'Man-up, go and get an ice-pack.' Gendered stereotypes and binaries within the classroom: a thing of the past?

Hamilton, Paula (2015) 'Man-up, go and get an ice-pack.' Gendered stereotypes and binaries within the classroom: a thing of the past? Education 3-13. ISSN 0300-4279

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Abstract

Gendered expectations are deeply embedded within the fabric of a society and the classroom is no exception; binaries habitually pervade attitudes, practices and pedagogies. This small-scale qualitative-interpretive study, undertaken in one rural primary school in North Wales, explores how the learning of gender is constructed, enacted and challenged by participants functioning within Key Stage 2 (children aged 8-11 years); issues experienced by, both girls and boys, to cogitate implications for gender equity and for teachers’ work. The fieldwork revealed many school participants continue to draw upon essentialist binary discourse, predominantly based on biological theories, to explain differences between boys and girls relating to classroom behaviour, subject attainment, curricular preferences and career pathways. Constant reference was made to acceptable ways of ‘doing masculinity’ and the ‘high-achieving, conforming school girl culture’. Children recognised gender binaries used by teachers and were aware of societal advances in gender equity. Despite decades of research and policies, we are still some way to ameliorating gender binaries and stereotypes in this phase of schooling. Therefore, there is an urgent need for practitioners to become more reflexively aware about the complex ways in which gendered dualisms and hierarchies perpetuate and dictate relations and pedagogical practices, which constrain experiences and opportunities for girls and boys and, to incorporate multiple ways of thinking and doing gender in classrooms.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: gender and the primary classroom, gender binaries, gender stereotypes, gender and learning, gender and behaviour, gender and careers
Divisions: Social and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Mr Stewart Milne
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2015 15:28
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 11:53
URI: http://glyndwr.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/9067

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