very much
Best wishes (warmly!),
Maureen Korp
======================================================================== 28
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1993 12:34:12 EST
To:           Stephanie Riger <U29322  @  UICVM.BITNET>
Believe it or not, "warm" is the word that was used (maybe still is) on
the university form. I think that where our evaluations have gone astray
in a way that Maureen Korp's may work is in the structure of the individual
questions. For example, one of our current questions is, Is your instructor
available outside of class? The answers are numbers, 1 to 5. I've always
wondered how one can score above average if one keeps to one's office
hour schedule, since there's nothing extraordinary about it. Maureen's
key question in this area asks it differently: When I need to consult the
professor outside class, I find him/her available during scheduled office
hours and/or at prearranged times. Is this, in fact, any different? It is
because it stipulates a frequency -- either the professor was there "almost
always" or not, as opposed to "excellently" (whatever that would mean --
sleeping in one's office?).
Friends had asked me about the structuring of the questionnaire and what
I had not thought about was the way the responses are worded. "Excellent"
down to "unsatisfactory" are pretty abstract, whereas "almost always"
and "never" are not. It certainly makes more sense to me.
Thanks!   deborah
======================================================================== 42
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1993 15:52:00 EST
Subject: bias in student evaluation of instruction
Stephanie Riger asked for citations of literature on the differential
evaluation of male and female instructors.  Some sources have already been
sent to the list.  These are some additional ones:
Kierstad et al. (1988). Sex-role stereotyping of college professors: Bias
in student rating of instructors. J. of Educational Psychology, 30, 342-344.
Sandler, B. (1991). Women faculty at work in the classroom, or, why it still
hurts to be a woman in labor. Communication Education, 40, 6-15. (This article
addresses several issues).
Kaschak, E. (1978). Sex bias in student evaluations of college professors.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2, 235-242.
Dobbins et al. (1986). Effect of ratee sex and purpose of appraisal on the
accuracy of performance evaluations. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 7,
Bennett, S. (1982). Student perceptions of and expectations for male
and female instructors: Evidence relating to questions of gender bias
in teaching evaluations. J. of Educational Psychology, 74, 170-179.
Sidanius, J. & Crane, M. (1989). Job evaluation and gender: The case of
university faculty. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19, 174-197.
Hope these help.  Sorry they're not in alphabetical order.
Elaine Blakemore
Department of Psychological Sciences
Indiana - Purdue University
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
======================================================================== 22
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 08:24 CDT
From: Virginia Sapiro <SAPIRO @ polisci.wisc.edu>
Subject: Bias in student evaluations
The most recent piece I know is Susan A. Basow and Nancy T. Silberg. 1987.
"Student evaluations of college professors: Are female and male professors
rated differently?" JOURNAL OF EDUCATION PSYCHOLOGY 79:308-14.
If you hear of something more recent/more interesting I would appreciate
hearing about it because I might be able to use it in the new edition of my
women's studies textbook.
Virginia Sapiro
Dept of Political Science
University of Wisconsin - Madison
sapiro  @  polisci.wisc.edu
======================================================================== 29
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1993 08:49:39 -0500
From: coulter @ edu.uwo.ca (Rebecca Coulter)
To:     u29322  @  UICVM.bitnet

Subject: Student Evaluations
I saw your message about student evaluations and was wondering
if you could send me a list of the citations you receive
from the network.  (i.e., the WMST-L)  I know of one
summary of research (well, sort of a summary)--I think the
book is called Gender and University Teaching--I am writing
this in my office and the book is at home.  I expect that
you will get this citation from others or that you
already know of it.  Anyway, I would appreciate getting
a list of references when adnd if you compile this.  Thanks.
rebecca coulter
coulter  @  uwo.ca
Faculty of Education
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada
N6G 1G7
======================================================================== 22
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1993 08:11:17 -0700
Subject: Re: student evaluation of teachers
To:           Stephanie Riger <U29322  @  UICVM.BITNET>
Several years ago, there were a number of studies that clearly demonstrated
bias against female faculty members in student evaluations.  Among other
things, students expected female faculty members to be warm and nurturing,
and when the faculty were perceived as providing "inadequate levels" of
warmth and nurturance, their ratings took a dive.  I don't remember specific
citations, but I suspect if you contacted the (former, I think, but Bernice
Sandler is on this network, I believe, and is the former head) Project
on the Status and Education of Women, I'm reasonably sure they could supply
references for you.
