Theory and research in social education

Theory and research in social education

Material Information

Theory and research in social education
National Council for the Social Studies -- College and University Faculty Assembly
Place of Publication:
[Bloomington, Ind.?
College and University Faculty Assembly, National Council for the Social Studies] .
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Social sciences -- Study and teaching -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
T01-v24n01_96winter-0000 ( USFLDC DOI )
t1.v24n01_96winter- ( USFLDC Handle )

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam a22 u 4500
controlfield tag 008 d19982002inu r 000 0 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a T01-v24n01_96winter-0000
1 0 245
Theory and research in social education.
n Vol. 24, no. 1 (winter 1996).
p (Download Complete Issue Adobe PDF version)
[Bloomington, Ind.? :
b College and University Faculty Assembly, National Council for the Social Studies] .
c winter 1996
Social sciences
x Study and teaching
v Periodicals.
National Council for the Social Studies.
College and University Faculty Assembly.
t Theory and Research in Social Education.
4 856

xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
mods:mods xmlns:mods http:www.loc.govmodsv3 xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govmodsv3mods-3-1.xsd
mods:relatedItem type host
mods:identifier issn 0093-3104mods:part
mods:detail volume mods:number 24issue 1series Year mods:caption 19961996Month March3Day 11mods:originInfo mods:dateIssued iso8601 1996-03-01


THEORY AND RESEARCH IN SOCIAL EDUCATION Volume XXIV Number 1 Winter, 1996 The Official Journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies TRSE is the official journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Published quarterly, it is a general review open to all social studies educators, social scientists, historians, and philosophers A general statement of purpose may be found with submission, subscription, and advertising information at the end of the journal € 1996 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved


THEORY AND RESEARCH IN SOCIAL EDUCATION Editor : Jack R Fraenkel Book Review Editor : Perry Marker Associate Editors : Jean Cheng & Mary V Grant Theory and Research in Social Education (ISSN 0093-3104) is published quarterly by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Membership is $35 .00 per year, $20 .00 of which is allocated for subscription to TR S E Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $39 .00 per year Secondclass postage is paid at Washington, D .C ., and additional offices Back issues may be obtained for $10 .00 each when available Postmaster : Send address changes to Theory and Research in Social Education, 3501 Newark Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016 CHANGE OF EDITORSHIP Commencing with Volume XIV, Number 2, (Spring, 1996) the new editor of Theory and Research in Social Education will be Dr Wayne Ross of the State University of New York at Binghamton Address manuscripts, letters to the editor, book reviews, and correspondence pertaining to submissions to : Dr E Wayne Ross School of Education and Human Development P O Box 6000 State University of New York Binghamton, NY 1 .3902-6000 Address correspondence related to permissions, subscription and membership, back issues, and change of address to : Membership Department National Council for the Social Studies 3501 Newark Street, NW Washington, DC 20016 Address correspondence about advertising to : Peter Stavros, Meetings and Marketing, at the NCSS address


REVIEWER ACKNOWLEDGMENT Thank you to the following individuals for their time and for the attention they gave to the review of multiple manuscripts during my editorship .-JRF Susan Adler Janet Alleman Rod Allen Ann Angell Beverly Armento Patricia Avery Ronald Banaszak James Banks James Barth Christine Bennett Marlowe Berg Kathy Bickmore Linda Biemer Don Bragaw Allan Brandhorst Margaret Branson Jere Brophy June Chapin Cleo Cherryholmes Ambrose Clegg Gloria Contreras Jeff Cornett O L Davis Richard Diem Alberta Dougan James Eckenrod Lee Ehman Terrie Epstein Ronadl Evans Jean Fair Patrick Ferguson Jeff Fouts Jesus Garcia R E Gross Carole Hahn Michael Hartoonian Marilyn Johnston Pamela Joseph Bill Joyce Clair Keller Nechie King Joseph Kirman Gloria Ladson-Billings A G Larkins Margaret Laughlin James Leming Linda Levstik Ann Lockledge Wilma Longstreet Eric Luce Andra Makker Gerald Marker Peter Martorella Mary McFarland Merry Merryfield John Meyer Geoff Milburn Steven Miller Sharon Pray Muir John Napier Jack Nelson Murry Nelson Fred Newmann Anna Ochoa Joseph Onosko Stuart Palonsky Walter Parker Jeff Passe Tom Popkewitz Paul Robinson Wayne Ross Enoch Sawin Donald Schneider Mark Schug Peter Seixas Susanne Shafer James Shaver Dorothy Skeel Mary Soley Fred Splittgerber Robert Stahl William Stanley Lynda Stone Steve Thornton Steve Thorpe Judy Torney-Purta Jan Tucker Mary Jane Turner Bruce VanSledright Ronald VanSickle Rahima Wade Norm Wallen Michael Whelan Stan Wronski Jack Zevin


Volume XXIV Number 1 Winter, 1996 SPECIAL ISSUE : MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION Guest Editor : Jane Bernard-Powers Farewell from the Editor 1 Editorial FEATURES 2 Carole L Hahn Gender and Political Learning 8 Lynda Stone Feminist Political Theory : Contributions to a Conception of Citizenship 36 Robert W Smith Schooling and the Formation of Male Students' Gender Identities 54 Geert ten Dam Rally Rijkschroeff Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education : Constructing Gender Identity BOOK REVIEW 71 Pat Gallagher Teacher Stories and Gender Tales 89 Information for Authors 92


FAREWELL EDITORIAL This is the final issue of TR S E under my editorship I have enjoyed editing the journal over the last four and one-half years, and I've worked very hard to produce and maintain a journal of the highest quality I truly believe that TR S E is now, without question the premiere journal in our field I'm very proud of every issue that we produced during my editorship No editor is any better than his or her staff, of course, and mine has been absolutely superb I would like to express my thanks to Jean Cheng and Mary Grant, my two associate editors, for all of the time and energy that they put into ensuring that each issue of the journal was free of errors and a tribute to our profession Many times they worked long hours under tight deadlines to make sure that the journal came out on time They are true professionals in every sense of the word Thank you, Jean and Mary I would also like to express my thanks to Perry Marker of Sonoma State University who served as Book Review Editor He did a marvelous job of soliciting and editing a number of excellent reviews, was never late, and always most cooperative and industrious He, too, was a pleasure to work with, and extremely professional in all of his work Thank you, Perry Finally, I would like to thank all of the many reviewers who gave of their time and energy Too numerous to mention here individually, their names are listed on the "reviewer acknowledgment" page Many, many members of CUFA proved to be extremely reliable, thoughtful, and careful reviewers ; I turned to several on a more-or-less regular basis, and they never let me down Thank you, one and all Lastly, may I extend my very best wishes to the new editor, Wayne Ross of SUNY Binghamton, as he begins his tenure as editor of Theory and Research in Social Education I'm sure that he will maintain the standards of excellence that Jean, Mary, Perry, and all of our reviewers have established, and that TRSE will continue to be a journal of which the profession can be proud Jack R Fraenkel February,1996 1


GUEST EDITORIAL In this issue, we present the last of three special issues of Theory and Research in Social Education commissioned under my editorship This special issue, focusing on the relationship between gender and social studies theory and research, was put together with the assistance of guest editor Jane Bernard-Powers of the Department of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University Her editorial follows below Engendering Social Studies : Perspectives, Texts, and Teaching When Jean Grambs introduced the 1976 publication Teaching about Women in the Social Studies, she titled her chapter "What We Must Do", and set out some clear and seemingly simply ways to include women in the curriculum Two decades later, we are still discussing what we must do ; curricular reform is still work in progress, but the project is far more complex We teachers, professors, and researchers have only begun to scratch the surface of gender dynamics, gender identities, and gendered knowledge in the social studies classrooms and in social education As feminist scholarship in the social sciences has developed, so have questions and debates about essential gender identities Are there immutable qualities associated with being male and female in social/political contexts? How is gender related to other dimensions of human identity such as race, class, ethnicity, and age? What is the salience of gender as a phenomena in social education? How can we transform our curricula at all levels of the formal educational system using feminist scholarship and knowledge about gender in climates that are hostile? These questions indicate that the work of diversifying our lenses, our inquiry and research, and our curricular is far more complex than simply including more women, identifying biases, and guaranteeing access to class discussion, as important as the latter are To define gender and feminism is also more challenging than it was in the early days of the current women's movement Feminism, which originally referred to the achievement of rights for women in a liberal political context, is now more broadly construed to include the discovery, analysis, interpretation, and celebration of women's experiences across time, cultures, institutions, and contexts As Lynda Stone explains in The Education Feminism Reader, it is now more appropriate to refer to feminisms Gender has traditionally referred to culturally constructed conceptions of what it means to be male or female As explorations into the meaning of gender progressed over the 2


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 last 25 years, the evidence of fluidity and the significance of cultural and historical context in influencing gender boundaries became more clear and more complex Gender roles, boundaries, patterns, and belief systems are indicative of the language that has developed to characterize the broad developing phenomena of gender lenses Implicit here is the fact that feminist scholarship and gender work are so closely related that it is difficult to distinguish them Consideration of women's experience and knowledge is a gender issue, as is consideration of men's experience and knowledge For this issue of TRSE, feminism(s) refers to a focus on women's experiences, and gender refers to a focus on explicit or implicit comparison between men and women The "woman question" in social education surfaced early in this century when Annie G Porrit, a political conservative, wrote in an article for Educational Review (1911) that women were poorly equipped to teach civics because they were not enfranchised She argued that it was inappropriate for women to teach civics to young men because young men would be quick to identify the sham of patriotism and political theory coming from the lips of the unenfranchised Porritt's argument reflects the lack of self-consciousness that attended Progressive Era debates about women's place and aptitudes She cuts through to a central concept that has shaped consideration of gender in social education : Men have significant public, political, and economic power, and they have dominated the 'game', to use Porritt's metaphor In the United States at the turn of the century and more recently in the resurgent feminist movement, the role and future of women in the game has been debated passionately and the parameters of the game have changed with the debate From Progressive Era articulation of separate spheres-the perceived 'real' game out in the world of politics and business and the 'side' game that women played in neighborhoods, homes, schools, clubs, and churches-to the 1960s movement when women stormed in and demanded equal access to the main arena with all its attendant rewards, gender has been a significant dimension of the social, economic, and political landscape of the twentieth century Economic, social and legal equity, intellectual ability, biological destiny, and a woman's right to choose are among the topics that have been discussed and argued in newspapers, community groups, and academic forums The revived woman question sustained itself through the 1980s and into the 1990s when race, class, ethnicity, and sexual identity permanently joined gender in scholarly analyses and writings, and the complexity of power games became ever more apparent Gender roles, relations, and critical perspectives' € have always been a significant dynamic in American life and in its politics 3


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 In the past 25 years, they moved from the background to the forefront in popular media and in academic writing and research What distinguishes the contemporary conversation is the 25 years of developed scholarship, critique, and theory that has illuminated both the complexity of gendered relations and gendered knowing and the significance of particular contexts Women's studies occupies a room in the academy, and gender is a significant topic in that room There has been a virtual explosion of knowledge (Karmare & Spender, 1992) about the history, anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, and psychology of women in relation to each other, to children, and to men Notions of margin and center, equality and difference, caring and justice, and essential identities have been threading their way through organizational agendas, programs, writings, and research in education and the social sciences Women's studies and feminist theory have provided a sustained critique of the social sciences that has led to a second and third generation of transformed scholarship in that field The manifest acknowledgment of gender, however, has been difficult to find in the text of social studies education and research Links that connect feminist thinking and scholarship to mainstream social studies and social science education are serendipitous at best While those in these fields have occupied themselves with standards and defenses of terrain, feminist scholarship and critique essentially have been ignored In social studies and social education, we have supported social justice and gender in the abstract for at least 20 years, but the discussion has been peripheral and the issues narrowly defined In social studies education as in American life, contemporary perspectives on gender issues grew out of the civil rights movement The crux of the perceived problem in the early 1970s was denial of equal rights in economic, political, and social life, and equal access as well as equal representation in school curricula Title IX was formulated specifically to provide women and girls access to the education 'game' and ultimately to the benefits of education in the world at large The focus in social studies education-teaching, text, and scholarship-has been influenced by this defining lens Some parity or equality with men's studies by virtue of gender neutral language in textbooks, coverage of women's issues, and pictures free of bias were major goals of gender-conscious advocates in the mid-1970s The problem then as now is that women of all classes, races, and ethnicities, of all abilities and sexual orientations remain in the margins of the text or are invisible, as are their perspectives, experiences, and connections to one another, to men, to children, and to ideas Social studies teaching, curricula, and research have not been receptive to change, and considerations of gender equity have remained the exclusive focus In 4


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 other areas of the academy, especially in science, math, and women's history, scholarship has flourished, multiplied, and developed controversies and critique Many people who identify as social studies scholars come to the field with backgrounds in related social science disciplines : history, anthropology, economics, and political science Those who ventured into women's studies courses may have found the contemplation and political work of curriculum transformation being done there exciting and hazardous These courses have allowed us to break new ground in our writing, thinking, and teaching, to explore radical concepts such as home economics and global feminism, to discover remarkable historical writings and research-e .g ., Marija Gimbutas' interpretation of European culture or the remarkable network of African American women activists during the 1960s civil rights movement (Gimbutas, 1991 ; Mills, 1993)-to become intellectually adventurous and creative While working in the margins of a field of study can be liberating, however, it can also be isolating Scholars and teachers in the main have found it easy to dismiss scholarship about women and gender as less authentic and less important than in other domains Tenure battles such as the case of Estelle Freedman at Stanford University brought such lessons home to many women in the 1970s, who learned to first establish a solid name and reputation in the mainstream of a field before venturing into research about women and minorities The Handbook of Research on Social Studies Teaching and Learning (Shaver, 1991) is a testament of the extent to which research on gender in our field has been marginalized ; feminist scholarship is virtually absent from this important book Work in gender has also been personally difficult for those of us who have held the mirror up to race, class, linguistic, and sexual identity biases and exposed their limitations The realization that we have worked to eradicate social inequalities and yet have in some way been part of the problem is bitter medicine It is abundantly clear, however, that race, class, and gender interact to create structural social, economic, and political inequities that have implications for all of society The subordination of any group of people necessarily affects the whole village Moreover, restrictive lenses deny our rich cultural landscape ; specifically, the processes and understandings necessary for citizenship in a representative democracy cannot be taught and learned effectively with materials and techniques that exclude or ignore the relationships between gender, class, race, and context Social studies education has been and continues to be vulnerable to the criticism that while it professes to represent and value social justice and diversity, its leaders and texts have failed to address injustice Omission and neglect of gender as a significant dimension of human experience and identity 5


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 serves to miseducate generations of young people It is a silent coercion of considerable magnitude In 1987 Wendell Berry wrote Home Economics, arguing persuasively what many of us have known for a long time, that a healthy planet is made up of healthy nations that consist of healthy communities with many households sharing common ground To consider gender and gendered structures adequately is to consider the places where men and women live and the patterns of their work, caring, and imaginative expression The richness and strength of communities and households and the contributions that women make specifically and generally need to be celebrated The gendered lenses that evaluate human activities differently and hierarchically need to be changed for the next century, not in the interest of prioritizing gender or essentializing gender difference and/or sameness, but for social justice and for the health of the larger community For both the United States and the global community, 1995 was an auspicious year : women's suffrage was 75 years old, the United Nations turned 50, and the Fourth World Conference on the Status of Women marked two decades of work on gender in the global village The United Nations has placed gender at the forefront of its concerns for the next decade The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro produced a decision on "Women, Environment, and Development" adopted by member states to address "key elements relating to women's critical economic, social, and environmental contributions to sustainable development . in all the substantive documention, particularly Agenda 21, the Earth Charter, and the Conventions" (UNIFEM, UN / NGLS, 1995) The decision is significant because it demonstrates that gender is now recognized as a key organizing principle for societies around the world One recent development in this new era is the acknowledgment that gender violence is a violation of human rights requiring immediate action, including political asylum The future of social education will be enriched and transformed substantially when gender is taken seriously The unfinished agendas of the 1970s, the continual revision of our curricula and texts to reflect scholarship on women and gender, is a first step Development of a research agenda in the field and a professional standard that demands gender sensitivity in our research should not fall into the lap of any one particular group-our loosely structured profession should own it Ultimately, we should all work toward a revitalization of our field and text by taking women's experiences, texts, subjectivities, and priorities into account Through an aggressive pursuit of alternative voices and perspectives, we can alter the questions we raise in our field and change the paradigms that structure our scholarly research (Warhol, 1994) 6


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 The late Jean Grambs characterized the problem of gender and feminism in social studies as resistance based upon indifference, inertia, and ideology She goaded, prodded, and pushed her colleagues to broaden their lenses to include women She would be pleased to know that this special issue of Theory and Research in Social Education was supported by CUFA, and encouraged by male and female scholars alike While the scope and size of the publication is modest, the articles represent important directions for research and scholarship in gender and social studies Robert Smith's article reminds us that all humans have gender identities and that all teachers and teacher educators need to understand this, especially those white males in authority positions which Smith identifies as privileged Smith's article builds a much-needed bridge between social identity and social studies teaching with affirmation of the idea that curriculum begins with the teacher and students Carole Hahn points to the perennial importance of research on political socialization and the power of classroom experiences with regard to shaping attitudes She also provides valuable commentary about directions for this avenue of research in the future Geert Ten Dam and Rally Rijkschroeff's article includes significant information about the impact of women's history on young women and provides a window into the complexity of research design It also reminds us of how we can work with and learn from our colleagues in other countries who are doing similar work Finally, Lynda Stone explores critical philosophical perspectives on women, citizenship, and the state, and reaffirms the importance of philosophy and feminist theory in rethinking women and political life She provides us with language and conceptual tools for engaging work that has been developing in postmodern women's studies and political theory Together, these articles educate us abou ;gender and social studies, and they represent the building of important connections into theoretical work in the social sciences It is my hope that this special issue of TRSE will celebrate the work of gender researchers and pioneers in our field(s) and will illuminate the path toward a more complete social studies research agenda I see this as a beginning, and am hopeful that readers will add to the conversation and critique of what we have done and what we have omitted, ultimately leading us all to a richer and more just social education for students and their teachers Jane Bernard-Powers February, 1996 7


