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Child Culture at School A Clash Between Gendered Worlds?

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... As we noted above, we found that many teachers saw British-Chinese pupils as 'too good' to be 'ideal' pupils. A Western (middle-class, masculine) model expects pupils to be questioning, and for pupils to achieve through natural talent: achievement through diligence and obedience is disparaged as 'plodding' (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977;Stanworth, 1981;Clarricoates, 1987). It is this model which has traditionally pathologised the learning approaches of girls in relation to boys, their apparent conformity and diligence perceived as lack by educationalists, irrespective of achievement (Clarricoates, 1987;Walkerdine, 1988;Skelton & Francis, 2003). ...
... A Western (middle-class, masculine) model expects pupils to be questioning, and for pupils to achieve through natural talent: achievement through diligence and obedience is disparaged as 'plodding' (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977;Stanworth, 1981;Clarricoates, 1987). It is this model which has traditionally pathologised the learning approaches of girls in relation to boys, their apparent conformity and diligence perceived as lack by educationalists, irrespective of achievement (Clarricoates, 1987;Walkerdine, 1988;Skelton & Francis, 2003). In the case of British-Chinese pupils, the (stereotyped) classroom behaviours of both girls and boys are constructed as feminine (diligent, quiet, deferent, conformist), and hence as 'not quite right' (Archer & Francis, 2005). ...
Article
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British-Chinese pupils are the highest achieving ethnic group in the British education system, and British-Chinese boys performance equals that of girls. This paper investigates aspects of British-Chinese pupils constructions of learning, focusing particularly on subject preferences and their constructions of themselves as pupils. The results are analysed according to gender as well as social class, and demonstrate that British-Chinese pupils' constructions of gender, subject preference and self-image as pupils differ in some respects from those of pupils from other ethnic groups. Reasons for such differences are considered, and the paper also reflects on the implications of these findings in relation to broader findings concerning the stereotyping and "othering" of the British-Chinese within the British education system.
... We have come a long way from the socialisation/sex-role frameworks which informed earlier studies of gender in primary and infant schools (see, for example, Clarricoates, 1978Clarricoates, , 1980Clarricoates, , 1987Serbin, 1980;Evans, 1987;Delamont, 1990) [7]. Many writers (see, for example, Arnot, 1991;Connell, 1995;Mac an Ghaill, 1994;Haywood and Mac an Ghaill, 1996;Skelton, 2001) have persuasively argued that theories of socialisation and sex-roles are inadequate as they ignore the complex, dynamic and frequently contradictory nature of gender. ...
Thesis
This thesis investigates the construction of masculinity of 10-11 year old boys at school. It is a comparative ethnographic study set in three junior schools differentiated by the social characteristics of their intake. The two main sources of data come from participant observation and interviews with children. The thesis draws on social constructionist and feminist-inspired theories and argues that the boys construct, negotiate and perform a range of different masculinities which are contingent on the meanings and practices found within each school. It is argued that there is a hierarchy of masculinities, of which one can be identified as dominant within each setting. Whilst, in each school, some masculinities are subordinated, the study found that not all boys aspire to, or compete with, the dominant form of masculinity and the version of the 'idealised' boy this presents. Some boys appear content to pursue their own forms of masculine identity. The boys' peer group is a powerful influence on the formation of masculinity. The study investigates the various strategies and symbolic resources that the boys are able to draw on to gain status and to classify and position themselves both within their own peer groups and in relation to the official culture in each school. The part played by the body is a dominant theme in the analysis presented and many forms of masculinity are seen as being defined through embodied practices. The most esteemed and extensively used resource across all three schools is physicality/athleticism exemplified by demonstrations of strength, power, fitness, skill and speed. While the official practices of the school attempt to regulate and control the boys' bodies to render them docile and receptive, the boys were, at times, active and demonstrated agency in resisting these attempts. The majority of boys form a pragmatic accommodation with the school regime and work hard for instrumental reasons, for instance to pass examinations that they see as leading to improved career opportunities and material remuneration
... Especially, here and elsewhere we have added to the research which illustrates how achievement via diligence is pathologised in a society that constructs 'genius' as innate. Both pupils and teachers tend to produce 'brilliance' as natural and inherent, reproducing discourses prevalent in our wider historic and popular culture (Clarricoates 1981(Clarricoates , 1987Harding 1986Harding , 1991Walkerdine 1989Walkerdine , 1990Francis et al. 2003). As these authors have argued, this construction is integrally gendered, 'raced' and classed, and bound up with enlightenment discourses that produce intellect and rationality as masculine, Western/ White, and middle class. ...