Sharyl Bender Peterson
speterson  @  ccnode.colorado.edu
The Colorado College
======================================================================== 37
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1993 13:55:55 -0500
Subject: sex bias in teaching evaluations
    Deborah Pellow asked for references on teacher sex and classroom
> My colleague Judy Long in sociology gave me 2 references,
>both maybe dated, but maybe not: MB Harris 1976 in Sex Roles -- that
>instructors of either sex who were perceived as male in style were evaluated
>differently from those perceived as female.
    See also M.B. Harris, J. of Ed. Psych, 1975, 87, 751-756.
>RK Unger -- paper given at American Psych Assn 1977 (don't know if it was
>published): analyzed relationship between student ratings of faculty members'
    I have the unpublished version, too.  Rhoda's in New Mexico and
    will be back on WMST-L shortly and can answer you.
    Susan Basow has published some work on this more recently:  J. of
    Ed. Psych., 1985, 77, 45-52; same journal, 1987, 79, 308-314; same
    journal, 1990, 82, 599-602.
    Good luck.
Arnie Kahn, Psychology, JMU, Harrisonburg, VA 22807     (703) 568-3963 - day
fac_askahn  @  vax1.acs.jmu.edu (preferred)                 (703) 434-0225 - night
fac_askahn  @  jmuvax                                       (703) 568-3322 - fax
======================================================================== 12
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1993 10:22:00 EDT
Subject: Re: student evaluation of teachers
Does anyone know if any of these studies cited thus far take race/ethnicity
into account? Kamini
Pgrahame  @  Bentley.bitnet
======================================================================== 14
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1993 13:51:53 EST
To:        stephanie riger <U29322  @  UICVM>
In ref faculty evals that discriminate against wom:  I will send you some recent 
refs. via snail mail --but reivew the UM MIM project --20 years of research on 
this.  Gender not a focus, but it can be read from the results (McKeachie,
Isaacson & ??).  best,
 --103 SIMS IV, SYRACUSE, NY 13244-1230, USA     (315)443-4580          --
 --Bitnet: JLONG  @  SUVM        Internet: JLONG  @  SUVM.ACS.SYR.EDU           --
======================================================================== 30
Date: 02 Feb 1993 09:37:47 -0500 (EST)
From: 00mekite @ BSUVAX1.BITNET
Subject: teaching evals
    The Women's Resource Center at the University of Utah has
prepared an excellent bibliography/summary of the teaching evaluations
literature.  Unfortunately, I cannot find their address.  But,
if you like, I can send a copy snail mail.  We are using it here
at BSU to argue that teaching evaluations should be viewed in
light of that data and that faculty should regularly consider
evaluations broken down by sex of student.  I believe that here
it will have more weight because it was developed at another
university (e.g., it isn't a bunch of women with chips on their
Hope this helps.
Mary Kite
00mekite  @  bsuvax1
======================================================================== 26
Date: 03 Feb 1993 12:40:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Discrimination in student ratings
Hi, I got Arnie's message saying that you are interested in citations about
students rating women's teaching lower than men's.  I'm visiting this year
at Caltech on a NSF visiting professorship for women.  At the meeting held
in September for recipients of these grants, this very topic came up and
one of the recipients (a biologist) sent all of us an article from
a newsletter for women in mathematics and another article.  I'll mail
copies to you, but here is the citation
Neal Koblitz, Department of Math, GN-50 University of Washington, Seattle
WA 98195  "Are student ratings unfair to women?"  Published in the
"Newsletter for the Assoc. for Women in Mathematics" Sept-Oct, 1990.
Barbara Gutek
======================================================================== 37
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1993 14:12:00 EST
Subject: RE: bias in student evaluation of instruction
I noticed that there was some discussion of a paper of mine on teacher
evaluations earlier in the week while I was away.  Yes, the paper was
published (albeit in a very obscure place) and the appropriate citation is:
R. K. Unger (1979).  Sexism in teacher evaluation: The comparability of real
life to laboratory analogs.  Academic Psychology Bulletin, 1, 163 - 170.