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1996, Volume XXIV, Number 1, pp 8-35 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies GENDER AND POLITICAL LEARNING' Carole L Hahn Emory University Abstract The first part of this article is a review of 20 years of research on gender and political attitudes focusing on the high school years The second part is a case study of two ninthgrade civics classes Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the researcher found no gender differences in levels of student political interest, efficacy, confidence, or trust Interviews revealed, however, that females expressed views on more public policy issues than did males They were also more supportive of women holding political office In class sessions, no attention was given to gender as a factor affecting political life, and the parts of the textbook that focused on women or gender were ignored Almost 20 years ago I wrote an article for TR S E, in which I summarized research relevant to understanding the role of gender in social studies teaching, learning, and research (Hahn, 1978) I emphasized that the knowledge explosion in feminist scholarship within the social science disciplines was not reflected in social studies research Social studies educators addressing gender issues focused on curricular change, primarily in history (Hahn & Bernard-Powers, 1985 ; Tetreault, 1984) Few curricular efforts and scant research addressed the civic, II am grateful to Angela Harwood for her assistance in the preparation of this article She did the statistical analysis for the original case study and co-wrote a companion case study of three urban classes (Harwood, 1992 ; Harwood & Hahn, 1992) This article and particularly the survey of the literature build upon three unpublished studies of gender and political learning that Angela Harwood, Cynthia Tocci, and Patricia Avery co-authored with me Their help with the earlier pieces was invaluable to my evolving thinking about these issues I also owe a debt of gratitude to the teachers and students in the case study Thanks to the Emory University Research Committee for funding those earlier research projects Finally, thanks to Ann Angell, Beverly Armento, Alfonse Damico, Jane BernardPowers, Beth Reingold, and the anonymous TRSE reviewers for their thoughtful suggestions 8


economic, and other social science dimensions of social studies Today there is still much we need to know about the role of gender in social studies teaching and learning, particularly in the political dimensions of citizenship preparation Despite the centrality of citizenship education to social studies and of gender to human experience, almost no research on gender and political learning has been reported in the social studies research literature The chapters on political participation and civics and government in the recent Handbook of Research on Social Studies Teaching and Learning (Shaver, 1991) did not mention gender as a variable that might influence citizenship preparation, and there was no separate chapter on gender research that might consider the effects of gender on citizenship education The present survey of existing research has two purposes : to fill a gap in literature on the political dimensions of social studies and to provide a context for the case study that constitutes the second part of this article In examining the case study I use qualitative and quantitative data in a complementary manner to describe similarities and differences by gender in adolescents' perceptions of the political arena I also focus on messages in the overt and hidden curriculum about the role that gender plays in political life Previous Research Most research by political scientists that is relevant to the role of gender and political learning grows out of classical, liberal, democratic theory, which assumes that individuals in a democracy have the right to participate either directly or indirectly through elected representatives in decisions that affect the public Moreover, liberal democratic theory assumes that an abstract right is meaningless if it is not exercised From this perspective, feminist researchers began with the concern that the female half of the population has not held public office and engaged in public policy-making activities to the same extent that males have ; such scholars thus have revealed barriers to equal access for all citizens' participation in the body politic (Bennett & Bennett, 1989 ; Ferree, 1974 ; Welch, 1977 ; Welch & Sigelman, 1982) The limitations of that research should be understood, however Feminist scholars criticize classical liberalism's emphasis on individualism, rationalism, and distinctions between the personal and political that insufficiently represent female experiences Feminist researchers are also critical of political socialization researchers for often merely identifying and describing sex differences rather than explaining the cultural, structural, and social realities of gender that may be responsible Other critics of research on gender and politics are troubled by a reliance on survey research in a positivistic tradition, whereby Gender and Political Learning 9


Carole L Hahn researchers assume that the truth can be known by administering questionnaires to samples of people at particular points in time and by using quantitative statistical analyses to identify relationships among variables Bickmore (1991), for example, criticized political socialization research conducted from that perspective because it depicts citizens as passive recipients of norms, values, and attitudes that society needs to maintain its own stability From that viewpoint, both the overt civics curriculum and the hidden curriculum of roles, expectations, and power relationships perform the function of instilling knowledge and sustaining the existing political system rather than enabling female and male students to actively construct political meanings and become empowered to act Researchers from psychosocial traditions, on the other hand, interview individuals to ascertain the meanings that they make of political phenomena (Coles, 1986 ; Connell, 1974 ; Moore, Lare, & Wagner, 1985 ; Rettinger, 1993 ; Stevens, 1982) Although such interview research provides a rich description of children's views of the political world, most contains only hints at the role of gender in political learning-the exception being Rettinger's (1993) gender analysis of students' moral and political consciousness Researchers from naturalistic and critical theory traditions conducted case studies of social studies classrooms, but they also gave little attention to gender as a variable that may affect learning (McNeil, 1988 ; Stake & Easley, 1978 ; Stodolsky, 1988) By giving more attention in the future to gender and political learning, qualitative researchers may offer new insights ; for example, researchers using schema and ecological theories may reveal the social contexts and ways in which students actively construct knowledge of the political world and of its connection to gender schema (Sapiro, 1987 ; Torney-Purta, 1990) Comparative and cross-national research is also a fruitful line of inquiry Political scientists, feminist scholars, and social studies educators in differing western democracies are conducting important research on gender and politics, but unfortunately little of it is disseminated across nations and languages Consequently, this review draws primarily upon work conducted in the United States and/or reported in journals published in the United States Gender Differences in Political Knowledge and Interest Beginning with Greenstein's (1961) analysis of the New Haven Child Study data, political socialization researchers of the 1960s and early 1970s focused on gender differences in political learning Greenstein noted that elementary school boys were more likely than girls to recognize the names of political leaders and to attend to political 1 0


Gender and Political Learning news 2 By defining political in terms of public figures who were primarily males and political news as news about public events and government action, this early work established a narrow definition that persists today Consequently, researchers may miss the meanings that many females-and males-construct of such political concepts as power, authority, justice, freedom, civic responsibility, and decision making (Rettinger, 1993) Using traditional measures of political knowledge and interest, many researchers concluded that females are less knowledgeable about and interested in the political realm than are males ; for example, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) researchers reported that at ages 13 and 17, females did less well than males on items measuring knowledge of facts about government, law, and international issues (Education Commission, 1971,1973, 1974) Seventeen-year-old and adult males also knew more ways to influence government than did females Ten years later, 11th-grade females again scored lower than males on factual knowledge of United States history The largest gender differences were found in areas dealing with World War II, foreign policy, territorial expansion, chronology, and maps Items requiring knowledge of social and economic history yielded smaller differences, leading the authors to hypothesize that gender differences in knowledge were attributable to different interests among male and female students (Applebee, Langer, & Mullis, 1987) Similarly, on California's statewide assessment, males scored higher than females on questions related to the structure of government, wars, and geography Females, however, performed better on items concerning democratic processes, rights, and responsibilities, and concerning women subjects (Kneedler, 1988) Owen and Dennis (1988) interviewed 366 pairs of students and their parents a year after a presidential election and found that among both adults and adolescents, males exhibited greater knowledge than females Male adolescents reportedly followed political debates on television more than females did Additionally, in a study of high school civics and economics classes in the Atlanta area, males scored higher than females on a political interest scale (Harper, 1987) Research on gender differences in political knowledge and interest is not limited to the United States In the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement's (IEA) project in civic education in nine nations, which used large nationally representative samples, researchers concluded that males scored substantially higher than females on items measuring knowledge of national and international 2 Because of space limitations and because the case study concerns secondary students, additional studies using only elementary samples are not included here Such studies tend to reaffirm the findings reported here for secondary samples A list of those studies is available from the author 1 1


Carole L Hahn politics, and they reported more political discussion than did females (Torney, Oppenheim, & Farnen, 1975 ; Torney-Purta, 1991) Studies of British youth in the 1960s and 1970s also concluded that male students were more knowledgeable about and interested in politics and government than females ; they were also more likely than females to say they frequently followed news on radio and television (Dowse & Hughes, 1971 ; Nossiter, 1969 ; Stradling, 1975) In two Scandinavian studies, Finnish and Swedish male adolescents were more knowledgeable than females about national and international events (Heiskanen, 1971 ; Westholm, Lindquist, & Niemi, 1990) In a study of almost 1,500 adolescents in England, West Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United States, males reported only slightly higher levels of political interest than did females (effect size= .18) (Hahn & Tocci, 1989) Contrary Findings : No Gender Differences Contrary to the general trends, some researchers have found no gender differences in political knowledge, interest, or behavior Whether these findings were anomalies or whether they are beginning to signal a change in political orientation among some groups of young people is not yet clear, as other studies conducted during the same period still found males to be more politically knowledgeable and interested in the political arena than were females The studies concluding no gender differences included a survey of over 2,000 students in grades 4 through 12 in which researchers found no gender differences with regard to political participation or amount of political discussion (Orum, Cohen, Grasmuck, & Orum, 1977) In other studies of secondary student samples in the United States, researchers also found no gender differences in political interest (Avery & Hahn, 1985 ; Blankenship, 1990 ; Segall, 1975) In a study of students in one southeastern school system, Hepburn and Napier (1982/1983) found no gender differences in their thirdand twelfth-grade subjects ; interestingly, however, eighth-grade girls had more positive political attitudes than did boys Similarly, in a study of 15-year-old English students, Wormald (1983) concluded that girls were slightly more knowledgeable about and interested in politics than boys were, and they were considerably more likely than the males to discuss politics with parents Further research was warranted to ascertain whether male advantage in political interest had waned Political Trust, Efficacy, and Confidence For the most part, researchers found no gender differences among high school students in levels of political trust and external political efficacy-the belief that citizens can influence policy On the other hand, evidence suggests that females sometimes express lower levels of 1 2


Gender and Political Learning political confidence and internal political efficacy-confidence that they can understand politics-than do males With regard to levels of political trust in secondary school students, researchers consistently have found no gender differences (Avery & Hahn, 1985 ; Blankenship, 1990 ; Jennings & Niemi, 1974 ; Orum et al ., 1977) Similarly, most researchers studying political efficacy concluded there were no gender differences 3 (Blankenship, 1990 ; Farnen & German, 1972 ; Hahn & Tocci, 1989 ; Jennings & Niemi, 1974 ; Lyons, 1970 ; Owen & Dennis, 1988) Contrary to the general trend, however, one researcher in the United States did find male adolescents had higher levels of political efficacy than did females (Vaillancourt, 1972), and one British researcher found that female students had higher levels than males (Wormald, 1983) Rapoport (1981) was interested in determining whether there are early antecedents to a finding among adults that females are less likely than males to persuade others to vote (Welch, 1977) For that reason, he administered questionnaires to 1,384 students in Michigan and compared their reported attitudes to those of adults in the University of Michigan's National Election Survey of 1972 Among both the high school and adult respondents, not only did males appear to possess more political knowledge, but they also demonstrated stronger attitudes toward political figures than did the females Females, on the other hand, showed consistent patterns of attitude constraint Controlling for knowledge differences in the high school sample reduced the gap somewhat, but males still exhibited stronger feelings than did females toward the individuals listed The finding of attitude constraint is interesting because it may reinforce studies of political confidence For example, when political confidence was defined as one's personal influence in decision-making situations, high school females in one Atlanta school system reported lower levels of confidence than did males (Avery & Hahn, 1985), but in another study in the Atlanta area there were no gender differences in political confidence (Blankenship, 1990) In the IEA study in nine countries and in the study of students in five western democracies, females reported lower levels of political confidence than males (Torney-Purta, 1991 ; Hahn & Tocci, 1989) It is possible that the lower levels of internal efficacy found in female adults 3 Research on political efficacy and gender has been confounded by the fact that efficacy has been conceptualized slightly differently in various studies Usually efficacy items tap perceptions that the political system is responsive to people and that citizen actions can influence government policy making Sometimes, but not always, scales measure beliefs that politics and government are/are not too difficult for respondents and other people to comprehend Some researchers label the latter perception internal efficacy and measure it separately from a sense of external efficacy or belief that citizens can make a difference Other researchers describe political confidence as a belief that one could personally influence decisions Such a perception might be similar to internal efficacy Most often researchers mix those varied perceptions into a single category called efficacy 1 3


Carole L Hahn as compared to males begin for some females during the school years with comparatively lower levels of confidence in their overall ability to influence decisions Participation Gender differences in political participation during adolescence may foreshadow differences in adult participation found by Welch (1977) In one study of adolescents in the United States, females said they helped with campaigns more than their male peers did (Owen & Dennis, 1988) Similarly, in a Swedish study, female adolescents were more likely to have signed a petition, boycotted products, written letters to editors, marched in demonstrations, contacted officials, and taken part in communal activities than were their male classmates (Westholm, Lindquist, & Niemi, 1990) Attitudes toward Women Politicians In all of the studies reviewed, students likely interpreted the term `political' on questionnaires and in interviews to mean the public arena in which males most often held office and carried out the work of governments Similarly, research on attitudes toward women as political leaders examines support for women being elected to public, governmental positions In the large, cross-national study conducted in 1971 of students aged 10, 14, and 17 years old, IEA researchers found that young people were not very supportive of women holding political office Of the students sampled from nine nations, West Germans were most supportive of women's political rights (Torney et al ., 1975) Yet, even among the German students, only a little more than half of the 14-yearolds strongly agreed that "women should run for political office and take part in government much the same as men do" (Torney et al ., 1975) A mere 27 percent of 14-year-old American students strongly agreed with that statement Furthermore, the researchers found gender differences in the support of a woman's right to hold political office Within each of the nine countries sampled, females were more likely than males to support such rights (Torney et al ., 1975 ; Torney-Purta, 1991) In the study of adolescents in five western democracies, students in all countries exhibited greater support for women in politics than had their counterparts in the IEA study 15 years earlier Nevertheless, gender differences still remained for the total sample, and females were more supportive of women holding political office than males were (effect size= .71) Furthermore, gender differences appeared consistently within the samples from each country (Hahn & Tocci, 1989) Recent research conducted in Nebraska suggests that students, like adults who have observed more female candidates than those in earlier generations did, are becoming more supportive of women in 1 4


Gender and Political Learning government Gillespie and Spohn (1987, 1990) surveyed Nebraskan students after two elections that drew much media attention to female firsts-Geraldine Ferraro's bid for Vice President and a gubernatorial race in which both major party candidates were women Researchers found an increasing willingness among white females and black males and females to support the idea of women holding political office They speculated that the continuing reluctance of white males to support females holding office might be attributable to a perceived threat that traditional winners-white males-would lose in terms of political and other opportunities (Gillespie & Spohn, 1990) Social Studies Instruction Although some authors suggest that the content of social studies classes might contribute to gender differences in political attitudes and to future voters' support of women in political office, little research is available that addresses this hypothesis Some researchers found that males received more attention and were more likely to take risks in trying to answer questions in social studies classes, but these phenomena were not examined vis a vis political outcomes (Hedrick & Chance, 1977 ; Wilen & White, 1991) Because textbooks dominate much social studies instruction (Goodlad, 1984 ; Shaver, Helburn, & Davis, 1979), their treatment of gender may contribute to student political attitudes The one study that examined high school civics and government textbooks for treatment of gender is 20 years old, but it points to aspects of instruction that might still have effects today McLeod and Silverman (1973) found that females were underrepresented in index listings, examples, and quotations in eight frequently used textbooks Additionally, when females were included in illustrations, they were shown in subservient and passive roles, often as recipients of their husbands' ideas It is possible that textbooks still do not depict women as politically involved-as office holders, community activists, or interested citizens In addition, discussions of voting behavior, campaigns, interest groups, participation at all levels of politics, and public policy issues may still be silent with regard to gender To determine whether gender differences found in earlier research on political attitudes persist in the 1990s and to assess the role of civics instruction in the development of beliefs about gender and the political world, I conducted a case study of two ninth-grade civics classes taught by different teachers in a suburban high school in the Atlanta area (see Appendix for details of sample selection and description) 1 5


Carole L Hahn A Case Study of Two Civics Classes 4 I gathered qualitative and quantitative data to answer different types of questions I used the quantitative data to answer the following : (1) Are there gender differences in political attitudes of interest, efficacy, confidence, and trust? (2) Are there gender differences in political behaviors of media use, participation in political discussions, and reports of intended future political participation? and (3) Do students support women holding political office? I used qualitative data from observations and interviews to gain further insights into the above questions and to answer the following exploratory questions : (4) How is gender treated as a curricular topic in civics courses? and (5) Do male and female students enrolled in civics classes perceive the political world differently? To address the first two questions, I compared the responses of female and male students with regard to political attitudes and behaviors The questionnaire contained scales used in much of the earlier political socialization research to measure students' political interest, trust, confidence, and efficacy Political behaviors such as media use, participation in political discussions, and intended future political activities were also measured by the questionnaire To answer the third question, all of the students in the teachers' classes completed a questionnaire containing the support for women scale (N=222) Only students in the civics classes completed the questionnaire measuring political attitudes and behaviors (N=164) To address the fourth question about gender in civics classes, I studied one civics class of each teacher (see Appendix for details of the qualitative methodology), and observed the classes once or twice per week over a 16-week semester To obtain data on student attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors, I interviewed 22 of the 23 students (12 males and 10 females) in Mr Moore's fifth-period civics class and 14 of the 33 students in Ms Boston's sixth-period class (8 males, 6 females) 5 During the interviews I asked students to talk about their civics class, and about government, politics, politicians, and their interest in current events Additionally, I sometimes asked students about their after-school lives and future plans All interviews were taped with the permission of the participants and each interview was transcribed verbatim for analysis 4 The names of the students, teachers, and school have been changed 51 interviewed Mr Moore's students during a study hall period before lunch and Ms Boston's student's when they finished tests early or during lunch time Because there was not enough time to interview everyone in her class, I selected students to represent those who had the highest, lowest, and middle scores on the political attitude surveys 1 6


Gender and Political Learning Analysis Factor and item analyses were run using the Systat program (Wilkenson, 1986) to assess construct validity and reliability of measures obtained from the questionnaire To measure differences between male and female students, means of student responses on scaled attitude measures and political behaviors were compared and effect sizes were computed The frequency distribution for responses to items on the equal rights scale was used to assess support for women in politics All transcribed interviews and field notes were examined Each component of the data set (field notes, interviews, and documents) was analyzed using constant comparison analysis to generate themes from the raw data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967 ; Strauss, 1987) All interviews and observational field notes were coded, and themes that emerged were noted and used in further analysis General coding categories emerged from the reading of the data ; codes varied in their degree of concreteness, and some were later subsumed under others When possible, in vivo codes were assigned using the students' or teachers' own language to more fully capture their meanings Codes, complete data sets, and diaries were examined for examples and counterexamples As recommended by Strauss (1987), I looked for causes, conditions, processes, and consequences, as well as similarities and differences between female and male student responses Findings Factor analysis of the questionnaire data confirmed the construct validity of the political attitude and support for women scales Political attitude constructs of interest, efficacy, trust, confidence, and equal rights clearly emerged in these analyses The means for political attitudes and behaviors reported by males and females are listed in Table 1 There were no educationally significant gender differences on measures of political interest, efficacy, trust, confidence, media use, participation in political discussions, and intended future political activity, as indicated by the effect sizes ( .00.22) Political Attitudes Interview data reinforced the quantitative findings that no gender difference in political interest was apparent There was, however, a considerable range of differences between students who had developed an interest in politics and current public affairs and those who had virtually no interest in such matters Very interested students, regardless of gender, shared several characteristics that contrasted sharply with those possessed by their less interested peers Interested female and male students actively followed political news either on television or in the newspaper and they talked about politics with friends and family While watching the news with their respective parents, Nancy and Peter, for 1 7