Article
The high achievement of British Chinese students in the British education system is established in the official literature and has recently been subject to increased attention and comment; albeit it remains the case that few studies have asked students or their families about the factors contributing to their success. This paper revisits findings from an earlier research project that investigated the extent to which British Chinese students and their parents value education (and their rationales), their experiences of British education, and the construction of British Chinese students by their teachers. The study revealed the ‘hidden racisms’ experienced by British Chinese students, the problematisation of their perceived approaches to learning by British teachers in spite of their high attainment, and the benefits, costs, and consequences of their valuing of education. This article contextualises these prior findings within more recent discourses and debates around ‘Chinese success’, precipitated by increased policy attention to the educational attainment of different groups of students, especially from low socio-economic backgrounds. It argues that these discourses on one hand elevate Chinese successes and teaching methods (in contrast to prior narratives), but on the other they continue to exoticise and ‘Other’ the British Chinese, misrecognising educational practices common among White middle-class parents.
... tj. rodnom aspektu koncepcije nastavnih predmeta (Skelton i Francis, 2009.; Harding, 1991.) i izvedbi kurikuluma, B. Baranović, K. Doolan, I. Jugović: Jesu li čitanke književnosti... posebice nastavničkom viđenju rodnih identiteta i njihovih razlika te rodnoj obojenosti interakcije nastavnika/ca i učenika/ca tijekom nastave (Browne i France, 1986.; Clarricoates, 1987.; Sadker i Sadker, 1994.; Liu, 2006.; Renold, 2006.). Zasluga je socio-konstruktivističkog pristupa što je pored načina na koji se rodni identiteti konstruiraju u školskom kontekstu također pokazao da učenici i učenice nisu pasivni primatelji poruka o rodnim ulogama i pozicijama žena i muškaraca, nego da sami mogu sudjelovati u konstruira ...
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This article examines the gender (in)sensitivity of primary school literature textbooks in Croatia, operationalised as gender balanced authorship of textbooks and texts and a nonstereotypical portrayal of textbook characters. Content analysis was carried out on literature textbooks which are used in the first to the eighth grade of primary schooling in Croatia and the research matrix used for analysis included the following variables: representation of male and female textbook authors, authors of texts and text supplements, representation of male and female textbook characters, as well as the characters’ psychosocial characteristics, their value systems and professional and family roles. The analysis showed that in comparison to men women were under-represented in textbooks: men dominate both as authors of texts and text supplements and as characters mentioned in these texts and supplements. A traditional approach to gender issues in textbooks is expressed through the portrayal of the family roles and marital status of characters: the stereotypical role of the woman as mother and family with children is promoted as the preferred form of family life in adulthood. Although male and female textbook characters are in many cases potrayed as having gender stereotypical characteristics, values and professional roles, there are also examples of non-stereotypical gender representations of characters which could contribute to a more gender sensitive learning environment.
... Arguments of this kind can be found in Roberts (1981) and Duelli-Klein (1983)edited collections of papers on feminist research including educational studiesand Stanley and Wise (1983). Clarricoates (1980Clarricoates ( , 1987 examines gender divisions in elementary schools in the North of England showing that schools with workingclass pupils enforced different gender roles from those with middle-class intakes. Several researchers have focused on adolescent girls, including McRobbie and Garber (1976), Fuller (1980), Stanworth (1983, Davies (1984), Griffin (1985), and Lees (1986). ...