The abstract is as follows:
This study examines the effect of teacher sex on responses to course evaluation
questionnaires used in the psychology department of a state college.  Data are
reviewed suggesting that students respond to a variety of instructor characteris
 tics other than competence as a teacher.  Laboratory studies also suggest that
(oops) the presence of persistent evaluation biases in judgments about males
and females who are described as possessing identical attributes.  The present
study suggests that sex of instructor influences "real-life" evaluations in a
complex manner.  A significant negative relationship between perceived diffi-
culty of grading practices and effectiveness as an instructor was found only
for female faculty.  Results are interpreted in terms of the operation of sex-
role stereotypes.  Theya re seen as involving bias in social judgments rather
than biases in the measuring instrument itself and may act to limit the
effectiveness of female faculty who appear to be too demanding.
I conducted this research because of concerns similar to those recently dis-
cussed on the list.  The data were from the evaluations of faculty in my
department whose identities were unknown to me, but who were males and females
at varying ranks.  I hope the findings can be of some use although they may be
dated.  I have a few copies of the paper that I can xerox if someone contacts
me privately.
Rhoda Unger  unger  @  apollo.montclair.edu
======================================================================== 46
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1993 14:39:11 -0500
From: Econ_Prof Andy <FAC_KOHEN @ JMUVAX.BITNET>
Subject: faculty gender and student evaluations
I am forwarding a response (slightly edited with her permission) from a
colleague who is not on WMST-L but whose thoughts on matters such as this
I value. She has a rather unique perspective on some of this, being an
alumna of this institution (graduated less than a decade ago) and now having
taught here for a few years.
                **MESSAGE FORWARDED**
I was a little confused by the "warmth quotient"  That's not exactly what she
called it but that was the idea.  It almost sounded like there were some
questions just for women but I don't think that was what she meant to imply.
I don't disagree that students see women in authority as different from
comparable men.  The question is, what if anything should we do about it?
Is it possible to create a survey that is gender neutral if students
perceive gender differences.  Won't they bring those differences to
their responses regardless of the question?  That doesn't mean that the
form of the questions is unimportant, just that I don't feel we can
construct questions that bypass student perceptions.
Also if there are areas where women are less likely to score well, aren't
there also questions where they would be rated higher because of
gender?  Students feel compelled to tell me all about their personal life,
and I listen, perhaps some of this is becauase they think I am approachable,
but I think a lot is because they think women care about these things.  I
think some of this comes out in my evals, probably in the question about
office hours.
So where does all this leave me?  I think students perceive male and female
faculty differently, I think it probably shows up in evals, but if we
are going to try to change anything, evals are not the place to start.
Andy Kohen, Economics, JMU                          (703) 568-3220
Harrisonburg, VA  22807                             (703) 568-3299-fax
fac_kohen  @  vax1.acs.jmu.edu    or    fac_kohen  @  jmuvax
"Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten"
======================================================================== 48
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1993 14:46:44 U
From: Harrison-Pepper Sally <harrison-pepper_sally @ MSMAIL.MUOHIO.EDU>
Subject: Evaluations
In the School of Interdisciplinary Studies where I teach, at Miami University
Ohio, we developed our own evaluation.  In addition to some fairly standard
quantitative questions, there are several questions I particularly like and
find useful.  First, before the quantitative questions, students are asked to
do the following:
This question reveals a lot about a student's reaction to, view of, experience
in a course.  It also can indicate mood and other personality factors.
Students are then asked:
This helps me to understand how and on what criteria the course and I are being
evaluated.  If the student indicates a criteria such as "fun" for a course on
Rape and Incest, I'll know what has prompted their quantitative evaluation
numbers.  (What annoys me about this question is how often I'm evaluated in
terms of my appearance -- clothing, jewelry (I wear big earrings); or in terms
of my "friendliness" (I tend to challenge students assumptions a lot, and I
don't grin while I'm doing it).
students to evaluate their own performance in the course, both with a written
statement and with the same numbers and format as the other quantitative
Hope these are helpful.  I'd be interested in hearing about other evaluations
as well.
Sally Harrison-Pepper
Harrison-Pepper_Sally  @  MSMAIL.MUOHIO.EDU
======================================================================== 40
Date: Thu, 04 Feb 93 13:34 CST
From: Janet Hyde <HYDEJS @ macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Evaluations of women faculty
Dear Stephenie --
I had a list of references on the issue of sex bias in students' evaluations of
women faculty, but I can't seem to put my hands on it right now.  I know that
Rhoda Unger had compiled such a bibliography, so you should be able to get it
from her.