Carole L Hahn example, asked for clarification about things they did not understand, such as the reunification of Germany or events in Lithuania Several students also talked about politics and current events, especially prominent events, with their friends In contrast, disinterested students such as Allen said, "At this age, it's pretty boring I'm just not interested in politics ." Eileen and Soo also did not watch television news or follow current events in any way Efficacy= .68 ; Interest= .79 ; Trust= .66 ; Confidence= .60 The remaining indices are comprised of three additive items each for Media and Discussion and six for Future Participation Political trust also did not vary by gender, and both males and females conveyed little respect for politicians Katherine said, "If politicians want to be respected and win they shouldn't do scandalous things like Gary Hart did ." Students noted that many politicians-one local female as well as many national males-were involved in scandals Terri said that she would not run for office because she realized that to compete you have to say things that are not true, and, referring to a specific local scandal, she would not want people to allege that she had used county funds for a vacation It is little wonder that male and female students alike do not aspire to become politicians themselves Indeed, only Joan went so far as to say she might run for office someday "I kind of want to do something in the political field," but even she agreed that "politics [politicians] are bad, too greedy ." The interviews yielded few indications of political efficacy or confidence With regard to external efficacy, all the students except George said that as adults they expected to vote, so presumably they believed that voting was a worthwhile action Only a few students of both genders, however, thought that they would take additional actions Betsy discussed Greenpeace with her friends Ed wrote to Greenpeace for 1 8 e e a s a : Males (N=79) Females (N=85) Mean S D Mean S D Effect Size Efficacy 3 .99 .80 4 .08 .72 .12 Interest 3 .27 1 .10 3 .50 1 .03 .22 Trust 3 .56 .97 3 .60 1 .03 .04 Confidence 4 .00 .84 4 .00 .68 .00 Media 2 .91 .71 2 .76 .57 .23 Discussion 2 .21 .72 2 .10 .67 .15 Future Participation 2 .13 .56 2 .12 .51 .02 Note : Cronbach alphas for international consistency of political attitude scales are :


Gender and Political Learning information and expected that, like his parents, he would be active in environmental groups Students who had the highest confidence scores on the questionnaires were the ones in interviews who voiced the strongest opinions on issues, regardless of gender Terri, who aspired to be a judge, said, "I'm really kind of opinionated I like to give my opinion on different points of view I bring up good points in arguments and questions ." James reported a high level of confidence on the questionnaire, and he expressed strong opinions about several of President Bush's initiatives The question of whether or not students generalize their confidence in expressing opinions to a belief that they can influence public policy by taking stands on public issues remains to be examined in future studies Of interest is the fact that students of both genders had far less to say about politics and government than they did about current events Politics and government were perceived as remote, whereas current events appearing in the media were very much a part of their lives Television, radio, and to a lesser extent newspapers were an important part of students' daily experiences Although students turned to these sources for entertainment primarily, they still obtained incidental political content With regard to the first question about possible gender differences in political attitudes, the quantitative and qualitative data indicate that for this sample there were no gender differences in political attitudes of interest, efficacy, confidence, and trust Interestingly, gender differences found in many earlier studies were not evident for this sample of suburban high school students Indeed, contrary to much earlier research on political interest and confidence, but consistent with a few recent studies, several females expressed strong opinions about issues Political Behavior Questionnaire responses also indicated no apparent gender differences in political use of media, political discussion, and anticipated future political participation These responses were generally reinforced in interviews The only detectable gender difference with regard to media use was in terms of following sports news All of the students in both classes except for two males and two females said that they regularly watched television news The majority of students watched the 6 :00 p .m news, comprised of primarily local coverage, weather, sports, and limited national and international news Some students also watched the national network news, and many watched the morning news reports while eating breakfast Males more frequently than females reported that they read the newspaper primarily for sports news, but they also noted front-page stories Similarly, for many of 'the males, sports updates seemed to be the primary motivation for watching television news, but they also attended to other news in the process A 1 9


Carole L Hahn few male and a few female students said that they also listened to news on teen radio stations No students mentioned reading about current events or politics in news magazines Interestingly, the male students seemed to follow international and national events somewhat more closely than did the females, but the females appeared more inclined to hold and express strong opinions about social issues, whether or not they believed the issues had anything to do with politics The qualitative analysis reinforced the quantitative lack of gender difference with regard to political discussion Because many students watched television news with their parents, most discussed news with a parent "sometimes ." Students were considerably less likely to report discussing news or current events with friends, although many males talked about sports news with friends Some students mentioned that they had discussed prominent issues with their friends ; for example, the demise of the Berlin Wall, the Iran-Contra scandal, and major political campaigns All of the students in Ms Boston's class reported that current events were discussed in their civics class, whereas no students in Mr Moore's class reported such discussion No gender differences were detectable from the questionnaires or interviews with regard to anticipated future political participation As noted earlier, virtually all of the students, regardless of gender, intended to vote Both male and female students described good citizens as good neighbors and people who help one another, and they intended to follow suit About half of the students, again equally represented among females and males, thought that they would join and/or give money to groups working for causes they support Betsy, Jake, and Ed said that they would support Greenpeace and other environmental, wildlife preservation, and animal rights groups Eileen said she might be willing to help combat drug abuse Joan wanted to give money to the Red Cross, and Harry wanted to give money to Shriner's Hospital Several students said that they would give money to help the homeless, and a few males noted that they would keep up with current events as part of being a good citizen Only one student, Betsy, thought she might pass out a petition for something she believed in, although several, like Allen and Randy, thought they might have signed the petition to recall the county commissioner No one said that they expected to participate in protests ; indeed, a few specifically said they would not Support for Women in Political Office Table 2 lists the frequency distribution for items on the support for women scale For the total sample of females and males, there was greater support for women holding local rather than national office, but overall levels of support were quite high 2 0


Women s o run or ublic office Women can e strong olitical leaders Women s o run or public office just as often as men do I woul e just as i e y to vote for a woman as a man for Con ress Women s ou ave t e same opportunities as men to be on the city council Women s ould run or ma or 'ust like men do Hea s o government i e the President should not be men onl Women s ou take part in government much the same as men do Women wou  e effective in many overnment ositions Tab e 2 re uency Distribution on Su port fo Women Sca e (N=222 Item 2 1 Gender and Political Learning Note : Column totals do not equal 100% because 18 questionnaires had missing data for some items Cronbach alpha for internal consistency of this scale= .87 I did not ask students in the interview directly about their attitudes toward women in politics, and only one student initiated any related topic Sarah, who played a candidate in a simulation in Ms Boston's class, complained that : Too many people say women aren't ready for politics just because that one lady went to New York, and she spent the county's money They don't know that some ladies have more patience than guys, and they're not going to blow everything out of proportion Sarah's friend Doreen then said that she would vote for a woman for president "if I agreed with her views I wouldn't just vote for her because Response (%) Mean S D 1 SD 3 4 6 SA 8 4 9 18 58 4 .1 1 .5 10 10 15 54 4 .0 1 .5 12 24 43 4 .8 1 .4 12 28 40 4 .7 1 .5 7 26 46 5 .0 1 .3 14 26 37 4 .7 1 .5 11 24 35 4 .5 1 .6 26 42 4 .8 1 .5 4 10 11 13 22 34 3 .5 1 .5


Carole L Hahn she was a woman I would vote for her because I would look at her values and not her sex ." When asked what came to mind when they thought about politics, government, or current events, students named several men : George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Dan Quayle, Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart, Oliver North, Manuel Noriega, the male governor of the state, a state senator, and a local sheriff The chair of the county commissionthe focus of media attention for taking the commission to New York at taxpayers' expense-was the only female political figure mentioned by either female or male students Many used her as an example of why politicians are held in low esteem Perceptions of Political Issues Although both males and females mentioned several international news events that they had followed, or were at least aware of, they tended not to express opinions on those issues A few said that the Chinese government should not have shot students in Tiananmen Square ; one male and one female said that they had opinions about apartheid, but they did not elaborate Most female students, however, expressed opinions about controversial domestic issues Five females mentioned abortion as an example of one controversial issue about which they personally had an opinion Janet and Meg said that they opposed abortion "because that's like killing people ." Meg chose to write-about it in her English class, and Anne said that she discussed anti-abortion protests with her parents, explaining that she felt strongly about it Local news stories about rape seemed to have prompted Janet, Margie, and Anne to discuss safety measures with their parents Margie had also talked about the death penalty with her mother after a much publicized trial in which a convicted rapist was sentenced to death A few females in both classes mentioned animal rights and the environment as issues about which they had opinions For her English class, Betsy wrote a paper about animal experimentation, explaining, "I feel strongly against animal experimentation ." She also talked with her friends about Greenpeace Katherine discussed Earth Day with her friends, and she, Meg, and Janet had begun taking steps in their lives to recycle goods and reduce water consumption Other social issues that female students mentioned as important were education, school prayer, drugs, drinking, marriage, dating, and the school dress code Female students from Ms Boston's class expressed opinions about issues that had been introduced in their civics class ; for example, labor unions and current topics such as Tiananmen Square, U .S .-Cuba relations, Noriega and Panama, and hostages in the Middle East In contrast to the many female students in both classes who initiated comments expressing their views on controversial social and 2 2


political issues, only 7 of the 20 interviewed males expressed opinions about controversial issues, all of which were domestic James thought that President Bush was trying to accomplish too much : making the United States first in science and mathematics education, stopping drugs in South America, and reducing the deficit He felt that education should have been the priority instead : "If education comes, then the drugs will stop And the deficit I don't think the deficit is as important as the people ." Randy and Allen voiced their opinions on U .S .-foreign trade : [Randy] Well, I'm not really interested unless it concerns America I don't care about what is happening across the ocean Just America . .I think it should be superior to all the other countries I just think that America should stop importing stuff from other countries because some day those other countries are going to own America And they should start working for themselves and not the other countries Like Japan [Allen] Foreigners are beginning to run everything Bard and Ted said they supported the death penalty, and were following the case of a convicted rapist closely "to see if the guy was going to get fried ." The lengthiest comments about controversial issues came from Don and Gary, two self-proclaimed 'punks' who seemed glad to have a listener interested in their views Although their fascination with Satanism and neonazism was felt by only a small minority in their school, they raised interesting questions, wondering why principles presented in their civics classes were not applied to "people like us ." As Don explained : Government Well, the original idea was that people were free Then they started putting rules on everyone There is not as much freedom now, like you can't have certain religions [Satanism] If you are being loud in public places, there are laws against it . . They say there is freedom to assemble, but in downtown when we all assemble-the punks-they say there is too much violence and they start banning people Teachers don't pay attention to our kinds Gender Issues in Civics Classes Another question of this study centered on how gender is dealt with as an issue in civics courses In examining the data from the two classes, it is clear that gender simply was not dealt with as a political issue, nor was the role of women in politics explored in either class Gender and Political Learning 2 3


Carole L Hahn Mr Moore usually began class with a review of vocabulary and recall of facts from the previous day, and then read and paraphrased sections from the textbook or the Constitution No gender issues-or any other issues for that matter-were ever explored Field notes from the first part of his course, which dealt with the historic roots of government, contain the names of several male historic figures : Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Hammurabi, King George III, Jefferson, Washington, and Shay Over the course of the semester, Mr Moore mentioned several other male figures in the textbook sections he was covering Students introduced contemporary male political figures including Bush, Quayle, and North into class discussion From field notes of 22 class observations there were only four instances in which women were mentioned Each time it was a student-initiated question or a comment that mentioned women, as the following examples show : [Moore in response to a question relating to People's Court and Article III of the Constitution] People's Court is sort of a take off of civil law [Margie] Would that be if I thought someone was not hiring me because I'm a girl? [Moore] That's discriminating, dear There's original jurisdiction or appellate jurisdiction And it lists . okay, section 3 (field notes, 3/12) [Moore] Now come on down with me on page 380 [district courts] Judges There are from one to 27 judges [Meg] Who is the judge of the Supreme Court? What's his name? [Moore] Renquist [Anne] Is there a woman? [Moore] Yes Sandra Day O'Conner Also, one minority Thurgood Marshall What is this, 10 questions? [changing topics] Okay, U .S claims court, Court of International Trade (field notes, 3/14) Like Mr Moore, Ms Boston mentioned many males when dealing with the history of the United States government At other times, either when using contemporary examples or in reviewing current events on a Friday, many males again were mentioned The names of four women appear in the field notes from observations in Ms Boston's class : Queen Elizabeth I, Sandra Day O'Conner, the chair of the county commission (the subject of the recall petition), and a judge at a local night court that a few students had visited The variety of activities used in Ms Boston's class provided some gender diversity Although a video of the Constitutional Convention by 2 4


Gender and Political Learning necessity contained only male characters, other videos about immigration and youth court balanced scenarios about males with others about females In an election simulation, one male and one female student were candidates for president, and the same was true for vice president One jury selection simulation included a male judge, a female attorney, and a mix of roles for female and male potential jurors During the voluntary class visit to night court, students observed a female judge who was a curiosity to one male student but who did not seem surprising to anyone else The 23 days of observations in Ms Boston's class revealed only a few instances of gender entering into the classroom dialogue Following are some examples : [Boston, reviewing English history] Queen Elizabeth was a great leader They said she handled Parliament like a good wife handles her husband This is for you ladies, are you listening? What you want to do in a good marriage is let the guys think they're in control Isn't that what you want to do with your husband? Do you think Elizabeth really cared about the church any more than her daddy King Henry VIII? [Students] No (field notes, 2/13) [Boston, reviewing propaganda techniques in the textbook section on American public opinion] If you want to appeal to plain folks, how would you dress? [She throws a jacket over her shoulder, loosens tie, rolls up sleeves .] Now how does a lady candidate dress? Very professional Who is the hardest on her? Women want to know who's taking care of the kids Where do they take the family photo? Who was in it? Bush photos always show the dog and grandchildren [students comment on Mrs Bush's white hair] (field notes, 3/9) Textbooks Because the textbook was the focus of attention for homework and for much in-class instruction in both classes, I performed a content analysis of the text Not surprisingly, the historic chapters named 3 male philosophers, 2 male kings, 13 founding 'fathers', 18 male presidents, 6 male vice presidents, 3 male chief justices, 6 males who were the focus of landmark Supreme Court cases, among others The book also included photos of male presidents, males at the Constitutional Convention, Gary Hart, John Anderson, Albert Einstein, and Walter Cronkite, although there was an attempt to balance these with other photos of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Geraldine Ferraro (debating Bush), Senator Nancy Kassenbaum, and the female president of Friends of the Everglades Throughout the text, photos and anecdotes about citizens provide a 2 5


Carole L Hahn balanced representation of males and females, and many depict women in nontraditional roles such as judge, boss, police officer, and entrepreneur The text also used women (and minorities) as the focus of a number of special features called Applying Skills, Solving Problems, and Citizens in Action Some suggested activities included writing a research paper on women in politics, or looking up library books written by women authors Other special features included biographies-one of Sandra Day O'Conner, for example-and an account of the Jaycees' exclusion of women ; however, neither teacher mentioned these special sections in class or drew attention to the women pictured in the photographs Similarly, no mention was made of the few sentences in the text that dealt with women's suffrage, the increased numbers of women in the work force, or Ferraro's nomination for Vice President by a major political party Chapters on state and local government that could have generated discussions on the increasing numbers of women seeking high-level offices were skipped by both classes because coverage of state and local government is part of the county's eighth grade curriculum and presumably had been taught the year before The book's use of the equal rights amendment to illustrate a party platform and of the League of Women Voters and the National Organization for Women (NOW) as groups concerned with citizen participation also were not discussed The textbook editors were careful to ensure that no sexist language was used, and male pronouns were not used in the generic sense Yet field notes reveal several occasions when both teachers used male pronouns Ms Boston said, "Man is basically ordered . .," "The king gives men property," and "America is a nation of laws, not of men Men make up laws ." On the first test, she asked students to write out the first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, . .all men are created equal . .," without comment Similarly, as Mr Moore read section by section of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution using male pronouns for the generic, no explanation was made as to whether women were also included "Section 2 says no person shall be a representative unless he is 25, he has been a citizen for seven years, and he is a resident," he explained, for example The students in these civics classes were provided with few examples of female role models in the political realm, and the interview data reflect their perception that politics is dominated by males No doubt the paucity of females holding state as well as national elective office contributed to this perception I observed few instances when the teachers in this study provided information to alter it Discussion of the Case Study In this study, males and females were equally political or apolitical, all students expressed generally low levels of political interest 2 6


Gender and Political Learning and trust, and all had primarily negative views of politics and politicians The few gender differences in attitudes, interests, and behaviors that appeared in the interviews are quite subtle This study further confirms the work of earlier researchers who found no difference in the degrees of political efficacy and trust between males and females (Avery & Hahn, 1985 ; Blankenship, 1990 ; Jennings & Niemi, 1974 ; Orum et al ., 1977 ; Owen & dennis, 1988) It reinforces the work of some recent researchers (Avery & Hahn, 1985 ; Blankenship, 1990 ; Orum et al ., 1977 ; Segall, 1975) but contradicts the work of much earlier research in finding no gender difference in political interest or confidence (Greenstein, 1961 ; Torney et al ., 1975) Apparently such findings of no difference in interest and confidence are not merely an anomaly, but they indicate a change from the early days of political socialization research Females in this study expressed stronger opinions about political issues than did males, contradicting earlier research that relied solely on questionnaires Both male and female students in this study with a high degree of political interest share certain characteristics : They are regular consumers of news, they often talk about current events either with parents or friends, and many had been involved in school or local politics For both males and females, these outside influences seem to be as important-if not more important-than classroom factors in affecting their attitudes and behaviors The data indicate possible gender differences in the issues that interest students, with more females mentioning issues that might be labeled social, such as welfare, abortion, or rape, and more males mentioning patriotic issues, such as the military, world peace, and the United States' competitiveness with other countries These lines of distinction are not absolute, but they reveal some avenues worth exploring, particularly because they are similar to findings from studies on how adults perceive issues differently (Fite, Genest, & Wilcox, 1990 ; Opinion Roundup, 1982 ; Shapiro & Mahajan, 1986 ; Smith, 1984) Perhaps the types of issues that interest most women and many young men are less likely to be viewed as political, and might inhibit them from considering politics as a career Teachers who understand the issues that interest their students could more effectively help them relate their interests to the political world Slight differences were detectable in media consumption that may influence how males and females view politics : Males seemed to follow national and international news more closely than females did, and they might have a higher rate of news consumption Both male and female students in this study were supportive of women in political office This could reflect a greater acceptance of women in the political arena in the 1990s as compared to earlier views, although a more cynical interpretation might be that in the 1990s, 2 7


Carole L Hahn students are simply more aware that to say that politics is for men only is unacceptable My observations of two civics classes revealed that gender per se was not addressed as an important variable affecting political involvement Students were not asked to consider the roles of women in government, nor were they provided with many role models of politically active women In spite of attempts by textbook authors to include women, teachers did not address issues of women's involvement It is laudable that the textbooks devoted a greater amount of space to women than texts have in the past ; however, authors and publishers must move women out of special exercises and into the main body of the text to demonstrate that women are an integral part of the political world Additionally, social studies preservice teachers need to be made aware of how additional information about women in politics can be integrated into their classroom teaching to further encourage young female students to understand that they have a role in politics and to present all students with a more honest portrayal of past and present These findings indicate few gender differences among students in two classes ; this should not, however, lead social studies educators to conclude that gender differences in political socialization or the inclusion of gender-related topics are moot issues in high school civics classes More research is needed to determine if females and males define politics or their own roles in politics differently and to further explore the potentially different areas of public policy interest they hold Females may have greater interest in social or other issues that have not previously been considered in the political mainstream Additionally, it is important to understand how students use media and other sources of political information, so that we can determine if the subtle gender differences observed here have an impact on students' attitudes Previous researchers found that classroom interaction patterns favored males (Hedrick & Chance, 1977 ; Wilen & White, 1991), but little research in civics instruction has addressed this topic My observations indicated that neither gender benefited from the dominance of cognitive/memory questions My evaluation of the textbook indicates that the authors tried to increase the representation of females in the books, but they may have done so in a way that is overlooked by teachers Future investigations should explore further the role that texts play in promoting gender equality in civics classes We as social studies educators must help young women-and young men-recognize that they have legitimate roles to play in our political system Needed Research As noted earlier, most research on gender and political learning to date, including my own, has emanated from classical liberal theory That research reveals barriers to equal participation in policy making but so 2 8


