The Gendered Reflections of Undergraduate Students

Year: 1992

Author: Angwin, Jennifer

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on research in progress examining the gendered reflections of undergraduate students in the Faculty of Education at Deakin University. The project extends an on-going interest in gender inclusiveness of a large and diverse group of staff members from most Departments in the School of Primary Teaching. A collaborative team representing a range of feminist interests and expertise implemented this research. In the first instance we aimed to influence the current practice of Teacher Education by translating the gender inclusive curriculum to a tertiary context. We adopted this paradigm after Fowler (1983) conceptualising it as a framework which by its contents and methodologies valued the female as equally valid as the male. In responding to current Government policies we hoped to utilise this model and identify its significance in Teacher Education. The team chose to focus upon examining the perceived and pre-existing gendered knowledge of our students as they began their teaching qualification. We expected that this would form an appropriate base for our eventual goal of discovering their perceptions of the gendered process of Teacher Education. We began the research task by attempting to uncover what our students could tell us was the gendered nature of their schooling both at the primary and secondary levels. In doing so we devised a wide ranging series of open-ended questions to form an interview schedule. These questions focussed upon issues of policy, language, culture, knowledge and harassment in an attempt to uncover statements of how gender was constructed in schools for and by our students.