Dimensions of gender in a school.
This thesis reports research undertaken during 1975 and 1976
in a co-educational multi-racial comprehensive school in London. The
study aims to examine in what ways sex-class (in comparison with
ethnicity and social class) structures relationships within the school.
The author spent eight months in daily observation of five classes of
15 and 16 year-old pupils and their teachers. A framework is proposed
understanding the development of gender identity (masculinity/
femininity) which places the role of school in a wider context.
Pupils' perceptions of teachers (in the abstract and of those
who currently teach them); their understandings of the pupil role;
their classroom behaviour; and their academic aspirations and
achievement are examined in relation to their typifications of males
and females and their own self-concepts as feminine/masculine. Relationships
between these are neither as straightforward nor as consistently
pro-male as previous research would indicate.
Teachers* perceptions of male and female pupils are examined in the
light of their own teaching values and of differential classroom behaviour
Of Pupils- NO firm evidence of teacher bias towards/against one sex can
be discerned. The status of female and male teachers is discussed.
Males OCCUPY Most of the senior posts and in general enjoy higher status
than females. In terms of those who teach, many school subjects are sexdifferentiated
throughout the school, with Ifemalet subjects being more
peripheral to the core curriculum. This sex-differentiation is closely
paralleled in fifth year pupilst choice of subjects for study.
The school was organised around pupils' sex-class. It is demonstrated
that large areas of consensus regarding sex-class exist between pupils and