Gender and Political Learning far overlooks other ways in which gender interacts with political learning For example, liberalism does not address the interdependent human relationships that are an important aspect of decision making in families, communities, and wider polities By distinguishing between a public and private realm, and emphasizing rights and justice without attention to responsibility in relationships, the so-called different voice of females and of some males has not been heard Scholars such as political scientists Jean Elshtain (1981) and Virginia Sapiro (1987), developmental researcher Carol Gilligan (1982), and philosophers Nel Noddings (1992) and Sandra Harding (1991) suggest that studies of political learning are incomplete when they do not capture women's voices, experiences, and ways of knowing (Dietz, 1987) Moreover, Michael Kimmel (1994) reminds us that gender has often been used as a code word for women, when indeed all of us are gendered beings Because gender is a central axis of our experience, it serves as a filter through which we perceive the world, including its political aspects That is true of us as researchers, teachers, and citizens It is true of the subjects in our research, of the actors in the historical and social science content we teach, of the students in our classes, and of the readers of our work Research has only begun to reveal the tip of the gender and political learning iceberg Gilligan (1982) found that among samples of white, middle and upper class adolescents and adults in the northeastern United States, many females resolve ethical dilemmas about personal and public policy dilemmas through a caring orientation in which they consider the effects of a decision upon relationships in a particular context, whereas many males reason in terms of universal justice and the principle of rights Future researchers interested in how citizens decide to support or oppose particular policies that affect members of communities at all levels need to determine the conditions under which justice and care orientations affect decision making In cultures with different gender expectations and/or with different political cultures, are ethical dilemmas resolved with differing criteria? Using ethnographic analysis that seeks to reveal the perspective of participants, researchers should be alert to the language and concepts that the students themselves use, following Rettinger's (1993) example in her study of students' moral and political reasoning Other researchers using schema theory and methods such as those employed by Torney-Purta (1990) might map the ways in which students' networks of understanding about gender and political life are interconnected (also Sapiro, 1987) Using the methodology of feminist researchers who examine narratives, we can learn much more about how women and girls of the past and the present view the political in their lives Similar analyses of male narratives can also enrich our understanding of gender and political learning Research is needed on the effects of teaching about citizenship as participation in decision making in communities where female role 2 9


Carole L Hahn models are as prevalent as male ones, and where the influence of gender on political ideals and behaviors is analyzed Case studies are needed of classrooms in which students read about and observe female as well as male political leaders of varied classes and races, in which they engage in democratic discourse and action toward issues that affect families and communities and in which they analyze the ways that gender intersects with political life The methodology used by Bickmore (1991) in her dissertation on controversy in social studies classes might serve as a model for studying classes in which both the content and process of instruction reflect gender inclusion Such research is needed in classrooms with differing racial, class-related, and national contexts In the past, many myths were perpetuated by analyses centered on the perspective of white, middle class, European males Future researchers who carefully describe and analyze the context of their subjects' perceptions will provide useful insights to social studies educators I believe that with the knowledge derived from this agenda, we can better fulfill the promise of citizenship education for democracy Appendix Qualitative Methods Sample In January of 1990, all students (N=1,156) enrolled in a onesemester civics course in a large suburban school system in the southeastern United States completed a questionnaire containing a classroom climate scale used in previous studies Class means on the climate scale were used to identify the greatest contrast between two teachers in the same school who would be teaching civics again during the next semester I purposefully selected teachers whose classroom climates differed in degrees of openness because the major focus of the larger study was classroom climate Students in the spring civics classes of the two teachers were selected as participants for the study (Janury 24-May 31, 1990) One civics class taught by each teacher was used for the observation and interview portions of the study Mr Moore's fifth-period civics class included 10 white females, 11 white males, and 2 black males Ms Boston's sixthperiod civics class included 11 white females, 2 Asian females, 17 white males, 1 black male, and 2 Asian males Most students were 15-year-old ninth graders Site The 32-year-old brick school building has lawns and patios between wings Until approximately 20 years ago, Jefferson was a small southern town in rural Talbot County and the student population at Jefferson High School was 400 to 500 Since then, the student population 3 0


Gender and Political Learning has increased to over 1,200 students, reflecting increased suburban sprawl in the county Recent census figures indicated that Talbot County was one of the 10 fastest growing counties in the United States for the decade 1980-1990 That rapid growth resulted in a student body mix from rural, working, and middle class, small town, southern families, families that have recently migrated to the metropolitan area for professional and managerial jobs, and an increasing number of immigrants and foreign nationals working for foreign companies newly located in the area Academics and sports were valued by the Jefferson High School community At the time of the study, Jefferson boasted the highest SAT scores among the 12 high schools in the county Afternoon intercom announcements were related to a variety of teams, students spoke of their favorite college and professional teams, and both males and females wore team symbols and colors All the social studies teachers in the school were coaches, except Ms Boston, who was an advisor to several student activity groups Method Multiple methods of triangulation (Denizen, 1970) were used to enhance the validity of the data Data were triangulated from participant observations, interviews, and document analysis Further, data sources were triangulated by collecting within different contexts at the site, from different levels of persons (students, teachers, and principal), from groups of students representing different perspectives as determined by the political attitude measure and grade point average in the class, and at different time periods during the semester I took field notes during observations, including both student and teacher talk, and recorded descriptions of behavior and interactions I recorded my impressions from the observation periods in my field notes each day, and reflected upon them in researcher memos I also collected documents such as tests, handouts, and student assignments at the end of each day for analysis Over the course of the project I visited the school on varying days of the week to sample different activities, a total of 26 times I conducted semistructured interviews (Bogden & Bicklen, 1982) with students from participating classes to ensure that data collection captured the meanings of the participants The interviews took place in the school library References Avery, P & Hahn, C L (1985, April) Students' political attitudes : Are gender and race important variables? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL Applebee, A N ., Langer, J A ., & Mullis, I (1987) Literature & U .S History : The instructional experience and factual knowledge of high school 3 1


Carole L Hahn juniors [Report No 17-HL-01] Princeton, NJ : Educational Testing Service Bennett, L L M & Bennett, S E (1989) Enduring gender differences in political interest American Politics Quarterly, 17(l), 105-122 Bickmore, K (1991) Practicing conflict : Citizenship education in high school social studies Dissertation Abstracts International, 52-09A, 3239A Blankenship, G (1990) Classroom climate, global knowledge, global attitudes, political attitudes Theory and Research in Social Education, 18(4), 363-386 Bogden, R C & Bicklen, S K (1982) Qualitative research for education : An introduction to theory and methods Boston, MA : Allyn & Bacon Coles, R (1986) The political life of children Boston, MA : Atlantic Monthly Connell, R W (1974) The child's construction of politics Melbourne, Australia : Melbourne University Denizen, K (1970) The research act Chicago, IL : Aldine Dietz, M G (1987/1989) Context is all : Feminism and theories of citizenship In J K Conway, S C Bourque, & J W Scott (Eds .), Learning about women : Gender politics, and power (pp 1-24) Ann Arbor, MI : University of Michigan Dowse, R E & Hughes, J A (1971) Girls, boys, and politics British Journal of Sociology, 22(1), 53-67 Education Commission of the States (1971) Citizenship : group results for sex, region, and size of community [National Assessment of Educational Progress Report No 16] Washington, DC : Government Printing Office Education Commission of the States (1973) Political knowledge and attitudes [National Assessment of Educational Progress Report No 16] Washington, DC : Government Printing Office Education Commission of the States (1974) The first social studies assessment : An overview [National Assessment of Educational Progress Report No 16] Washington, DC : Government Printing Office Elshtain, J B (1981) Public man, private woman : Women in social and political thought Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Farnen, R F & German, D B (1972) Youth, politics, and education : England, Italy, Sweden, The United States and West Germany In B G Massialas (Ed .) Political youth, traditional schools : National and international perspectives (pp 161-177) Engelwood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice Hall Ferree, M M (1974) A woman for president? Changing responses 19581972 Public Opinion Quarterly, 38, 390-399 Fite, D ., Genest, M ., & Wilcox, C (1990) Gender difference in foreign policy attitudes : A longitudinal analysis American Politics Quarterly, 18(4),492-513 3 2


Gender and Political Learning Gillespie, D & Spohn, C (1987) Adolescents' attitudes toward women in politics : The effects of gender and race Gender & Society, 1(2), 208218 Gillespie, D & Spohn, C (1990) Adolescents' attitudes toward women in politics : a follow-up study Women & Politics, 10 (1), 1-16 Gilligan, C (1982) In a different voice : Psychological theory and women's development Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Glaser, B G & Strauss, A L (1967) The discovery of grounded theory : Strategies for qualitative research Chicago, IL : Aldine Goodlad, J I (1984) A place called school New York : McGraw Hill Greenstein, F I (1961) Sex-related political differences in childhood The Journal of Politics, 23, 353-372 Hahn, C L (1978) Review of research on sex roles : Implications for social studies research Theory and Research in Social Education, 6(1), 73-99 Hahn, C L ., & Bernard-Powers, J (1985) Sex equity in social studies In S Klein (Ed .) Handbook for achieving sex equity through education (pp 280-297) Baltimore, MD : Johns Hopkins University Hahn, C L & Tocci, C (1989, April) Gender and political attitudes : A five nation study Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA Harding, S (1991) Whose science? Whose knowledge : Thinking from women's lives Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Harwood, A M (1992) Social studies classroom climates and students' political attitudes : Views from three high school civics classes Dissertation Abstracts International, 52-09A, 3240A Harwood, A M & Hahn, C L (1992, April) Gender and civics learning Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA Hedrick, T E & Chance, J E (1977) Sex differences in assertive achievement patterns Sex Roles, 3(2),129-139 Heiskanen, V S (1971) Sex roles, social class, and political consciousness Acta Sociologica, 14 (1/2),83-95 Hepburn, M A & Napier, J D (1982/1983) Patterns of student attitudes toward political institutions and participation Teaching Political Science, 10(2), 77-78 Jennings, M K & Niemi, R .G (1974) The political character of adolescence Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Kimmel, M (1994, January) Bringing men back in again : The invisibility of masculinity in social science research Paper presented at the Qualitative Research in Education conference, Athens, GA Kneedler, P E (1988) Differences between boys and girls on California's new statewide assessments in history/ social science Social Studies Review, 27(3), 96-124 3 3


Carole L Hahn Lyons, S L (1970) The political socialization of ghetto children : Efficacy and cynicism Journal of Politics, 32(2), 288-304 McNeil, L M (1988) Contradictions of control New York : Routledge, Chapman, & Hall McLeod, J S & Silverman, S T (1973) You won't do : What textbooks on U .S government teach high school girls Pittsburgh, PA : Know, Inc Moore, S ., Lare, J ., & Wagner, K (1985) The child's political world : A longitudinal perspective New York : Praeger Noddings, N (1992) Social studies and feminism Theory and Research in Social Education, 20(3), 230-241 Nossiter, T (1969, July 31) How children learn about politics New Society, pp 166-167 Opinion Roundup (1982, April/May) Women and men : Is a realignment under way Public Opinion, 5(l),21-32 Orum, A M ., Cohen, R S ., Grasmuck, S ., & Orum, A W (1977) Sex socialization and politics In M Githen & J L Prestage (Eds .), A portrait of marginality (pp 17-37) New York : McKay Owen, D & Dennis, J (1988) Gender differences in the politicization of American children Women & Politics, 8(2), 23-43 Rapoport, R R (1981) The sex gap in political persuading : Where the 'structuring principle' works American Journal of Political Science, 25(l),32-48 Rettinger, V S (1993) The moral and political consciousness of preadolescents Moral Education Forum, 18(4), 2-35 Sapiro, V (1987) What research on the political socialization of women can tell us about the political socialization of people In C Farnham (Ed .), The impact of feminist research in the academy (pp 148-173) Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Segall, A L (1975) Gender related differences in the political socialization of high school seniors Dissertation Abstracts International, 36, 3996A Shapiro, R Y & Mahajan, H (1986) Gender differences in policy preferences : a summary of trends from the 1960s to the 1980s Public Opinion Quarterly, 50(l),42-61 Shaver, J P (Ed .) (1991) Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning New York : Macmillan Shaver, J P ., Helburn, S ., & Davis, O L ., Jr (1979) The status of social studies education : Impressions from three NSF studies Social Education, 43(2), 150-153 Smith, T W (1984) The polls : Gender and attitudes toward violence Public Opinion Quarterly, 48(1B), 384-396 Stake, R E & Easley, J A (1978) Case studies in science education Washington, DC : National Science Foundation Stevens, O (1982) Children talking politics Oxford, England : Martin Robertson 3 4


Gender and Political Learning Stodolsky, S S (1988) The subject matters Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Stradling, R (1975) The political awareness of the school leaver London, England : The Hansard Society Strauss, A L (1987) Qualitative analysis for social scientists Cambridge, England : Cambridge University Tetreault, M K (1984) Notable American women : The case of U .S history textbooks Social Education, 48(7), 546-550 Torney, J V ., Oppenheim, A N ., & Farnen, R F (1975) Civic education in ten countries : An empirical study New York : Wiley & Sons Torney-Purta, J (1991) Cross-national research in social studies In J P Shaver (Ed .), Handbook on social studies teaching and learning (pp 591601) New York : Macmillan Torney-Purta, J (1990) Political socialization In W T Callahan, Jr & R A Banaszak (Eds .) Citizenship for the 21st century (pp 171-198) Bloomington, IN : ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education Vaillancourt, P M (1972) The political socialization of young people : A panel survey of youngsters in the San Francisco Bay Area (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley), Amercain Doctoral Dissertations, p 391 Welch, S (1977) Women as political animals? A test of some explanations for male-female political participation difference American Journal of Political Science 21(4), 711-729 Welch, S & Sigelman, L (1982) Changes in public attitudes toward women in politics Social Science Quarterly, 63(2), 312-322 Westholm, A ., Lindquist, A ., & Niemi, R G (1990) Education and the making of the informed citizen In O Ichilov (Ed .), Political socialization, citizenship education, and democracy (pp 177-204) New York : Teachers College Wilen, W W ., & White, J J (1991) Interaction and discourse in social studies classrooms In J P Shaver (Ed .), Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning (pp 483-495) New York : Macmillan Wilkenson, L (1986) Systat : The system for statistics Evanston, IL : Systat Wormald, E (1983) Apolitical woman : The myth of early socialization International Journal of Political Education, 6(1), 43-64 Author CAROLE L HAHN is Professor of Educational Studies at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 30322 3 5


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1996, Volume XXIV, Number 1, pp 36-53 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies FEMINIST POLITICAL THEORY : CONTRIBUTIONS TO A CONCEPTION OF CITIZENSHIP' Lynda Stone University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Abstract Recent political advances of American women can be m?intained and furthered with a reformulated definition of feminism and the solidarity that stems from it Such a definition acknowledges the past successes and failures of feminist theorizing and builds toward a new conception of citizenship Over the past 20 years feminist political theory has been an arena from which such a redefinition can be drawn Pertinent is relatively recent work from postmodern feminists, specifically ideas of reformulated rationality and personhood as difference rather than sameness, multiplicity rather than singularity, and fluidity rather than stasis Following a political introduction and an intellectual contextualization, the author presents three theoretical phases leading to a new conception of citizenship : past for the present, difference out of sameness, and rationality to subjectivities A New Women's Movement An unprecedented event occurred in U .S politics in 1992 : Women elected a male president with a female political partner rather than a 'first lady', and more women than ever before were elected to office across the country This resulted from what investigator Naomi Wolf has termed the gender quake, evidence of a third women's movement Following the second-the women's liberation-movement, "women's clout reached that critical mass [a decided majority of the voting 11 owe thanks to Amee Adkins, David Hursh, Kathy Hytten, Marilyn Johnston, Thomas Popkewitz, Stephen Thornton, the anoynmous reviewers, and especially, Jane Bernard-Powers 3 6


Feminist Political Theory electorate] . just as the empire that made men-white men in particular-a ruling elite was sinking into deeper and deeper eclipse" (Wolf, 1993, p 11) Analysis of this election shows two significant factors : women's anger at events such as the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings involving Anita Hill propelled them to political action, and average women voters were and still are largely unaware of their own political consciousness and power One significant reason among American women for lack of political and civic awareness is a present and potent schism between feminist scholarship and mainstream women Wolf (1993) identifies 10 developments contributing to this split Among them are perceptions that feminist theory is antifamily and antimale, that its revolutionary rhetoric is outdated, and that its home is the separatist, elitist university Still other reasons are distorted media coverage, evidence of economic silencing (the idea that women must deny feminist proclivities in order to advance in the workplace), and the perception that feminism is exclusively white and middle class (pp 66-67) Wolf's thesis in her popular polemic, Fire with Fire, is straightforward (see also Faludi, 1991) Continuing to realize the aims of women's emancipation and to achieve greater gender equality depends upon a redefinition of feminism and its translation into power and action This implies, of course, the warning that present gains can become future losses (as in the 1980s) Thus, Wolf's call for power feminism begins at the global level with women joining together across ideological differences to fight for and put to mutual use the basic units of "money, health, opportunity, education, representation, and safety ." On the individual level, each woman must develop self-confidence and awareness of her own potential power (pp 305-306) In general, a new feminism resembles this : The rights to vote, drive a car, get an education, have a job, plan a family, get decent health care, have a say : You weren't born with them All of these were brought to you by the American Feminist Movement Feminism is real democracy If you value these things, pass them on Call yourself a feminist, speak up when you are put down, vote for rights for women, and give to women's organizations (Wolf, 1993, p 310) This feminism is broad enough, by the way, for men of most ideological persuasions to join easily Following Wolf, the present article proceeds from a caution that any new feminism, in order to be effective, ought not to deny theoretical 2 1, among others, question today whether such a mainstream exists 3 7


