Tag Archive | "academic success"

Trying to Triumph? Academic Cares and Capacities

Triumphs:  Story 1

She’s just won a prestigious prize (at a prestigious conference): praise was rightfully delivered and she basked it the glory, in the surprise that seemed to say she’d arrived in academia (early career no more). But she was worried. Did this really signal a safety in arriving, a recognition of value, labour, contributions? Or did it signal more labour, maybe this time without recognition or value? When the stakes are set so high do we have no choice but to keep apace, to endlessly indicate, effect and fear our own (in)capacities? When we compete with colleagues in a competitive university-marketplace – and when competition is so close it is generated by-ourselves-for-ourselves (as ‘keeping up’, ‘what next?’) – what cares, connections, capacities are rendered near and far? I tell her to add her award to her email signature, a neat summary quickly conveying who she is as a hyperlinked bio. But I pause. There’s a borderline between the achieving academic, the celebrity star and the pretentious, (self)promotional subject. I pause. These are laboured cares. Read the full story

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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? Read the full story

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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. Read the full story

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A ‘Worrying’ Trend or a Cause for Celebration? Girls’ Exam Success at 16

Once more the gap between girls’ and boys’ GCSE results (taken at 16) has been in the UK news (the results in Scotland were announced earlier in the year and did not attract the same kind of attention). Although it cannot be said that this has been the usual slow news Summer – we have had so far the Norwegian killings, riots and their aftermath in England, uprisings in Libya and Syria, stock market turbulence etc. etc. – this is generally the time of the year when journalists are looking for a story and try to make one up with the publication of the GCSE results. It is also the time of year when straw dogs are set up to be knocked down.  In my last post I noted how lone mothers and women teachers were being blamed for the riots. Well they are also being blamed for boys’ relative lower performance compared with girls, although other factors mentioned include over-use of course-work and grade inflation. Read the full story

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Straight A and Okay? Researching Academically Successful Girls in the Wake of Post-Feminism

We began studying academically successful girls in 2007. Some researchers and the popular media had already been asking “What about the boys?” for over a decade, but the discourse was becoming a runaway train in the new millennium. Everywhere we looked, magazine covers and newspaper headlines anxiously suggested that girls were now the “new dominant sex,” and that their success had come as a result of a “feminized” education system and at boys’ expense. So ingrained was this panic that whenever we discussed our interest in girls’ academic success, someone would invariably ask, “Why are you studying girls? I thought boys were the ones who needed to be studied now.” Read the full story

Posted in Gender and Education 23.5, Gender and Education Journal, IssuesComments (1)

Gender, education and Jamie Oliver’s ‘dream school’

Jamie’s Dream School, a UK Reality TV series, records the latest crusade of celebrity chef, “entrepreneur and activist” Jamie Oliver. After his attempts to revamp school dinners and get the nation cooking, Jamie took his next venture back to school. Read the full story

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