Gendered Language in Teacher Reviews

As a short follow-up to Bridget Brown’s post from last week about student evaluations, here’s an  interactive chart developed by Benjamin M. Schmidt (an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University), which allows one to see trends in the use of language on RateMyProfessor,com reviews.

As the description on the page says, Schmidt’s chart allows users to enter words or two-word phrases and then displays their prevalence “per million words of text (normalized against gender and field).” One can also limit the results to only negative or only positive reviews.

Here it is.

Take a look, try out some terms, and see what you come up with.

I’m curious to hear if the results correlate (or don’t) with people’s initial assumptions about such data. I’m also interested to hear what people think such data might indicate and, for that matter, what it might hide. I think it’s also worth considering what the flaws/limitations in the methodology of such a study/tool are.

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