Lynda Stone advances of the past For all of the current political and ideological dilemmas confronting feminist praxis, three factors remain : (1) a great debt to earlier efforts for gender equality exists that must be acknowledged and not forgotten ; (2) much of the present diversity within feminism is both healthy and supportive of the movement's ideals ; (3) central to any politics is a definition of citizen and citizenship These ideas underpin the present effort to recount contributions from feminist theory and develop a conception of citizenship This is a philosophic account, not a definitive history The point is that reformulating general, broad, western, liberal tenets as feminist and postmodernist significantly assists in the continued creation of a vital and equal politics of women and men Surely, in the 1990s, this is the essence of American citizenship (and citizenship in all other nations) Context Interpreting feminist contributions to illustrate a conception of citizenship requires context, as does any theoretical and practical work Following is a brief overview of feminist and postmodernist theory Feminism and Postmodernism Feminism, for all the disavowal of the 'f' word in the present mainstream (Wolf, 1993), is a politics and a set of theoretical formulations that need not be feared Several tenets are basic to the women's liberation movement that began in the 1960s : (1) women's experiences count because they are historically and empirically different from those of men ; (2) these experiences collapse the former cultural distinction between public and private, invalidating the segregation of women's experiences into the latter realm and the denial of a public (civic) voice for women ; (3) because of these conditions (and beliefs about biology and religion), women have been denied societal inequality with men (see Eisenstein, 1983) All feminists, both women and men, agree in some sense with these tenets and want to overcome this inequality In addition, most feminists subscribe to the value of consciousness raising and solidarity ; that is, they believe that collective efforts will help accomplish their general aim At the outset of the present analysis, important distinctions need to be made between feminist politics and feminist scholarship On the one hand, over the past 30 years, the movement clearly has succeeded in many respects, and sufficient solidarity remains for women/feminists to identify and work on a practical level within the 1990s genderquake On the other hand, present activity at the theoretical level has created much tumult and dissent among scholars and has generated an 3 8


Feminist Political Theory image that solidarity is somehow lacking in feminism Paradoxically, such dissent jeopardizes realization of the very ideals that pertain theoretically to diversity ; however, one important aspect to recognize about today's movement is that multiple feminisms are vigorous and healthy, aiming to overcome both the practical and theoretical difficulties of the past Yesterday's naive and misguided, monolithic feminism has been replaced by an abundance of feminisms ; among them are the following : liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, socialist feminism, African American feminism, lesbian separatist feminism, conservative or essentialist feminism, existential feminism, psychoanalytic feminism, and radical feminism (Rosser, 1992, p 537) Further, evolution within the feminist movement has meant proliferation rather than universal stages of development Four phases of feminist theory since the 1960s can be identified : universalist, separatist, essentialist, and particularist Each developed in response to earlier limitations but each continues to exist today (see Stone, 1994a, p 6) These four form two sets in relation to the theory of citizenship presented in this article Universalist and essentialist views pose sameness as a core ingredient : sameness of woman to man (humanity) in the former, and among women (gender) in the latter By contrast, separatist/particularist perspectives are based upon difference as the core ingredient : differences between woman and man in the former and among women as well as between men and women in the latter Historically in each set, one trend developed, followed by a second To sum, while today there remain liberal feminists who cling to a universal ideal of humanistic sameness and a shared position for women within this ideal as a vehicle for equality, the most vital theoretical work comes from postmodernist/poststructuralist feminists who promote women's posthumanist difference as the basis for equality Finally, the position of postmodernist/poststructuralist feminists, although not teleologically developmental, is an acknowledgment that no neutral stance toward feminism exists To be postmodernist/poststructuralist as a feminist means to critique all former positions as essentialist ; assessment of past feminist contributions is always embedded in present beliefs and theories Significantly, however, this position still acknowledges past contributions, even if they were "essentialist ." 3 9


Lynda Stone Modernity and Citizenship 3 Both the notion of citizenship and of the gendered relations among men and women are important in modernity-the epoch of the last 300 or so years, characterized by a search for foundational certainty (see Toulmin, 1990) This search, variously theorized in philosophy, history, and science, is located in a real person or a real world or an ideal set of beliefs about both, and draws upon meanings dating back to antiquity and the scholastic periods Across each epoch there are important distinctions ; nonetheless certain aims persist that define men and women, and that define their role as citizens Epochal differences are evident first with regard to citizenship : the relation of persons to nature, to polity, to God, and to state The concept of the rational citizen, however, has been consistent According to tradition, citizenship is the rational action of disembodied actors pursuing their private [and their common, public] interests through formal interactions with the state (Jones, 1993, p 196) In a linkage of person, polity, and rationality, the latter is pivotal (Young, 1990a, p 93), as well as male constructed and male defined Feminist philosopher Genevieve Lloyd (1984) labels this "the maleness of reason," a historically enduring belief in "the conviction that minds, in so far as they are rational, are fundamentally alike . [and deliver] a single objective truth . that underlies our moral and political ideals" (p ix) The model of rationality is male because theoretically and historically men have been the public persons who possess and demonstrate this rationality It is modern because it posits a universalizing sameness In sum, in western political life, rationality has played out this way : men of reason form governments, especiallyas the strength of autocratic sovereignty declines-liberal, democratic 3 Much confusion exists today over the relationship of modernity to postmodernity This article stems from a postmodern position that denies the search for certainty Further, it casts present epochal relationships in tension : the moment is of transition ; i .e ., on the cusp between the beliefs and discourses of one era and those of another This tension means that most theorists recognize that the search for certainty is dead and that interpretation rather than truth (in an absolute sense) is alive It also means that all essentials as in feminism are abandoned There is no true reality or person, no one path to history or authentic language While a real world of sorts exists, the point is that meaning is humanly and socially constructed What results is a system of sensemaking that fallible humans create, with all of its tentativeness, ambiguity, and contingency (see Stone, 1992) The modern/postmodern tension occurs as individuals ponder aspects of this uncertainty, willing to yield some absolutes, but perhaps not others Even so, this tension permits recognition of a debt to modernity-even one with limitations 4 0


Feminist Political Theory ones Rationality is the essence of the modern nation-state and of citizenship within it 4 Past for the Present Feminist theorists of a decade or so ago recognized two important aspects of this traditional political linkage : its liberal connotations were undeniably valuable, and thus, while wanting to critique the traditional view, they could not dismiss rationality altogether if they wanted to retain liberal political successes and not deny the very process they were using to assert their own position In general, the liberal critique draws attention to how women are conceptualized as woman and defined in terms of man In such a comparison woman is always marked as inferior, in ways that change conceptually across time There was at first an explicit formulation, followed by neutralization within a segregated social system and finally by the time of the Enlightenment, invisibility (Jones, 1988, p 10) Illustration of such conceptualizations is found in classical writings by Plato and Aristotle and later writings by Rousseau and Locke Philosophers of the classical tradition initially paid attention to the lives of women and assumed what Susan Moller Okin (1979) has identified as a "biosocial functionalism" with regard to their place (also See, 1982) For these ancients, place is determined by a familial role-woman as reproductive entity but inferior to man in this capacity Given the history of patriarchy, it is surprising that Plato initially proposes a societal hierarchy in which some women, by birth, talent, and education, have the right to become citizens and even "philosopher queens ." Plato (in Mahowald, 1983) writes, "So one woman may have a guardian nature, the other not Was it not a nature with these qualities which we selected among men for our male guardians too" (p 245) His vision is qualified both empirically and philosophically by two conditions : First, his republic is an ideal ; no woman ever serves as a Greek ruler Second, societal limitations imposed upon women precluded civic education and service As Okin (1979) observes, women were deprecated : "Plato certainly shared his fellow Athenians' contempt for . .women," categorizing them "with the immature, the sick, and the weak" (p 22) While Plato may deserve some credit for his attempt to define women and men as human and civic equals, Aristotle clearly fails in this regard His attention to and characterization of woman as inferior set the stage for thousands of years of misogyny to follow, contributing 4 Other treatments of feminism and citizenship consider the issue of equality and the general role of the state and its authority See Moira Gatens (1991), Gisela Bock and Susan James (1992), and Kathleen Jones (1993) 4 1


Lynda Stone to a pervasive attitude throughout antiquity, rejustified by the scholastic church in its various formulations, and carried down to the time of the western Enlightenment Aristotle's (in Mahowald, 1983) contribution to Plato's societal functionalism was to strengthen its biological basis : [T]here must be that which generates, and that out of which it generates ; . they must differ in kind, and in that the logos of each of them is distinct . . [T]he male is the active partner, the one which originates the movement, and the female qua female is the passive one [Because] females are weaker and colder in their nature . .the female state . [is] as it were a deformity (pp 267-271) To this, Aristotle adds that femaleness is identified with the body and with passion/emotionality, and maleness is identified with the mind and with rationality (although each human possesses both essences) Also for Aristotle, males and females have souls and moral virtues but with different aspects : those that rule and those that are ruled In society then, "it is by nature that the woman . [and the children] and the slave have been marked as separate" (p 272) and inferior Once again societal functionalism casts woman permanently in the private realm of the household Even here, however, as in the separate, public sphere, the husband, father, and master govern No one should be greatly surprised that the societal position of women based upon a biological argument does not change in what Okin names as the "modern patriarchal tradition"-although the reasoning behind their inferior status changes During the early modern period, separation of the public and private spheres strengthens as industrialization (production), urbanization, and the state are tied together Two ironies result : one is that in modernity the fact of certain numerous women working outside the home is a self-evident contradiction of the separate spheres (Spelman, 1988) ; the other is that the 'evil' factor continues to influence social opinion in spite of 'liberalization' Woman is theorized as both mother and prostitute, as temptress of man, as his moral deliverer, and as home educator of his sons She is natural-has an essence with all its good and evil features-that men and their society need This essence is taken for granted and continues as a mythology into the present (Noddings, 1989) 4 2


Feminist Political Theory Woman as relegated to the private sphere is best illustrated in Rousseau's writings on education (Archer, 1928) 5 On the one hand, Rousseau's man, Emile lives 'naturally' : he is educated for individual superiority, public life, and citizenship On the other hand, Rousseau characterizes Emile's wife, Sophie, this way : Woman was made specially to please man . . [I]t is the law of nature, which is antecedent even to love If woman is formed to please and live in subjection, she must render herself agreeable to man . her strength lies in her charms (p 218) These charms are many, both natural and learned ; among them are politeness, coquetry, grace, and license Her education, of course, is toward realization of the 'best' elements of her nature Here is Rousseau's account of her rationality : "Sophie's intellect is agreeable without being brilliant, thoughtful without being deep" (p 237) In all manner, then, within a segregated private and inferior sphere, Sophie (as woman) is invisible, neither person nor citizen (Okin, 1979, pp 193194) During the Enlightenment, the biological patriarchy of previous millennia is modified in the creation of the social contract and the nation-state Initially, the polity is governed by the father of the home and the father of the church, and by extension, the father of the state-the king Thus, as Melissa Butler (1991) recounts, there is both empirical and scriptural justification for rule, and these are taken to be the nature of things Theorists such as Locke and Mill help break down the civic patriarchy and build up the modern nation-state with its individual, rational citizens Locke's missive, written 70 years after Rousseau's, denies the scriptural justification for a patriarchal kingship Regarding women, Butler explains : "Locke implied that God merely suggested one empirical relationship . [of husbands ruling wives within households] which was subsequently adopted by mankind and reinforced by the laws and customs of nations" (p 82) In removing the divine origin of women's segregation and inferiority, Locke creates a private and "voluntary compact between man and woman" (p 84) that becomes public It includes a consensual, conjugal relationship, as well as potential property and divorce rights for women Butler posits that Locke recognizes a natural equality of all persons, with women able to "overcome" the limitations of--in Biblical terms--the Fall through individual advance (p 90) This equality, while not empirically 5 See also Jane Roland Martin's (1983) outstanding discussion on the education of women 4 3


Lynda Stone realizable, has an important political/legal result As Locke (in Mahowald, 1983) states, "The master of the family has a very distinct and differently limited power . over the whole family . [and] over every individual in it" (p 163) Locke's consideration of women's lives is a significant but not central part of his liberal theory While politically its result contributes much to the status of women, it also makes even more invisible the nature of woman compared to that of man He is, after all, equal to others, by nature free, capable of owning property, and rational ; he is the liberal citizen qua citizen She now must become him in her own public development To summarize, the traditional definition of citizenship and of woman within it, either as inferior, segregated, or invisible is based upon a conception of rationality that is assumed universal : Humans (read man) possess a natural rationality (augmented by education and civic participation) that feminists assert has been denied to woman The earliest response to classical theory asserts that woman is equally rational This is followed by critiques of the monological formulation that add emotion to reason and differentiate woman's rationality from that of man (as separate but equal) More recently, liberal feminists reconstitute both man and woman as reasoning and emotional persons and posit a universal world equally populated by women and men Radical feminists, by contrast, challenge this egalitarian picture They argue that equality is denied by the historical circumstance of patriarchy They assert that women need not live according to male norms, but instead can constitute their own separate forms of rationality and emotionality Difference out of Sameness Once feminists expose the core of citizenship in rationality by critiquing the classical theorists, they predicate theory in difference rather than sameness No universals or essentials (as argued subsequently) are posited Rather, feminists follow various avenues of thought, addressing subelements of rationality, as described here, and given the premise of difference, constructing new theories of subjectivity based upon voice and agency, as described later in this article Herein are examples from the writings of Iris Marion Young (1990a ; 1990b) on impartiality, Susan James (1992) on independence, and of special importance, Elizabeth Spelman (1988) on essentialism Impartiality Young (1990a) interrogates the meaning of civic impartiality : "The impartial moral [civic] reasoner . .stands . .above the situation about which he . reasons, with no stake in it (p 95) This ideal is tied 4 4


Feminist Political Theory to modern Cartesian epistemology in which the transcendental subject is "ever to comprehend all entities as a unity with itself and in a unified system with one another" (p 96) For the subject, this presents a problem when a situation does not fit neatly into a whole, when it defies straightforward categorization A first reaction, Young contends, is reduction : to apply a rule of universality and to subsume the present situation into something it has in common with all others Part of this process also involves removing the affect from moral reasoning by denying its part in the 'impartial' process A second reaction is to create dichotomies, to recategorize situations (or their elements) into those that fit and do not fit Concomitant to this is creation of a hierarchy : those that fit are good and those that do not are bad These first two reactions retain the core of sameness characteristic of the earlier feminists, but Young (1990a) adds a third, in which a former "denial of difference" is recognized This entails two dimensions that are significant to recent feminist theorizing : differences in distances of space and time, and differences between and within subjects The point is that situatins change historically and power relations of one moment are no longer tenable at another The current debate among women of color and white women is an important illustration Young's (1980b) solution is a "politics of difference" in a kind of pluralistic city life, within which there "must develop discourse and institutions for bringing differently identified groups together without suppressing or subsuming the differences" (p 320) Independence James (1992) works from the same premises as Young, critiquing elements of rationality as monolithic, androcentric, and exclusionary She also assumes, for argument's sake, an opposition between dependence and independence, in which the latter (like impartiality) is valued within rationality, and she uses this to argue for the complexity of independence and the need to redefine it (to create a difference) in late/postmodern feminist terms She begins with three existential components of independence drawn from women's experiences : physical, economic, and emotional The first two, James posits, are vital for citizenship These are the widely held ideals that women and their children need to be free from fears of physical harm and poor health This freedom is predicated upon physical and economic autonomy, on being able to take care of oneself and one's own While also of civic necessity, the third condition of emotional independence is not as clearly defined The issue of emotional dependence/independence calls forth the liberal dichotomy of emotion and reason mentioned earlier One argument holds that woman's rationality is tied to emotionality, to partiality, and to dependence ; it is situated and subjective and cannot 4 5


Lynda Stone be separated from emotion Women, James asserts, historically have been emotionally dependent in the best sense and tied to others in the private sphere These ties cannot be severed easily, nor should they be in public, civic life Importantly, such dependence need not preclude 'reasonable' actions of citizenship To augment reasoned citizenship, James further poses a new concept to replace independence in citizenship : self-esteem This is incorporated as a core element of a reconstituted rationality, in which women assess themselves as distinct yet among others These distinctions allow citizens to evaluate competing claims and exercise judgment without seeking the prior approval of others What results is a combining of the best of private and public, of the dependent and independent spheres, with recognition of the contributions the former makes to the latter Essentialism While Young offers an existential conception of difference and James a defining one, Spelman (1988) attacks the central problem of sameness head on by examining the important issue of essentialism (also see Stone, 1994b) Like her feminist forebears, she initially attends to the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and Locke, but with an important and different twist Unlike non-feminist philosophers, she claims that women are differentiated historically, since those who have been slaves or are poor suffer more under patriarchy This result, theoretically, has been that women have been rendered invisible-made all "white"--and their differences from each other and from men have not been recognized This erasing of women's differences does not take into account relations of race and class Further, it denies the "otherness" of white, middle class women who are seen as neither privileged nor different, and finally, it ignores the dangers of inclusion This last point is especially significant if difference retains in its usage a connotation of different from something else The point, clearly, is that the word from already implies a privileged, normal position, one that remains discriminatory Spelman's critique of feminist essentialism involves several ideas : understanding the distinctions among women, imagining lives of otherness, and practicing tolerance for difference 6 This last point ties to another important idea, learning the advantages and disadvantages inherent in one's own position in order to give up one's advantage Writing as a white, middle class woman, Spelman points out a final difficulty with this : 6 W omen's struggles among themselves are differentiated from those with men, the former called "uncommon" in contrast to the latter "common" ones See Stone, 1994b 4 6


Feminist Political Theory [W]e cannot assume that our need . [to know others] is or ought to be a project foremost in the minds and hearts of all those women about whom we hope to know more . . We cannot demand that they make themselves available to be known simply because we have a need (p 185) Each of us must be willing to reach out, to teach, and learn from the other In effect, both the need and the desire to know are our creations 7 Rationality to Subjectivities As described, the category of difference has assumed central importance for feminist theorists in the past decade Feminists have created new conceptions of difference as related to the real, imagined, and newly defined lives of women Earlier, white women have written about difference and have wanted the concept to extend to other women variously categorized as women of color, minority women, or third world, postcolonial feminists 8 More recently, nonwhite women are having much to say about white women speaking for them The problem of the "other," described initially by Simone de Beauvoir, has a new, current configuration The problem of difference/ otherness is very complex Third world women are always reminded of their difference and are always asked, they believe, to join the praxis on white terms Postcolonial, third world feminist Trinh Minh-ha (1989) confronts "white female opportunists" who mask as feminists but act as substitutes for the master (p 83) : 9 First, speaking is itself composed of both voice and silence, two strategies for claiming space Second, for nonwhites, speaking may involve complying with white requests "to teach us about yourself" and the power relationship incumbent therein Third, relationships are complicated by "who knows who" and salient to this are questions of authenticity Some characteristics of identity are considered more authentic than others-the master still controls who speaks and how Finally, the perceived uniqueness of third world and other nonmainstream women creates problems of tokenism and protectionism, and risks the establishment of new, replacement forms of privilege (see also hooks, 1984 ; Collins, 1990 ; Moraga & Anzaldua, 1981 ; Caraway, 1991) 7 1 write this pliece as a white, mioddleclass academic 8 Bonnie Thornton Dill (1994) names American women who are not white as "racial/ethnic," in an attempt to alter the hierarchial connotations of terms such as "minority" (p 30) Clearly, even this naming is problematic because it assumes that categories such as race and ethnicity apply only to nonwhites 9 1 hope that my own use here of Trinh's important work is not mis construed 4 7