The issue of students' evaluations of women faculty is a bit of a dilemma that
I've spent some time pondering.  One the one hand, there is some evidence of sex
bias, although too often people cite that old Goldberg study, which may have no
relevance in 1993.  My impression is that the studies that do find evidence of
bias typically find small effects.  We know from the social psychology
literature that the more a rater knows about an individual, the less the impact
of gender in the ratings, and certainly students have scads of information about
faculty besides their gender by the end of a semester.  So, on the one hand I
certainly know of individual cases of students making out-of-line comments on
evaluations, I think on the whole the problem is fairly small.  On the other
hand, I think that women faculty in general are excellent teachers and that
students typically recognize this fact.  Women's Studies here at Wisconsin is
regarded by students as one of the best teaching departments at the university.
This line of thinking leads me to the conclusion that women stand to benefit
greatly from teaching evaluations conducted on all faculty.  I think women are
going to bgoing to come out well.  On balance, then, I think students
evaluations are going to benefit women faculty, although one needs to sound some
I hope this message comes out well on your screen.  My screen has a bunch of
interruptions that have come up, and if you get a scrambled message, I
Warm regards,
Janet Hyde
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1993 12:50:41 CST
From: Stephanie Riger <U29322 @ UICVM.BITNET>
Subject: teaching evaluations
Thanks for your responses to my query about the
relationship of gender and teaching evaluations.  I have compiled the
responses into a file which I will send to Joan for distribution to
the net.
The relationship of gender and teaching evaluation is a complicated
one.  To summarize briefly, many studies find no differences in
evaluations based on the gender of the teacher, but when differences
are found, female teachers receive lower ratings.
The following is a selected short list of recent articles on gender
and teaching evaluation (and gender and evaluation generally), with
excerpts from the abstracts when available.  The contradictory
nature of the findings is a good reflection of this area.  Research
in this area is done in two ways: a) experimental or laboratory
studies, usually with college students as subjects; and b) studies of
the ratings made by college students of their actual teachers.  Note
that the most comprehensive review article listed below, by Feldman,
examines only the former.  Note also that it consists of a "box-
score" tally of studies ( e.g.,10 studies found statistically
significant differences in overall evaluation of the teacher
depending on the teacher's gender vs. 22 which did not).  This
approach ignores such factors as the magnitude of the difference,
size of the sample, etc.  A better way to review such studies is to
use a statistical technique called meta-analysis which takes such
factors into account.  To my knowledge, no one has done this yet.
Basow, S. A. & Silberg, N. T. Student evaluations of college
professors: Are female and male professors rated differently?
Journal of Educational Psychology, 1987, v 79 (3), 308-314.
-male students gave female professors significantly poorer ratings
than they gave male professors; student major and class standing
also played a role.
Eagly, A. H., Makhijani, M. G. & Klonsky, B. G.  Gender and the
evaluation of leaders: A meta-analysis.  Psychological Bulletin,
1992, 11 (1), 3-22.
-only a small overall tendency for subjects to evaluate female
leaders less favorably than male leaders, this tendency was more
pronounced...when leadership was carried out in stereotypically
masculine styles, particularly when this style was autocratic or
Feldman, K. A. College students views of male and female college
teachers: evidence from the social laboratory and experiments.
Research in higher education. 1992. June, v33, n3, 317-375.
-in majority of laboratory and experimental studies, students'
evaluations of male and female college teachers were not different;
in a minority of studies, male teachers received higher overall
Kierstead, D., D'Agostino, P. & Dill, H.  Sex role stereotyping of
college professors: Bias in students' ratings of instructors.
Journal of Educational Psychology, 1988, 80 (3), 342-344.
-behaviors indicative of friendliness toward students elevated
ratings for female instructors but not for male instructors. In
addition, subjects rated the male professors as more effective than
female professors. These findings are consistent with other reports
that students expect female instructors to excel in both
stereotypically masculine (e.g. competence) and feminine (warmth)
Swim, J. Borgida, E. Maruyama, G, & Myers, D. G. (1989).  Joan McKay
versus John McKay: Do gender sterotypes bias evaluations?
