Gender relations and teacher-pupil interaction in four northern primary schools
The thesis examines the way in which the classroom practices of teachers use gender as a means of categorisation, organisation and control and help to create and/or perpetuate particular perceptions and expectations of gender behaviour and relations in children.Within this context. the thesis will explore the extent to which classroom practices reflect (or differ from) the more general attitudes that teachers hold about gender relations and about the appropriate education of girls and boys.It will also investigate the constraints upon teachers' practices which stem from the school situation; the social background. training and attitudes of the teachers; the structure of the lives of married women (as wives/mothers/teachers); the children themselves, who come into school with certain attitudes already formed, and who continue to participate in a culture wider than the school.It will study the effect of different catchment areas upon the practices of teachers and upon the interaction between teachers and pupils. This aspect of the thesis is based upon the assumptions that:i] children's experiences in family and community will vary between catchment areas.ii] teachers will view each catchment area differently and that their aims. ambitions and educational practices will be influenced by the nature of the catchment area and by their view of it.iii] the outlook of the headteachers is a crucial variable since they are key figures in defining the policies of the school and the nature of the relationship of the school to its catchment area.Through the comparison of catchment areas the thesis will incorporate the variable of class, and study the interaction of class and gender in specific settings. As a subsidiary theme, the urban-rural variable will also be considered.While the main emphasis will be on the routine practices of teachers, some attention will be paid to less common forms of interaction such as the treatment of children who 'deviate' from expected forms of gender behaviour.As well as the interaction between teachers and pupils, the thesis will examine the nature of interaction between children themselves as this relates to gender relations.