Lynda Stone Writing in a poststructuralist vein and influenced by Julia Kristeva, Trinh (1989) theorizes difference/identity in a new way She states, "difference . [is] understood not as an irreducible quality but as drifting apart within 'woman' as entities of inseparable 'I's' and 'Noti's"' (p 104) Further, the category of person/self/identity "always leaks" (p 94), always possesses multiple layers within and multiple relations without Moreover, persons/subjects are always fluid and "in the making" (p 102) As plural and reconstitutive, the category woman (e .g ., third world woman) cannot be pinned down Connecting this to the previous discussion of rationality, no one is essentialized There is no rational being, no true self or person, no representative group or person Rather, each individual's position is itself always in motion and composed of multiple aspects as they relate to particular situations Postcolonial feminism as practiced by Trinh Minh-ha, Gayatri Spivak (1990), and others is part of the general postmodernist turn introduced briefly at the outset of this article As such, it calls into question aspects of modernist epistemology, including the concept of a universal, essentialist rationality It further contains a critique of basic western assumptions about dualism of subjectivism and objectivism Traditionally, the structure of this dualism maintains subject as distinct from object, and person as separate from reality-from objects as well as other persons Within this organization, the subject seeks to know the object and this knowledge corresponds to a representation of knowing that which is known To abandon modernist epistemology means that the question of what is real no longer applies, since language and meaning have taken its place Further, the essential person or self is relinquished Postcolonial and other feminisms, particularly poststructural feminism, contribute to the new subjectivity (subjectivities) Some detail can further understanding of the new subjectivity In a recent article, Susan Hekman (1991) presents both an explanation and a pertinent feminist dilemma She claims that modernism entails two forms of subject, one constituting and one constituted The former is represented in traditional analysis and in the traditional subject/object duality The latter, represented in critical analysis and in a dialectical model, is central to Marxist theory but is as modem as the other As caricatured by Hekman, one subject is a God-like being and the other a social dupe-the first able to know and control all and the second controlled by forces over which he has no control In response, postmodern subjectivity does two things : It disperses meaning first through multiplicity, and second through a decen tering The impetus for decentering comes from the linguistic structuralism of Saussure and Barthes (Ennis, 1985) Their principal insight reveals that the origin of meaning lies neither with person (agency) or structure, but within language and in "terms of the difference within 4 8


Feminist Political Theory the signifying chain that produced the signified . [that is, in an] arbitrary relationship between sign and signified" (p 52) To put it another way, words refer only to other words and consequently, language is necessarily tentative and ambiguous Following Trinh and Kristeva, Hekman (1991) asserts, The subject never is The subject is only the signifying process, that is, only when he is absent within the position out of which social, historical and signifying activity unfolds There is no science of the subject (p 52) This decentering of subjectivity, however, alarms many feminists who have fought for women's subjectivity, rationality, and citizenship because, at first glance, it denies agency It seems to imply that there are no longer real women acting in a real world Kristeva, however, shows that while subjects are subsumed within language, nonetheless they are active and "in process ." 10 As Hekman (1991) explains, "each new subject that is constituted transforms and revolutionizes the subject that precedes it" (p 54) In so doing, it penetrates the symbolic/social order and changes both itself and its environment (again within language) Significantly, women have a special place in this revolutionizing process Because the social order is masculine and patriarchal, while the feminine is not privileged over the masculine, women nonetheless exert unique influences in subverting patriarchy (p 57) Hekman sums up her conception of subjectivities : Subjects are constituted by multiple and sometimes contradictory discourses Individual subjects resist, mutate, and revise these discourses from within them ; resistance [to being constituted] does not require recourse to the modernist notion of "an inner world" [nor an essential subject] (p 59) Based upon a new, nonpolarized epistemology, Kristeva and Hekman's point is an important, ethical one : the reconstitution of a new kind of subjectivity, one that meets the demands of postcolonial theorists This new agency possesses the rationality of a fluid, multiple subject operating within diverse, unstable discursive practices and the forces they exert Among these various language processes are "gaps and . ambiguities that create the possibility for both change and resistance" (Hekman, 1991, p 59) This creative ethical process is illustrated in the emergence of pluralist, particularist feminisms Out of the present historical moment is an interplay of meaning taken up by women (and men) whose identities constantly change and whose actions 10 Among Kristeva's important writings is Revolution in Poetic Language (1984) 4 9


Lynda Stone seek space for change This fluid multiplicity of agency exists, to adopt an old Marxist term, because of the complex interests of all persons in the present social order The ethical result of subjectivities is to deny former hierarchies and power inequalities-to give more voices to those formerly silenced Conclusion : A New Citizenship At the beginning of this article, I described a historic moment for women in American politics, one that signaled a new movement for Wolf and others This movement, this time, however, is tentative, due not only to the state of women's political consciousness but also perhaps to the postmodern condition Today, all times, events, and even trends are momentary This does not mean, however, that women's political futures are doomed, especially if insights from several decades of feminist scholarship are taken into account to reformulate a new conception of citizenship In concluding, something must to be said about the utility of any conception of citizenship Given the fluid, multiple identities of postmodernism and their resultant momentary associations, perhaps 'citizen' is an outmoded notion-perhaps the idea of the primary identity of person and nation-state is passe In this macro-age of multinational and pannational economic communities and this microage of interand intraethnic tribalism, the nation is a modernist construction that appears out of place This is not to say that new macro-and micro-associations are themselves moral, but in many respects, neither was the modern state' 11 Out of contributions from postmodernist, poststructuralist feminisms a new conception of citizenship emerges What are these contributions? What is this conception? Feminist scholars of the past several decades have dismantled unitary, essentialist notions of rationality and personhood defining the modern citizen Now rationality is no longer the solitary purview of men, devoid of partiality and emotional attachment It is no longer merely western and 'first world' This means that multiple forms of expression and meaning and multiple ways of decision making (of doing business, for example) are viable Finally, 'person' is made not merely in the liberal, western mode The postmodern condition necessitates a postmodern citizen She/he is a postmodern person or subject interacting with others in always changing situations For political purposes, some interests come together for a time, then disperse once these temporary purposes are 11 As illustration I cannot resist noting the construction of the American patriotic state in the relatively recent faceless and destructive Gulf War 5 0


Feminist Political Theory met Moreover, lives in postmodern, changing situations are no more chaotic than in other eras, in spite of the homesickness (Connolly, 1993) many experience for modernist forms of certainty and stability The postmodern era, at the last, necessitates a new conception of citizenship, in which diversity and difference are valued and the modernist power hierarchy continues to devolve In this new citizenship we must also recognize and work with temporary associations in which individuals revel in the positive elements of meeting and being with new people who are only partially and temporarily like themselves Moreover, we must acknowledge personal humility within these associations across difference : all actions have limited utility, all people have significant contributions to make, and no one act or impact has privilege over another The past, present, and continuing lessons learned among feminist scholars contribute much to a new citizenship : difference over sameness, multiplicity over singularity, fluidity over stasis If indeed postmodernism heralds a new age, then a new conception of citizenship is not only logically but also ethically appropriate We need not deny the successes of modernism, but we must respond to its failures Much work remains to be done to guarantee healthy, prosperous, and happy lives for all Postmodernism, embraced within contemporary feminist theorizing, provides an important opportunity References Archer, R L (Ed .) (1928) Rousseau on education London : Edward Arnold Aristotle (1983) On the generation of animals ; politics In M B Mahowald (Ed .), Philosophy of woman (pp 266-274) Indianapolis, IN : Hackett Bock, G & James, S (1992) Beyond equality and difference : Citizenship, feminist politics, and female subjectivity London : Routledge Butler, M (1991) Early liberal roots of feminism : John Locke and the attack on patriarchy In M L Shanley & C Pateman (Eds .), Feminist interpretations and political theory (pp 74-94) University Park, PA : The Pennsylvania State University Caraway, N (1991) Segregated sisterhood : Racism and the politics of American feminism Knoxville, TN : University of Tennessee Collins, P H (1990) Black feminist thought : Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment Boston : Unwin Hyman Connolly, W (1993) Political theory and modernity Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Dill, B T (1994) Race, class, and gender : Prospects for an all-inclusive sisterhood In L Stone (Ed .), The education feminism reader (pp 42-56), New York : Routledge 5 1


Lynda Stone Eisenstein, H (1983) Contemporary feminist thought Boston : G K Hall Ennis, R (1985) Semiotics : An introductory anthology Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Faludi S (1991) Backlash : the undeclared war against American women New York : Crown Gatens, M (1991) Feminism and philosophy : perspectives on difference and equality Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Hekman, S (1991) Reconstituting the subject : Feminism, modernism, and postmodernism Hypatia, 6(2), 44-63 hooks, b (1984) Feminist theory : From margin to center Boston : South End Jones, K (1993) Compassionate authority : Democracy and the representation of women New York : Routledge Kristeva, J (1984) Revolution in poetic language (M Waller, trans .) New York : Columbia University Locke, J (1983) Of paternal power : Of political and civil society In M B Mahowald (Ed .), The philosophy of woman (pp ; 158-164) Indianapolis, IN : Hackett Lloyd, G (1984) The man of reason : 'Male' and 'female' in western philosophy Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Martin, J R (1985) Reclaiming a conversation : The ideal of the educated woman New Haven, CT : Yale University Morraga, C & Anzaldua, G (Eds .) (1981) This bridge called my back : Writings by radical women of color Watertown MA : Persephone Noddings, N (1989) Women and evil Berkeley, CA : University of California Okin, S M (1979) Women in western political thought Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Plato (1983) The republic In M B Mahowald (Ed .), Philosophy of woman (pp 241-256) Indianapolis, IN : Hackett Rosser, S (1992) Are there feminist methodologies appropriate for the natural sciences and do they make a difference? Women's studies international forum, 15(5/6), 535-550 See, K O (1982) Feminism and political philosophy Feminist studies, 8(1), 179-194 Spelman, E (1988) The inessential woman : problems of exclusion in feminist thought London : The Woman's Press Spivak, G (1990) The post-colonial critic : interviews, strategies, dialogues (S Harasym, ed .) New York : Routledge Stone, L (1992) Essentialist tensions in reflective teaching In L Valli (Ed .), Reflective teacher education : case studies and critiques (pp 198-211, 258-262) Albany, NY : State University of New York 5 2


Feminist Political Theory Stone, L (1994) Introducing education feminism In L Stone (Ed .), The education feminism reader (pp 1-15) New York : Routledge Stone, L (1995) Narrative in philosophy of education : A feminist tale of 'uncertain' knowledge In W Kohli (Ed .), Critical conversations in philosophy of education New York : Routledge Toulmin, S (1990) Cosmopolis : The hidden agenda of modernity Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Trinh, T M (1989) Woman, native, other : Writing postcoloniality and feminism Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Wolf, N (1993) Fire with fire : The new women's power and how it will change in the twenty-first century New York : Random House Young, I M (1990a) Impartiality and the civic problem : Some implications of feminist critiques of moral and political theory In Throwing like a girl and other essays in feminist philosophy and social theory (pp 92-113) Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Young, I, M (1990b) The ideal of community and the politics of difference In L Nicholson (Ed .), Feminism/Postmodernism (pp 300-323) New York : Routledge Author LYNDA STONE is Associate Professor in the School of Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB# 3500, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500 5 3


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1995, Volume XXIV, Number 1, pp 54-70 € by the College and Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies SCHOOLING AND THE FORMATION OF MALE STUDENTS' GENDER IDENTITIES Robert W Smith University of North Carolina at Wilmington Abstract This article is an exploration of the role of schooling in the formation of male students' gender identities Key dimensions of gender identity for males are described The author focuses on the preparation of male preservice social studies teachers, particularly concerning their awareness of their own gendered identity and the significance of gender in social studies Three male preservice social studies teachers were asked to reflect upon and reevaluate the messages they had received in school with regard to their gender identities The author asserts that by reexamining their own experiences, preservice social studies teachers may be less likely to impose limiting gender definitions on their students Introduction I just liked being a guy . . Playing basketball, playing football, [I] made some friendships I mean, there are a few drawbacks I don't know, it's just an attitude Get a bunch of guys hanging out together, I mean, yeah, you don't show some emotions but you always know the guy beside you is not going to stab you in the back If something happened, he'd be there for you, or at least my friends were that way There were certain guys in high school who you never know about but they weren't your close personal friends, you just used them to pick on I guess that sounds pretty bad -Brian, gender support group meeting For children, the formation of gender identity is influenced by many factors, including family, school, peers, religion, and the media Perhaps more than any other discipline, social studies has made significant advances in challenging sexism These efforts have sought to enhance the position of women by incorporating women's perspectives into the history curriculum, staffing concerns, and classroom interaction 5 4


Male Students' Gender Identities (Carney, 1980), and by challenging sexist stereotypes and language (Butzin, 1982) Little consideration, however, has been given to understanding how the school and particularly social studies contributes to the social construction of masculinity This article contains a description of the socialization process for males, including the messages they receive about masculinity The role of schooling in this process is then examined through an analysis of prominent studies on schooling and on the formation of white, male identity Finally, the results of a study designed to help male preservice social studies teachers explore their own gender identity formation in relation to schooling and early schooling experiences are presented One of the main goals of the study was to facilitate acknowledgment of a gendered identity as well as to situate this gender identity within the context of schooling, where it is profoundly shaped By recognizing their own gendered identities and understanding the significance of their own prior school experience in this process, male social studies teachers may be less likely to reinforce limiting gender definitions in their teaching Background Although interest in the men's movement increased with the publication of Robert Bly's book, Iron John, the study of masculinity has received only marginal interest in the academic community While patterns of oppression for females, people of color, and working class students have been documented by critical theorists (e .g ., Giroux, 1988 ; Mclaren & Hammer, 1989) and feminist theorists (Culley & Portuges, 1985 ; Weiler, 1988), little consideration has been given to understanding the experiences of schooling for people with privileged identities Understanding the socialization process for people with privileged identities may enable those in positions of power to reclaim their own humanity as well as to reduce the oppression of others One explanation for the scant attention paid to studying masculinity is this : men have occupied positions of power and control in the larger society, so it has been assumed that they also have control over their own sex role development In addition, one of the privileges of being white, male, and middle class is being able to take one's own subjectivity for granted (Martin & Mohanty, 1986) Consequently, we have a very limited understanding of the way in which masculinity is socially constructed and in particular what role schooling plays in this process Within the academic community, white, male, critical theorists have been challenged for their lack of regard for questions pertaining to their own privileged subjectivities (Ellsworth, 1989) As a white, middle class male, my subjectivity both offers me insights and limits my ability to understand others, particularly targeted groups 5 5


Robert W Smith While issues of sex equity in the social studies have been addressed in relation to the curriculum and methods of instruction, the role of the social studies in supporting traditional masculinities has not been examined This may relate both to the fact that a majority of secondary social studies teachers are male (Lowe, 1983) and to the biases and limitations of the traditional positivist research paradigm White Male Identity Formation Socialization Tolson (1977) views the foundations of masculinity as being laid down during youth in a boy's experience of family, school, and peers He describes masculinity as an explicit system of taboos and recognition of status, "Boys devote themselves to the testing of masculine prowessfights, arguments, explorations of the local neighborhood-and there is a complex boyhood culture of mutual challenge" (p 32) He also describes a masculine language that boys learn, one that prescribes certain topics (sports, machines, competitions) and ways of speaking (jokes, banter, and bravado) This informal peer culture interacts with and sometimes explicitly counteracts the formal culture of the school The limiting effects of traditional male socialization have been classified under three headings : (1) pressure to live up to a masculine ideal ; (2) dysfunctional characteristics of male roles ; and (3) dehumanization of the oppressor Hartley (1974) argues that the "demands that boys conform to social notions of what is manly come much earlier and are enforced with much more vigor than similar attitudes with respect to girls" (p 7) Neitlich (1985) suggests that men get caught in the cycle of oppressing others in order to prove or assert their manhood She further identifies the way men are set up to kill or be killed by others in the name of manhood as a key aspect of male oppression Neitlich (1985) sees male violence against men as socially condoned 1 In order for them to accept the kill-or-be-killed role, men are systematically conditioned early on not to feel or express pain, fear, grief, and hurt Sattel (1989) connects men's inability to express feelings to the expectation that they will exercise power over others He argues that "to effectively wield power, one must be able both to convince others of the rightness of the decisions one makes and to guard against one's own emotional involvement in the consequences of that decision" (p 376) To be masculine is "to be 'cool' and to 'tough it out,' no matter how painful or dangerous a situation is" (Neitlich 1985, p 15) Fear of femininity 1 P Corrigan (1991) provides a good personal account of the various forms of legitimated violence that boys experience at school 5 6


Male Students' Gender Identities has also been identified as one main consequence of traditional male socialization (O'Neil, 1982) : Men fear that expressing their feminine sides will result in devaluation, subordination, and the appearance of inferiority in front of others Men are aware that women's femininity is devalued by other men and attempt to avoid situations where their femininity could be observed and also devalued (p 18) O'Neil (1982) describes six ways in which fear of femininity acts to limit and control men's behavior These include restricted emotional expression, fear of closeness between men, few close personal relationships, and obsession with achievement and success Men's tendency to evaluate success in terms of external achievements and to ignore internal experiences of living have been described as selfalienation (Harrison, Chin & Ficarrotto, 1989) Men are cut off from themselves and prevented from developing meaningful relationships with others Fasteau (1974) describes men as needing an excuse to talk or an activity or object about which to talk ; for men to talk personally about themselves, he suggests, involves too great a risk Although they derive benefits and privileges from the exploitation of others, particularly women, men are themselves dehumanized also by this process Freire (1981) states, "As the oppressors dehumanize others and violate their rights, they themselves also become dehumanized" (p 42) The oppressor role creates impoverished relationships and isolation Neitlich (1985) provides a good summary of male conditioning : The societal oppression of men leaves most men feeling less than fully male, never quite able to live up to the standard of a 'real man' ; emotionally and physically numb ; unable to deeply give and deeply receive love, to nurture, to be tender, and to pay good attention to others ; focusing the majority of their energy and attention on work and the world as opposed to relationships and the home environment ; feeling responsible for financially, emotionally, and physically supporting and fixing everything ; feeling disposable ; being required to fight, and simultaneously feeling afraid of other men's violence ; competitive ; having difficulty becoming physically or emotionally close to other men and feeling emotionally and affectionally dependent on women and therefore terrified of rejection (p 15) 5 7


Robert W Smith In describing the process of male socialization, it is also important to recognize the existence of dominant and subordinate masculinities as influenced by factors such as race and social class Although only a small number of men may occupy the category of dominant masculinity, very large numbers are complicit in sustaining this model, because most men benefit to some extent from the subordination of women (Botkin, 1988) Neitlich (1985) connects men's socialization to the roles required of them in the economic system She argues that men are conditioned to play the roles of workers and killers to maintain the economic system for profit Thus, she argues, men's oppression, like women's, is economically motivated to reinforce the class system Men's need for power over women is, in part, a response to their experience of feeling powerless themselves (Pleck & Sawyer, 1974) This includes being dependent upon women for validation of their masculinity as well as competing with and being controlled by other men in an exploitative economic structure (Botkin, 1988) Schooling Apart from studies by Weis (1990), Willis (1977), and Connell (1993), the role of schooling and white male identity development has received little attention Moreover, both Weis and Willis consider only working class males Much of our understanding of boys and schooling has been provided through studies on sexism that examined differences in the treatment and behaviors of boys and girls in school While most of this earlier work on sexism is insightful, it has been limited by the assumption that people are passively shaped by socialization In his account of a group of working class boys, Willis challenges this idea, arguing instead that in resisting the values of the school, these boys were actively engaged in constructing their identities Connell (1993) provides an even more complex view of the relationship between schooling and the formation of masculinities, "Some masculinities are formed by battering against the school's authority structure, others by smooth insertion into its academic pathways, others again by a torturous negotiation of possibilities" (p 204) Earlier studies of sexism suggest that boys face greater difficulties in entering school than girls do (Frazier & Sadker, 1973 ; Sexton, 1974) Goodman (1987) suggests that a basic conflict exists between the school code with its demands for propriety, obedience, cleanliness, quiet, and mental passivity, and the norms of male culture At the same time, the emphasis on competition and hierarchy in schools supports the development of certain aspects of masculinity Sports, exams, fights and jokes are the main arenas in the competitive struggle for masculinity (Tolson, 1977) While the emphasis placed on success and achievement may offer a few individuals great feelings of 5 8


