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The ‘feminisation of schooling’ or ‘re-masculinising’ primary education?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christine Skelton


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The move in the United Kingdom to recruit more men into primary teaching is to tackle boys under-achievement. One explanation that has been offered as to why boys' are under-achieving is the 'feminisation of primary schooling'. This article begins by exploring the findings of a national survey of student primary teachers towards gender roles and schooling. The views of the students indicated accordance with the idea that primary schools are feminised and feminising environments. The discussion here critiques these notions and argues that current educational policy is not moving forward in a direction that will actively challenge conventional stereotyping. Rather, the move is towards one where notions of masculinity and femininity will be reinforced through a 're-masculinisation' of primary schooling.[1] The research drawn upon in this article was undertaken collaboratively with Bruce Carrington and Ian Hall (University of Newcastle), and Becky Francis (University of North London). I would like to record my thanks to them all, particularly Bruce for his contribution to this article. He provided the analysis of the quantitative data and commentary on the outline of the research project. His analysis of the qualitative data on men student teachers can be found in Carrington (forthcoming). I would also like to thank colleagues at the International Sociology of Education Conference for their comments and observations, in particular Meg Maguire, and two anonymous referees of this article.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Skelton C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Studies in Sociology of Education

Year: 2002

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Pages: 77-96

Print publication date: 04/03/2011

ISSN (print): 0962-0214

ISSN (electronic): 1747-5066

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/09620210200200084


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