Disrupting masculinised spaces: teachers working for gender justice
This article rejects the notion that schools have become excessively feminised spaces that are failing to adequately provide for the educational needs of boys. This construction of schools as feminised has provided the impetus for the development of what have become known as 'boy-friendly' pedagogies. Unfortunately such pedagogies work with essentialist assumptions about masculinity and as such have the potential to reinscribe and valorise those forms of masculinity that are oppressive to others and, in some instances, result in self-harm. The authors thus contend that boy-friendly approaches to schooling often work against the interests of more gender-just practices in schools, and beyond. Drawing on one set of data from a broader study, they highlight the masculinised spaces operating in one all-boys' school. They suggest that a boy-friendly pedagogy here would be highly inappropriate in terms of promoting gender justice. They therefore foreground the philosophies and practices of one group of teachers who are concerned with implementing a transformational pedagogy in their classrooms and suggest that whilst, in this instance, such pedagogies are not without their problems, they offer insights into how such masculinised spaces can be disrupted.
Research Papers in Education
Gender, Sexuality and Education