Male Students' Gender Identities accomplishment, for most men it results in feelings of insecurity and anxiety (Goodman, 1987) Sport has been identified as having a central role in the construction of masculinity (Fine, 1987 ; Foley, 1990 ; Sabo, 1987 ; Whitson, 1990) In an ethnographic study of a football season in a small south Texas town, Foley (1990) describes the way football at North Town High School socialized males into traditional masculinities, while also reproducing race, class, and gender inequalities One example of a prized title for football players at this school includes "somebody who could take it," a player who could bounce up off the ground as if he had hardly been hit The highest compliment was to be called a "hitter" or a "head hunter ." A hitter is someone who made bone-crushing tackles that knocked out or hurt his opponent (p 127) In contrast to the high esteem of the macho football players, male members of the band are called "band fags" and they are subjected to a daily ritual degradation that includes having their biceps punched as hard as possible If this aggression is met with a defiant smile or smirk, the band member is considered a real man ; if he winces and whines, he is a wimp or a fag (Foley, 1990) The sexism and racism identified in Foley's football players (1990) is also documented by Weis (1990) in her study of white working class males at Freeway High School Weis describes the high school as providing a site for the encouragement of white male dominance She draws two conclusions : "The identity of working class males is both racist and sexist, and the school does not interrupt the racism and sexism in any serious way, but offers a site upon which a certain form of masculine identity expression is encouraged" (p 1) In his insightful analysis of working class boys and the types of work they do, Willis (1977) also describes identity development in the school setting While his analysis focuses on social class, the behavior of the boys in his study also adds important insights into male identity formation According to Willis (1977), in rejecting the official values of the school and the priority given to mental work, the boys are involved in constructing their own identity Violence plays a central role in their behavior Willis states that violence and the judgment of violence are "the most basic axis of the lads' ascendence over the conformists [those who conformed to school values]" (p 34) Violence is both physical and verbal, and is directed both to outsiders and to members of the group Willis states that these young men experience a positive joy in fighting, in causing fights through intimidation, in discussing fighting and the tactics of the whole fight situation (p 34) He describes the fight as the ultimate test of each male's membership in the group : "The fight is the moment when you are fully tested in the alternative culture It is disastrous for your informal standing and masculine reputation if you refuse to fight or perform very amateurishly" (p 35) 5 9


Robert W Smith Violence and intimidation are directed towards conformists and male students of color Willis describes these attitudes to the "earoles [conformists]" as "expressed clearly and with a surprising degree of precision through physical aggression" (p 34) Asian and black students were subject to "frequent verbal, if not actual, violence shown to the 'fuckin wogs' or the 'bastard pakis' The mere fact of different color can be enough to justify an attack or intimidation" (p 48) The importance attached to physical strength flows over into a more general devaluation of girls and anything female Females are seen as sex objects whose role is to cater to male needs As Willis states, the model for the girlfriend is the mother "and she is fundamentally a model of limitation" (p 45) This view is supported by Weis (1990) : "Basically white working class males affirm a form of assumed male superiority which involves the constructed identity of female not only as 'other,' but as 'less than' and, therefore, subject to male control" (p 5) In concentrating on the importance of class relationships, Willis does not challenge the conventional views of masculinity and of male violence embodied by the young men in his study Rather, he appears to interpret the lads' violence in a positive light as a sign of working class resistance to the middle class hegemony of the school, and he supports a view of the school as a center of conflict and contradiction His analysis gives little attention to the effects of the lads' violence, particularly for white males How do the conformists cope with their fear, jealousy, anxiety and frustration? How do the lads in the group who are picked upon by other members of the group, "almost to the point of tears," deal with their situation (p 16)? Weiler (1988) challenges his analysis for these reasons Studies by Willis, Weis, and Foley document the role that schooling plays in contributing to the development of traditional masculinities The importance of being tough, competing with peers, continually having to prove oneself, enduring both verbal and physical violence, and not acknowledging hurt are all central features of male identity that schooling often supports explicitly Given the many years that male social studies teachers have been exposed to traditional views of masculinity, it is essential that they be aware of their own gendered identity and of the gendered lenses that they bring to the classroom Preservice Teachers How can teacher preparation programs better enable social studies teachers to confront sexism and overcome the limiting definitions of masculinity? What messages did white male preservice teachers receive in school about their own gender identities? How can 6 0


Male Students' Gender Identities reflection about prior school experiences help to ensure that preservice social studies teachers do not reinforce limiting gender definitions? One approach for exploring the connections between prior experience and present teaching practice is autobiography (Bullough, 1990 ; Butt, Raymond, & Yamagishi, 1988 ; Goodson, 1980 ; Knowles & Ems, 1990 ; Pinar, 1988 ; Quicke, 1988 ; Woods, 1987) From a critical perspective, autobiography helps to expose the influence of social, ideological and historical forces and it has been used to challenge and modify existing beliefs (Britzman, 1986 ; Norquay, 1990 ; Weiler, 1988) Such an approach may enable teachers to redefine their beliefs from idiosyncratic preferences to deeply entrenched cultural norms of which they may not even be aware (Smyth, 1992) Critical analysis of prior experiences may help teachers to recognize that what was perceived as an individual or personal problem may have been related to a larger political context Method Three male preservice social studies teachers enrolled in a "Methods of Teaching Social Studies" course were randomly selected from a pool of volunteers 2 All participants were white and middle class, and they had all attended suburban schools in the Northeast The students were awarded credit for participation in the study as part of the final project required in the methods course In-depth interviews were conducted ; each student was interviewed twice, once at the beginning of the project and once at the end The interviews were structured with a specific set of questions and each interview was audiotaped In the initial interviews, participants were asked specific questions about their prior school experiences and how those events related to their understanding of a teacher's role and work After the student teachers were interviewed individually, a support group was established to explore similarities and differences in experiences The importance of sharing experiences through a support group is widely accepted in dealing with sexism, racism, and homophobia (Griffin, 1989 ; Jackins, 1978 ; Neitlich, 1985) The support group met for two hours each week for five weeks The researcher acted as facilitator For the duration of the support group, students kept a journal in which they recorded their responses to the group meetings Journals were used to encourage reflection and to provide an opportunity for more private student/researcher interaction 2 This was part of a larger study investigating the influences of prior school experiences on six preservice social studies teachers In addition to the issue of gender identities, the study explored influences on preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning 6 1


Robert W Smith One main topic examined in the support group meetings was the impact of school experiences on the development of participants' gender identities The researcher first provided a theoretical framework for discussion that included two items : a view that students are a group with relatively little power (Freire, 1981) and a model of human beings as inherently loving, caring, and intelligent (Jackins, 1978) In the former, because students are unable to influence the decisions affecting their education, they are vulnerable to blame, feelings of inadequacy, or limitations in situations that are not their fault In the latter, the paradigm of nurturance was contrasted with the traditional role expectations for males, such as the importance of being physically tough Participants then shared their experiences of being male at school Following this, each person was asked to identify both positive and negative school experiences that related to their gender identity and to identify one way they would have liked help either from their peers or their teachers Finally, each individual was encouraged to reevaluate their own negative experiences and to work on reclaiming a fuller sense of their own male identity This enabled participants to take full pride in characteristics of their identity for which they had been criticized as unmasculine Peter, for example, expressed pride in his musical ability, something that he had been forced to conceal as a child At the end of the project, after the support group meetings were over, a second round of individual interviews was carried out to evaluate each participant's progress Each person was asked the same evaluative and self-knowledge questions as in the initial interview Differences between the answers in the initial and final interview provided some indication of changes associated with the intervention Male Identity Two participants, Brian and Ted, were traditional students who had gone straight from high school to college Ted had applied to Norwich University Military School but was rejected because of a hearing difficulty He had wanted to pursue a career in law Brian described his reasons for going to university as wanting to satisfy his parents' wishes While at university, Brian joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Another participant, Peter, in his early 30s, had recently returned to school to finish his degree All three males mentioned violence in describing their school experiences Their stories included numerous references to physical violence, including being beaten by male peers, beating up other males and being physically beaten by principals, parents, and others One of Peter's worst experiences was when his father, who was called into 6 2


Male Students' Gender Identities school, gave the vice principal permission to hit his son Peter described the incident : There was a day when my dad was called into school This was eighth grade, the problematic year, and they told him what I'd done I'd tripped somebody, and he said to the vice principal, go ahead and hit him And I was sitting there saying don't, don't say it This guy can really hit And my Dad left . . He [the vice principal] had parental permission to do whatever he wanted to do He gave me four licks instead of three, and that was tough Of the three participants, Brian was least aware of having a gendered identity He also had the most difficulty identifying ways in which he had been influenced by his schooling In the first interview, when asked about his worst experiences at school he replied, "That one's kind of tough Most of them I didn't care about ." He spoke dispassionately, as if unaffected by his school experiences In the second support group meeting, in which participants shared their worst school experiences, when asked if he felt that he needed to work on reclaiming any parts of his identity, he replied, "The reclaiming is not applicable to my situation ." In the gender support group meeting, Brian described himself as a tough kid at school : "Anybody who talked to you would tell you I was a tough kid I mean it was attitude, everything ." He described himself as being "very much of a punk" and being placed in a situation where "I was very capable of inflicting pain-both physical and emotional pain ." Rather than picking on those who were powerless, however, he picked on tennis players or people like that or valedictorianspeople who are so sure that they were better than everybody If they were walking in the hall I'd walk directly toward them and give them a look and God help them if they didn't move out of my way Brian described some of the benefits of being tough, including the freedom to go anywhere in school, to not be teased for baking cookies, and to not be accused of "being a weirdo or a wimp or a homosexual or anything because I didn't have a girlfriend ." Similarly, Ted had little awareness of having a gendered identity His worst school experiences included being bullied and being ridiculed in fifth grade for showing his emotions In the first interview, Ted analyzed these experiences as being largely the result of a personal problem or inadequacy In talking about his experience of being 6 3


Robert W Smith ridiculed for sending a love letter, he stated, "I just felt so stupid, like why did I believe that I'm so stupid ." In the gender support group meeting, Ted was able to relate his own experience to the model of male socialization He spoke about how the pressure to be tough affected him, "Often times I know I developed a thicker skin through the socialization as a boy in school, because you weren't supposed to let anything affect you as part of being tough ." Ted saw that being thick skinned protected him against some of the ribbing and some of the other problems he experienced Of the three participants, Peter appeared most aware of his own gender identity and of ways that schooling shaped his identity For example, he was able to characterize one school experience as illustrative of homophobia This experience related to his enjoyment of music When his peers and two male teachers teased him for enjoying music, he had to sneak sheet music underneath his coat so that no one would push him or take it away As a result of these experiences he decided to quit music on his 12th birthday He described his decision : "I didn't love piano, but I enjoyed it and-the day I became 12 was the day I quit piano To me it really became an issue of manhood I was that affected by it I quit this and then I'm tougher ." In relating his experience with music during the gender support group meeting, Peter admitted that this was the first time he had ever discussed it, and it hurt him to do so He mentioned having some bias in his own life because these experiences were so ingrained He also recognized this teasing as homophobic Brian and Ted also spoke in the gender support group meeting about the difficulties involved in trying to maintain their male identity Ted described the hardest part as "probably not being allowed to cry, and now I still have a hard time . . I think that was the hardest part, being given a hard time for having emotions, for expressing emotions ." Brian also spoke about the time he cried in fifth grade and how after that he "never cried in front of anyone else again ." He spoke about not having anybody with whom he could really talk For emotional support Brian depended on a rabbit : Any time I got really upset, I shouldn't say I never cried after fifth grade No one ever saw me cry I would grab my rabbit and go into the woods and I would sit down and hold him and cry That's a hard part keeping up the attitude He also spoke about the pressures involved in maintaining his reputation "It would upset me It bothers me because you had to pick on these kids I mean, not so much the kids with the glasses or because they were in the band or something like that, but you had to pick on somebody ." 6 4


Male Students' Gender Identities Discussion The support group sessions challenged participants' thinking about teaching and education in three ways : (1) They were forced to go beyond their own individual situation to explore similarities and differences in their experiences ; (2) They were encouraged to integrate their experience as a student with their role as a teacher ; and (3) They were required to recognize the role of power in education, both in their own experience as a student and in their role as a future teacher Through such reflection, these three preservice teachers appeared to have gained a better understanding of these issues Both Peter and Ted were able to recognize ways in which their schooling experiences had limited their gender identity The support group and interviews were valuable for providing someone to listen to them talk about their prior school experiences Through this process, they were able to resolve experiences that had weighed heavily upon them Peter spoke about how the support group process had helped him : The worst school experiences have pretty much receded and even part of this group for me, the whole group process, led to, well, we had these experiences, we've got an opportunity to discuss them and the 'now what?' for me is 'I'll put them behind me' Ted expressed a similar sentiment : Before, I mentioned as one of my worst experiences, the problem of embarrassment in fifth grade, but now that I've discussed it with people I feel better about that I don't consider it such a horrible experience anymore I feel just getting it out in the open, into the sunlight is the best disinfectant Ted described himself as having less baggage and therefore able to be more open to students, not just reacting to things from his own background In the final interview, Ted spoke about wanting to provide an atmosphere where students could express their emotions instead of feeling that they had to "buck up and muddle through ." Peter described the support group experience as confirming what he had experienced and known, "that males have their own realm of competition, of gaining self-esteem ." In addition to helping him resolve some of his own difficult school experiences, he identified the value of his participation as helping him think about change and about ways that he could avoid repeating the same scenarios as a teacher He described himself as feeling more empowered and yet, in recognizing 6 5


Robert W Smith the complexities of the situations teachers have to deal with, having less power He stated, "I feel more capable of affecting change in students' lives but less sure of how much change I can affect ." Brian experienced the most significant changes both in awareness of his own gendered identity and understanding of his influence as a teacher on his students' gender identities Prior to working with the support group, Brian thought of himself as an isolated individual, largely unaffected by his school experience, but by reflecting upon his school experiences and sharing them with other men in the group, he began to recognize that what he had assumed to be his own individual identity was part of a more general, socially constructed male identity I didn't realize how strongly those values have been, are implanted in me . . I was surprised to see how really stereotypically male that I had been, more so in high school than now but still now When we did that group work I was kind of embarrassed It's kind of scary Shifts in response to interview questions indicated that reflection had provided the preservice teachers with a greater awareness of the power they would exercise as teachers in shaping students' identities This was particularly true for Brian, who as a result was much more concerned about the power that teachers exercise That's something that we really have to worry about, it's one of the biggest negative aspects of school, we take away these kids identities, and they lose their individuality and I hadn't really thought of it or realized it until this group Although Brian was more aware of his own gender identity and the significance of gender in teaching, he also recognized the new challenges he faces He articulated this feeling in the following statement : "I consider myself a caring person, if I can avoid my male stereotype getting in the way ." Further study is required to determine how the participants' increased awareness of gender will carry over to their teaching Several questions remain : Will the participants be able to support a broader range of masculinities for their male students, in particular validating qualities of caring and showing feelings that have traditionally been labeled as feminine and inferior? Will they offer a more supportive learning environment for female students by interrupting traditional patterns of male dominance? Will they be able to broaden the perspectives of the social studies curriculum to include the sheroes as well as the heroes? 6 6


Male Students' Gender Identities This study offers one approach to addressing gender identities in teacher preparation programs The present research design does not answer the question of which factor was most influential-the individual interviews, group discussion, or journals Further, it is impossible to weigh the influence of the investigator as a unique element within the research In having a similar identity to the participants, the researcher may have inadvertently provided a situation in which participants felt less threatened and therefore were more willing to share their experiences It is also possible that the researcher's own background may have had some direct influence on the responses Conclusion Based upon the findings of this small group of participants, this study provides tentative support for the value of enabling preservice social studies teachers to reflect critically on the role of schooling in the formation of gender identities School experience appears to play an important part in shaping students' gender identities Although the preservice teachers' awareness regarding the significance of gender varied, the intervention created awareness of a question that, for the most part, had not existed previously While males occupy a privileged position in society, the findings of this study reveal the importance of recognizing the social construction of masculinity By acknowledging the ways in which oppressive behaviors are learned, males can discover their own humanity and work against the oppression of others Although the focus of this article is on gender, specifically masculinity, of equal importance in preservice teacher education programs is providing opportunities for students to explore the development of all other components of their social identity, including race and social class References Askew, S & Ross C (1988) Boys don't cry Boys and sexism in education Philadelphia, PA : Open University Bly, R (1990) Iron John : A book about men Reading, MA : AddisonWesley Botkin, S D (1988) Male gender consciousness : A study of undergraduate college men Dissertation Abstracts International 42)12, p 3635-A (University Microfilms No 8906256) Britzman, D P (1986) Cultural myths in the making of a teacher : Biography and social structure in teacher education Harvard Educational Review, 56(4), 442-456 Bullough, R V ., Jr (1990, April) Personal history and teaching metaphors in preservice teacher education Paper presented at 6 7


Robert W Smith the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA Butt, R ., Raymond, D ., & Yamagishi, L (1988) Autobiographic praxis : Studying the formation of teachers' knowledge Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 7(4), 87-164 Butzin, S M (1982) Learning experiences to promote sex equity Social Education, 46(1), 48-53 Carney, L J (1980) Responses to sexism : Two steps forward and one back? In R L Simms & G Contreras (Eds .), Racism and sexism, (pp 45-64) Washington, DC : National Council for the Social Studies Connell, R W (1993) Disruptions : Improper masculinities and schooling In L Weis & M Fine (Eds .), Beyond silenced voices (pp 191-208) New York : State University of New York Corrigan, P (1991) The making of the boy : Meditations on what grammar school did with, to, and for my body In H A Giroux (Ed .), Postmodernism, feminism, and cultural politics (pp 196216) New York : State University of New York Culley, M & Portuges, C (Eds .) (1985) Gendered subjects : The dynamics of feminist teaching Boston : Routledge and Kegan Paul Ellsworth, E (1989) Why doesn't this feel empowering? Working through the repressive myths of critical pedagogy Harvard Educational Review, 59(3), 297-324 Fasteau, M (1974) The male machine New York : McGraw Hill Fine, G A (1987) With the boys Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Foley, D E (1990) The great American football ritual : Reproducing race, class, and gender inequality Sociology of Sport journal, 7,(2), 111-135 Frazier, N & Sadker, M (1973) Sexism in school and society New York : Harper & Row Freire, P (1981) Pedagogy of the oppressed New York : Continuum Giroux, H A (1988) Schooling and the struggle for public life Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Goodman, J (1987) Masculinity, feminism, and the male elementary school teacher : A case study of preservice teachers' perspectives Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 7(2), 30-60 Goodson, I (1980) Life histories and the study of schooling Interchange, 11(4), 62-76 Griffin, P S (1989, March) Using participatory research to empower gay and lesbian educators Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA 6 8


