Archive | Gender and Education Journal

Boffins and geeks: geek or chic?

Boffins and geeks: geek or chic?

The labels swot, ear ’ole, boffin, keeno, geek and nerd resonate meaningfully across generations of school-goers and echo through the terrains of popular culture. Our Gender and Education viewpoint started life as a conversation about our own research into how such identities are imagined and lived. We wondered: Has ‘the rise of the nerd’ meant that being a ‘boffin’ at school has lost its stigma? Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 24.1, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Female Paths to Adulthood in a Country of ‘Genderless Gender’

As a researcher, there are situations when some discussions with interviewees or colleagues start to tickle our brains and cry out for getting analysed and reanalysed. Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 24.1, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Gender representation and social justice: Ideology, methodology and smoke-screens

This article in Gender and Education 27.3 was born out of a commitment to contribute to the United Nations Millennium Goals related to gender equality. The commitment was not only mine as author, but also that of the organisations which sponsored and supported the research. The South African President of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration, the Commonwealth Foundation, the Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance in Johannesburg, the international network, Women Leading Education, and the University of Southampton all offered support. The number and range of organisations that helped evidences a fund of willingness to try to improve gender equality. I led the team from South Africa and the UK which undertook research in South Africa into how women became headteachers and how they lead their schools when appointed. The aim was to pilot a method of comparative research into women headteachers’ experience that could be used in other locations across the world. Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 23.7, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Catholic Daughters: the Mother Daughter Nexus

For my PhD research on the Catholic mother-daughter relationship I decided to  turn the analytical lens on myself.  I discussed the idea with a friend, who suggested examining the mother-daughter relationship. I phoned my mother and asked her what she thought. Her reply was, “Wouldn’t you rather get married instead?”  This reply cemented the idea as it said so much about the life trajectory my mother wanted for me. Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 23.7, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Shaping Futures and Feminisms: The Qur’anic School in the West African Francophone Novel

Following the intense scrutiny to which Islamic societies and cultures have been subjected in the recent past, I was intrigued by the excessive emphasis on the nexus between terrorism and Islam. In particular, I noticed the suggestion in the media on Islamic schools or madrasas as breeding grounds for terrorism, terrorist thought and ideology. What I found disturbing was the insinuation that Muslim children were indoctrinated with hatred for others, and consequently grew up to become terrorists. Two things piqued my curiosity— do Muslim girls not frequent these schools? and why haven’t there been as many cases of Muslim female terrorists if they, too, were being indoctrinated with hatred in these schools? I always suspected that something was amiss and it led me to wonder if these schools were open only to boys—was there any place for girls in Islamic education? Furthermore, why weren’t regions that don’t typically fall under the radar of scholarship or media attention vis-à- vis Islam such as Africa being examined to provide a holistic view of Islamic culture and practice? Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 23.7, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Similarities and differences in collegiality / managerialism in Irish and Australian universities

This article developed from collaboration between the authors in late 2008 when Kate was a visiting researcher at the University of Limerick, funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. At the same time the authors were collaborating in an eight-country study of the Women in Higher Education Management (WHEM) Network that was published in the UK and US in 2011 as Gender, Power and Management: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Higher Education (eds. Barbara Bagilhole and Kate White). Building on those collaborations, we have continued to analyse the Irish and Australian data and presented papers at conferences in Gothenburg (2010) and at Amsterdam, Ottawa and Melbourne (2011). The Irish/Australian comparison is particularly apposite in view of the use of Australian higher educational policy and practice as an exemplar by the Irish government. Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 23.7, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Slippage and/or symbolism: gender, policy and educational governance in Scotland and Sweden

The co-authors of this article have been working together in Sweden (Elisabet Öhrn & Gaby Weiner) and in Scotland (Gaby Weiner & Joan Forbes) for a number of years. The idea for this policy study piece grew from involvement in a project on social and other capitals in independent schooling in Scotland. Gender was found to be significant in/through which capitals resources worked. One school exhibited a ‘traditional’ gender regime, exemplified in its privileging of boys’ sport, boys’ overall confidence and apparent lack of gender awareness among staff; another had an explicit discourse of girls’ high academic achievement and aspiration; a third school encouraged newer, more urbane and ‘sensitive’ forms of middle class masculinities alongside traditional forms of masculinity. We were interested in knowing more about the Scottish gender policy context for that study and how it compared to that of Sweden – another relatively small country on the periphery of Europe. Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 23.6, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Gender, community and education: cultures of resistance in Socialist Sunday Schools and Black Supplementary Schools

I started the historical research that is the basis for my article in the upcoming Gender and Education issue (23:6) in 2007. At this time, New Labour’s policy emphasis on ‘empowerment’ through community cohesion, regeneration and community-oriented schools, had attracted significant critique within research literature. Examining New Labour’s policy paradigm, and the schooling practices promoted by their policy ensemble, many had demonstrated the tendency to privilege middle-class modes of educational agency. Concurrently, despite being the specific target of a proliferation of policies, working-class children and parents have been routinely constructed as perpetually lacking. Spurred on by this, when starting my research, my primary interest lay in uncovering – and better understanding – the history of working-class educational agency that had appeared to be lost in dominant policy discourse. Interestingly, whilst completing my research, New Labour came to the end of its 13-year rule, and in swept the Conservative/Liberal Democratic Coalition, bringing with it a new (though perhaps not radically reformulated) reiteration of community ‘empowerment’. With David Cameron’s heralding of the ‘Big Society’ and Michael Gove’s ‘free schools’, community participation appears to continue to have significant rhetorical utility in contemporary education policy. Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 23.6, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Accessions: Researching, Designing Higher Education

My piece ‘Accessions: Researching, Designing Higher Education’ in Gender and Education (23:6) reports on the experiences, effects and (dis)engagements in working alongside designers – as part of a research-design team – to foster a more ‘public sociology’. These are questions, conceptual and methodological, that I have been interested in for some time: this piece, as with other work, asks who becomes the proper subject for (non)academic attention? Questions are raised about the place of a ‘public sociology’ as part of a ‘city publics’ and ‘engaged university’ where understanding local disseminations and disparities is important in considering where different users, interviewees and indeed researchers are coming from. It asks where are we coming from? Why does this matter and how can this be operationalised as a politicised practice (rather than personalized, individualized pain); Where are we going as the direction of Higher Education stalls and changes? When we ‘travel’ in academia do we only credentialise ourselves, becoming more distant from the very audiences, users, and publics which enable our mobility? ‘Accessions’ alludes to academic hierarchies, elitism and ‘becoming’ in and out of the university setting, and continues a concern reflected in a forthcoming Sociological Research Online piece: ‘Placing Research: ‘City Publics’ and the ‘Public Sociologist’ (2011, with Michelle Addison) and a current European Societies piece ‘International and Widening Participation Students’ Experience of Higher Education, UK’ (2011, with Tracy Scurry). Continue Reading

Posted in Gender and Education 23.6, Gender and Education Journal, Issues0 Comments

Special Issue of Gender and Education (Thinking Education Feminisms: Engagements with the Work of Diana Leonard)

The extended deadline for abstract submission (7 September) is approaching. Further details are available here

Posted in Gender and Education Journal, Issues, Special IssuesComments Off

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