Article
This paper is a response to Jacob’s (1987) presentation on qualitative research traditions published in the Review of Educational Research, Volume 57, Number 1. There is no disagreement about the benefits for educational research that accrue from systematic use of qualitative research. This paper differs from Jacob’s in two ways. First, it argues that a framework of distinct theoretical traditions is neither an accurate historical account of social science nor helpful to researchers. Second, and more important, it addresses a major gap in Jacob’s article: the neglect of British research drawing on qualitative perspectives.
... Furthermore, a brief review of the available review papers shows that the main developments in classroom research in the past fifteen years have come from beyond psychology, from sociology and anthropology, linguistics and sociolinguistics and increasingly from elsewhere. For example, from literary theory (Turkle 1984, Christie 1986, Reid 1987; feminist research, initially into girls' subcultures (Clarricoates 1980, McRobbie & Garber 1976, Fuller 1980, Stanworth 1983, Davies 1984, Griffin 1985, Lees 1986) and more recently on pedagogy and methodological issues (Lather 1991, Kenway & Modra 1989, Lewis & Simon 1986, and most productively in raising questions about subjectivity and identity (Walkerdine 1981, Davies 1982, 1992, McWilliam 1994, Kenway & Willis 1998 Erikson 1982 and for a recent example Goldman-Segall 1998). While there are few studies in education that do not in some way invoke images or assumptions about classrooms as sites for teaching and learning, image-based research in education is a neglected field (Prosser 1989) and there is still a lot we do not know about how classrooms work as social settings. ...
Article
Foregrounding the primary school as a key cultural arena for the production and reproduction of sexuality and sexual identities, this article goes some way to addressing what are absent from many sociological portrayals of young children and schooling. Drawing on data derived from an ethnographic exploration into children's gender and sexual identities during their final year of primary school, the article examines how dominant notions of heterosexuality underscore much of children's identity work and peer relationships. The article further illustrates how boys and girls are each subject to the pressures of compulsory heterosexuality, where to be a 'normal' girl or boy involves the projection of a coherent and abiding heterosexual self. The implications of recognising children's sexual cultures and the pressures to conform to a heterosexual culture are discussed briefly in the concluding section.
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Concern about the behaviour of boys and young men is generating a great deal of debate in Britain. Within education, a ‘common‐sense’ view of boys' behaviours tends to rest upon biologically or socially essentialist understandings. Using theoretical approaches based on social constructionist and post‐structuralist understandings of identity formation, this paper analyses empirical data collected during qualitative research in a British primary school. The paper argues that male identities are neither normative nor biologically or socially reproduced. Instead, they are best understood as fractured and shifting, as positionings within discourse. The various masculinities found in the classroom are hierarchically organized, with class playing a structuring role. The boys themselves, as well as the curriculum and the community, are all actively engaged in constructing the particular masculinities in the classroom. This occurs within a framework of educational reform that acts to privilege some masculine modes above others. The paper concludes that an understanding of a multiplicity of masculinities, constructed in the interplay of formal school curriculum, informal pupil cultures and discourses of masculinity, provides a more fruitful basis for analysis and action.
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This article is concerned with an examination of the gendered playground relations experienced by boys and girls with a focus on the domination of sporting activities/games that dictate the nature of play amongst children aged ten and eleven. It seeks to explore the place of sport and in particular, the game of football in the social construction and negotiation of hegemonic masculinities that affect and position both girls and boys. The construction of the game and the consequences of its maintenance which differentially positions pupils will be explored alongside particular strategies pupils employ to resist, reject or directly challenge such positionings. The paper will then go on to describe and analyse the practices that take place to re‐construct and maintain the display of hegemonic masculinity through other sports and activities when the game of football is banned. The findings have implications for the recent call by government officials to promote and encourage traditional team sports, such as football.
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Consideration of social factors and teacher and pupil subjectivities can enhance some recent important work on teaching and learning which concentrated on the cognitive dimension. A comprehensive model is elaborated, with cognitive, curricular, organizational, social, interactional, and interpretational elements. Successful teaching and learning depends on a high incidence of matching in all these aspects. Social factors producing mismatching are considered, followed by how this is coped with by teachers and pupils through, for example, negotiation and the use of strategies. Finally, an example of successful matching along all aspects of the model is outlined.
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