Psychological Bulletin, 105, 409-429.
-a meta-analysis of 106 studies (mostly lab studies with college
students as raters) of sex discrimination in the evaluation of work
found little evidence of bias in the evaluation of women's work;
discrimination against women was greatest for employment
Top, T. J. (1991).  Sex bias in the evaluation of performance in the
scientific, artistic, and literary professions: A review.  Sex Roles,
24 (1-2), 73-106.
Stephanie Riger
Women's Studies Program (M/C 360)
Univ. of Il. at Chicago
1022 Behavioral Sciences Building
1007 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, Il. 60607-7137
Bitnet: u29322  @  UICVM
Fax: 312-413-4122
From: Jnet%"ME#0 @ LAFAYACS" "Liz McMahon"
Date: Feb 11, 1993
Subj:   RE: student evaluation of teachers more...
Can you append this to the end of the file?  I'll still send it out, but
it would be nice to be able to say that it is now on that file...
Liz McMahon Lafayette College
me#0  @  lafayacs.bitnet
------------------------------- Original Message -------------------------------

Date: Sat, 06 Feb 93 17:30:22 EDT
From: "BS#1000" <BS#1 @ LAFAYACS>
Re:          Gender bias in student evaluations
This is an area I've been doing research on for several years.  I have
a review "talk" that I give, but not a review "paper."  I also have a
couple of studies in the works.  Next fall, on my sabbatical, I hope
to get all of these written up.
Meanwhile, there is evidence that female faculty members are reacted
to differently by their male and female students, whereas male faculty
members tend not to be.  That is, male faculty members are the norm,
and female faculty members are marked for gender.  The general pattern
is an interaction between student gender and faculty gender such that
male students tend to rate female faculty members lower on some question
s than do female students and than they rate male professors.  Other
variables that matter are discipline (female professors in traditionally
male disciplines are judged most critically) and student major (males
in business and engineering are the worst, probably because they have
the most traditional attitudes toward women.)  These gender effects are
subtle and do not typically show up as main effects.
Some references to note:
Basow, Susan A., and Silberg, Nancy T.  (1987).  Student evaluation of
college professors:  Are female and male professors rated differently?
Journal of Educational Psychology, 79 (3), 308-314.
Bennett, Sheila.  (1982). Student perceptions of and expectations for
male and female instructors.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 74,
Dukes, Richard L., and Victoria, Gay.  (1989).  The effects of gender,
status, and effective teaching on the evaluation of college instruction.
Teaching Sociology, 17 (Oc.), 447-457.
Statham, Anne, Richardson, Laurel, and Cook, Judith.  (1991).  Gender
and University Teaching:  A Negotiated Difference.  SUNY Press.
I hope this is helpful.  People can contact me directly for me more info
Susan Basow
Psychology Dept.
Lafayette College
Easton, PA  18042-1781
phone:  215-250-5294
e-mail:  BS#1  @  LAFAYACS.BITNET
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1993 23:11:00 PST
Subject: info. on gender and evaluations

From: SCUACC::JGAINEN 11-FEB-1993 23:22:25.71
Subj:    Footnote to Stephanie Riger's refs. on gender and evaluation
Stephanie Riger mentioned in her recent message that Ken Feldman's review
of literature on gender and students' evaluations of teaching only
addressed laboratory studies.  This is correct.  However, for those of you
following this topic closely, you might want to note that Feldman has had
a second manuscript accepted by Research in Higher Education, called
"College Students' Views of Male and Female College Teachers: Part II:
Evidence from Students' Evaluations of their Classroom Teachers."
In this review, Feldman finds that "Although a majority of studies have
found that male and female college teachers do not differ in the global ratings
 they receive from their students, when statistically significant differences
are found, more of them favor women than men." But the differences are so
small that they have no practical significance.  "...female teachers receive
very slightly higher ratings on their sensitivity to and concern with class
 level and progress than do men."  (from the Abstract)
In the paper, Feldman notes that "Any predispositions of students in the social
laboratory to view male and female college teachers in certain ways (or the
lack of such predispositions) may be modified by students' actual experiences
with their teachers in the classroom or lecture hall." (p. 4)
This research is based on a meta-analysis of 39 studies.
The study should appear in RHE in the near future.
Joanne Gainen
Teaching and Learning Center
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, CA 95053

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