Male Students' Gender Identities Harrisson, J ., Chin, J ., & Ficarrotto, T (1989) Warning : Masculinity may be dangerous to your health In M Kimmel & M Messner (Eds .), Men's lives (pp 296-309) New York : Macmillan Hartley, R E (1974) Sex-role pressures and the socialization of the male child In J Pleck & J Sawyer (Eds .), Men and masculinity (pp 7-13) New York : Prentice-Hall Jackins, H (1978) The human side of human beings Seattle, WA : Rational Island Kimmel, M & Messner, M (Eds .) (1989) Men's lives New York : Macmillan Knowles, J G & Ems, D (1990, April) The convergence of teacher educators' and preservice teachers' personal histories : Shaping pedagogy Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA Lowe, W T (1983) The teacher of social studies in public secondary schools New York : ERIC (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No ED 244 859) McLaren, P & Hammer, R (1989) Critical pedagogy and the postmodern challenge : Toward a critical postmodernist pedagogy of liberation Educational Foundations, 40(4), 29-62 Martin, B & Mohanty, C T (1986) Feminist politics : What's home got to do with it? In T De Lauretis (Ed .), Feminist studies, critical studies, (pp 191-212) Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Neitlich, A (1985) Building bridges (Available from Building Bridges, P O Box 461, Cambridge, MA 02140) Norquay, N (1990, April) Doing life histories : Memory, schooling and social difference Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA O'Neil, J (1982) Gender role conflict and strain in men's lives In K Solomon & N B Levy (Eds .), Men in transition : Theory and therapy (pp 5-44) New York : Plenum Pinar, W F (1988) Autobiography and the architecture of self Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 8(1), 7-35 Pleck, J & Sawyer, J (1974) Men and masculinity New York : PrenticeHall Quicke, J (1988) Using structured life histories to teach the sociology and psychology of education : An evaluation In P Woods & A Pollard (Eds .), Sociology and teaching (pp 92-116) New York : Croom Helm Sabo, D (1989) Pigskin patriarchy and pain In M Kimmel & M Messner (Eds .), Men's lives (pp 184-186) New York : Macmillan Sattel, J W (1989) The inexpressive male : Tragedy or sexual politics? In M Kimmel & M Messner (Eds .), Men's lives (pp 374-381) New York : Macmillan 6 9


Robert W Smith Sexton, P (1974) Schools are emasculating our boys In J Stacey, S Bereaud & J Daniels (Eds .), And Jill came tumbling after : Sexism in American education (pp 138-141) New York : Dell Smyth, J (1992) Teachers' work and the politics of reflection American Educational Research Journal, 29(2), 267-300 Tolson, A (1977) The limits of masculinity London : Tavistock Publications Weiler, K (1988) Women teaching for change Boston, MA : Bergin & Garvey Weis, L (1990) High school as a site for the encouragement of white male dominance Buffalo, NY : Graduate School of Education, State University of New York at Buffalo Whitson, D (1990) Sport in the social construction of masculinity In M Messner & D Sabo (Eds .), Sport, men and the gender order (pp 19-31) Champaign, IL : Human Kinetics Willis, P (1977) Learning to labor : How working class lads get working class jobs New York : Columbia University Woods, P (1987) Life histories and teacher knowledge In J Smyth (Ed .), Educating teachers : Changing the nature of pedagogical knowledge (pp 121-135) New York : Falmer Author ROBERT W SMITH is Associate Professor in the School of Education, University of North Carolina, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 7 0


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1996, Volume XIV, Number 1, pp 71-89 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies TEACHING WOMEN'S HISTORY IN SECONDARY EDUCATION : CONSTRUCTING GENDER IDENTITY 1 Geert ten Dam University of Amsterdam Rally Rijkschroeff Verwey-Jonker Institute, Amsterdam Abstract Women's history was included as a compulsory examination subject for all secondar school students in the Netherlands in 1990 and 1991 We present some of the results of a research project regarding the impact of teaching women's history to young women Three levels of women's history content included in the curriculum and the exam are identified-women in traditionally male roles, women in traditionally female roles, and gender as a historical construct-and then considered in the individual responses of the young women included in the study Attitudes of girls toward history and the implications of historical content for gender identity are the primary focus of this work Introduction The Netherlands is not one of the most emancipated countries in the world, as evidenced by its slow integration of women into the labor market and limited amount of state support for child care In one respect, however, it is considerably advanced : Nowhere else in the 'We would like to thank Jane Bernard-Powers and Monique Volman for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article 7 1


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff world has women's history been a compulsory examination subject for all secondary school students 2 In the Netherlands, two topics are chosen each year for the final written examination in history, taken by all students in secondary schools ranging from vocational education to the highest level of general secondary education A small group of professional historians, advised by and accountable to the Ministry of Education, establishes guidelines for the subject matter : "The subject matter is published two years before the examination takes place, leaving enough time for preparation of teachers, publishers of examination course books and the committee which formulates the examination questions" (Grever, 1991, p 66) Women's history was introduced in the Netherlands in 1978 by a group of feminist history students Ten years later it had developed into a multifaceted, full-fledged academic field Women's history scholars have always put a great deal of energy into making their research results applicable to educational settings For example, they had a significant influence on a 1984 committee installed by the Deputy Minister of Education to revise the final examinations in history This committee was not indifferent to the arguments for women's history, as evident in its first recommendation to the Deputy Minister of Education The committee members recommended that the final written history examination for secondary education students should include a topic from women's history, leading Deputy Minister Ginjaar-Maas to act on this recommendation in the 1990 and 1991 examinations The inclusion of women's history in secondary education was supported by various arguments On a social level, feminist scholars asserted the importance of making apparent the roles women have played in the past and of reappraising those roles (Beetsma, 1989 ; Grever, 1991) On an individual level, they argued that the introduction of women's history would encourage young women to identify more with the past and partly as a result, would enable them to better understand our present gendered society and their own position as women in that society The evaluation results of The National Institute for Educational Measurement (CITO) show that in 1990 girls performed slightly better than boys in this specific examination subject, whereas boys outperformed girls in the second, more traditional examination topic World War II (Kreeft, 1991) From this point of view, women's history served the interests of girls (see also Kneedler, 1988) In this article we present some results of a research project subsidized by the Ministry of Education to explore the impact that 2 See Grever (1991) for a historiography of the acceptance of women's history into the Dutch history examinations 7 2


Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education teaching women's history has on girls' attitudes towards history and, in particular, towards themselves as women (ten Dam, Farkas Teekens & van Loosbroek, 1991) 3 Specifically, the research dealt with this question : How does women's history contribute to the gender identity of girls? At school, girls and boys are confronted with conflicting discourses on gender (see Davies, 1989a ; Volman, ten Dam, & van Eck, 1993), and it is partly within this context that gender identity develops Women's history is unique because it offers explicit meanings pertaining to women, femininity, and gender The way that girls interpret these meanings can influence their gender identity Thus the introduction of women's history in secondary education has significance that extends beyond the acquisition of subject matter knowledge 4 Given the limited experience of teaching women's history in secondary education, this project should be seen as exploratory The only outcome we predicted was that girls would like women's history and they would like it more than boys would Before describing the organization and structure of the research and presenting the research results, we present a brief outline of women's history as a subject in secondary education and discuss the theoretical background of the research project Women's History as Subject Matter The outline of a women's history examination was developed by a group of nine specialists in women's history from different universities For the final examination, the subject matter description was entitled "Continuity and Change : The Position of Women in the Netherlands and the United States of America, 1929-1969" The theme centered on three issues presented as detailed history lessons : the economic recession of the 1930s, World War II, and the development of modern society Women were discussed in relation to three aspects of each issue-family, work, and politics-and in relation to this question : To what extent did the status of women change in this period? The comparison between developments in women's emancipation in the Netherlands and in the United States was included to stimulate student reflection upon these issues Gender-related patterns were not treated as the result of historical coincidences, but as structural to society and influenced by specific contexts Although the emphasis in this framework was on women, concepts such as crisis politics, equal treatment and secularization were included as well Continuity and 3 Although the teaching methods constitute an important part of the research, this aspect is not dealt with in this article See ten Dam & Farkas Teekens, in press 4 Women's history can also have an influence on the gender identity of boys Due to space limitations, we deal only with the gender identity of girls in this article 7 3


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff change in relation to women was therefore emphatically associated with the processes and structures in society as a whole Our research project took place in the second highest grade of general secondary schools, so that examinations undertaken in the final year would not interfere with the aim of the project To avoid overlapping with the content of the final year, materials designed for the research focused on developments in the Netherlands in relation to events in the rest of Europe and in the United States during the years 1900 to 1929 Equality and Difference Introduction of a women's history topic in the final examinations in history was supported by a government policy on equal opportunities in education, whose objectives include elimination of sex stereotyping, reappraisal of feminine qualities, and redress of disadvantages .' The policy was a response to the realization that girls were not benefiting adequately from education and that this was reflected in their later position in society (Ministry of Education, 1979) In the implementation of objectives, however, the policy's main emphasis was on disadvantage in the sense of lagging behind-the idea that girls must qualify themselves for as favorable a position as possible on the labor market Additionally, the objective concerning "reappraisal of feminine qualities" has hardly gained any ground Introducing women's history into the secondary education curriculum is one of the few attempts to implement not only the objective of redressing disadvantage, but also the objective of reappraisal While in most historical narratives women were either omitted or stereotyped as spinsters and housewives (Grever, 1991), women's history has paid explicit attention to women in 'masculine' fields Teaching materials focus on women who have played an important role in politics (e .g ., suffragettes) and in the arts and intellectual life (e .g ., female writers) Further, the women's history curriculum encourages reappraisal of domains traditionally ascribed to women-for example, family or birth control-by viewing the private sphere as relevant to society and worthy of study The twin concepts of disadvantage and reappraisal in the Dutch equal educational opportunities policy can be seen as a variation of two concepts in feminist research that have been an important subject of discussion, namely, equality and difference (see Scott, 1988 ; ten Dam & Volman, 1995) Redressing disadvantage can be regarded as the 5 The term 'disadvantage' is a translation of the Dutch term achterstand, which also means 'lagging behind' Usually, it is used in a less political sense than the term disadvantage 7 4


Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education aspiration to equality ; the message to students is that women can achieve the same as men Reappraisal can be seen as a request for the positive side of gender difference to be considered Men and masculinity are not the only way of measuring the emancipation of women Students are encouraged to see the experiences and culture of women as different from those of men Nel Noddings (1992) calls this emphasis the different voice manifesting itself in social studies Under the influence of recent debates within feminist research, however, women's history is trying to achieve more The interrelationship between the concepts of equality and difference has been identified ; both presuppose each other in the sense that one has no meaning without the other On one hand, equality and inequality are based on difference Without the existence of gender differences, it would be absurd to think about the effects thereof On the other hand, the concept of difference is needed to redefine equality and prevent it from being based exclusively on men's terms (Hermsen & van Lenning, 1991, p 19-20) The most important pitfall of thinking in terms of difference is adopting an essentialist position Equality (disadvantage) and difference (reappraisal) only appear to be antipodal Femininity and masculinity are not intrinsically the same or different The meaning of gender varies according to context Femininity, masculinity, and the unequal relationship between men and women are social manifestations that can assume a different form again and again (Malson, O'Barr, Westphal-Wihl, & Wyer, 1989) By searching for what is called the construction of gender within specific historical contexts and within historiography (Scott, 1986), women's history strives to make students sensitive to the way that meanings, past and present, are assigned to femininity and masculinity and how these meanings change For example, by showing that the dichotomy man /woman (masculinity/ femininity) almost always takes the form of hierarchical oppositions (better/worse, superior/inferior, etc .) in our society, we can challenge students to reflect upon their own gender identity To summarize, there are three distinct levels pertaining to the way that women's status is addressed in the secondary education curriculum regarding women's history At the first level, women's roles in areas traditionally ascribed to men are made apparent The second level affirms the value of domains traditionally associated with women Finally, the third level is an examination of the changing meanings for gender differences and femininity as a social construction The question of how women's history contributes to the gender identity of girls can now be more clearly defined within the framework of differentiation outlined above How do individual students interpret different approaches to looking at the position of women? Do these approaches make sense to students, and if so, how? In the present study, 7 5


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff we examined the extent to which each of the three levels was evident in individual students' interpretations and we evaluated students' awareness of gender identity as a social construction Although not unique to women's history, the fact that education contributes to gender identity is particularly relevant Maria Grever (1991) calls historiography a political necessity in the process of constructing an identity This refers not only to the identity of a country or a group, but to the identity of individuals as well "Individuals and groups do not find their identity in 'the' historical facts, but form their identity in a reconstruction of the past into the present with views about the future . . Which identifying features are emphasized, which players are chosen for the historical stage and how they are presented, depends on the interests of the historian" (p 67) The Structure and Organization of the Research Teaching Materials We compiled teaching kits for women's history and traditional history 6 appropriate for the grade level of the study subjects .? As mentioned earlier, the subject matter dealt with the Netherlands in relation to the U .S and Europe during the period 1900-1929 It did not address imperialism and colonialism Coverage restrictions complied with the guidelines for the section of the 1990 and 1991 national history examination on 1929-1969 women's history With regard to a standard approach to history, common topics and themes from the period under consideration were discussed without exception ; e .g ., World War I, industrialization, the right to vote, and pillarization 8 6 We conceptualized traditional history as a historiography in which gender as an identifying feature of society and individuals is ignored 7 Pursuant to the Secondary Education Act, there are two main streams of secondary education in the Netherlands : general and prevocational General secondary education is provided in the following forms : (1) college preparatory education [vwo], a 6year course, ages 12 to 18 ; (2) upper general secondary education [havo], a 5-year course, ages 12 to 17 ; (3) lower general secondary education [mavo], a 4-year course, ages 12 to 16 Only students attending mavo and havo participated in the research They received proportional representation in the two research groups The difference between lower general secondary education and upper general secondary education in the teaching materials is twofold First, the scope of the upper general secondary education material is more extensive due to the inclusion of a chapter on demographic developments In the upper general secondary education version, the problem of continuity and change was raised, while the lower general secondary education book dealt only with the process of change Second, the upper general secondary education questions and assignments were aimed more at interpretation than those of the lower general secondary education were 8 Pillarization (verzuiling) is a differentiation within society whereby the population is divided into ideologically based social segments each with its own schools, societies, political parties, broadcasting organizations, newspapers, hospitals, etc It is a vertical differentiation running through all the social classes (horizontal stratification) During the first half of the twentieth century, Dutch society became divided into a Roman Catholic pillar, a Protestant pillar (which was further divided internally), and a neutral pillar 7 6


Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education The socioeconomic, political, administrative, and sociocultural aspects of developments were also addressed, in both the traditional and women's history approaches Thus far, it appears that the only unique aspect of studying women's history is the attention paid to the position of women ; however, the process of radical change evident in every facet of society during the time period under study was central to the way the subject of women's histry was taught The three levels of approach were present in all of the women's history teaching materials that we compiled : women in 'masculine' domains, examination of those areas of daily life traditionally ascribed to women, and discussion of gender as a social construction We tried to clarify the latter by noting the changing meaning of femininity over the years The emergence and development of new 'women's professions' were discussed, for example, along with changes in women's appearances, in the rationalization of household duties, and in the example of Hollywood films We brought up all of these changes without placing them in the context of greater gender equality and the question of whether that equality has been realized or not Research Design As part of the research, we worked with 11 classes where women's history was taught (N=224 students) and 11 classes where traditional history was taught (N=273 students) Sixteen teachers throughout the Netherlands participated in the research Of 497 students aged 14 to 16, 291 were girls and 206 were boys The teaching kits we used covered eight lessons for lower general secondary education students and 11 for upper general secondary education Every class, regardless of school type, worked with the kits for a continuous period of four weeks The teachers were recruited via professional journals and informal contacts Before the research began, the teachers received written instructions and participated in a one-day course on how to use the teaching materials Data on implementation were collected via teachers' logbooks and observation of one lesson of every class group The careful selection of the teachers participating in the researchonly teachers with an interest in the problem were asked to participate-means that generalisation of the research results cannot be assumed In order to investigate appreciation of different types of history by girls and boys, we asked the students to fill out a questionnaire after the four-week implementation period The research question concerning the contribution of women's history on the gender identity of girls was investigated with help of the learner report methodology detailed below Parity between the classes that studied women's history and those studying traditional history was ensured as far as possible by 7 7


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff excluding from the research classes that had already been taught women's history in one form or another On the basis of background information on students collected immediately before the research began, we concluded that the two groups did not differ in terms of achievement in history and there were no significant differences in their backgrounds (gender, age, ethnic origin, parents' education and occupation, importance placed on school, and enjoyment of school) The Learner Report We made use of the learner report methodology developed to evaluate educational objectives (de Groot, 1974) Gradually, this methodology has been used more and more as a means of evaluating education in the widest sense : What/how do students report on their educational activities? In the version we used, students were asked to report what they learned in the form of so-called learning effect sentences ; they were required to formulate sentences beginning with "I have learned . ." or "I have noticed/discovered that . ." Such an openended approach permits students to form their own opinions about the subject matter at hand It also reveals the presence not only of the intended learning experiences, but of those not intended, precisely the unexpected learning experiences The introduction of the questionnaire given to students read as follows : We would like to know what you have learnt about the subject history in the last few weeks We are not interested in what the history teacher thinks you should have learnt We are also not interested in all the topics which have been dealt with in the subject history during the last few weeks What we want to know is what you yourself have learnt What do you think is important? It is certainly not easy to write down everything you have learnt just like that So we are going to suggest a way of making this easier for you Write down sentences on this piece of paper which begin with : I have learnt that . t or I have discovered that . t or I have noticed that . . Several measures were taken to ensure that the students' perspective could indeed be expressed when questions were asked in this way First, the questionnaire was not introduced or supervised by the teacher, but by a researcher whom the students did not know As every hint of selection or prejudice via the learner report was removed, it can be 7 8


Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education assumed that the students did not give a deliberately distorted picture Moreover, the learner report was not preceded by questions on students' knowledge This was also a way of trying to minimize the teachers' perspective Writing a learner report is not easy for students In general, students in secondary education are not taught to reflect upon their learning experiences The difficulty level of the learner report did not preclude a high response, which was 97 percent on average, more or less equally divided between girls and boys and between the two research groups The learner report produced a total of 948 learning experiences, an average of 1 .9 per respondent There was a slight difference between girls and boys in this respect, with girls formulating an average of 2 .1 learning effect sentences and boys formulating 1 .7 on average The learner report has proven to be a sufficiently reliable and valid research method for identifying learning effects that otherwise would not have been apparent ; e .g ., by means testing (see van der Kamp, 1980 ; van Kesteren, 1989 ; Janssen & Rijlaarsdam, 1990) Because this methodology is not very well known, we discuss in detail the way in which the analysis was carried out The learner reports were analyzed as follows We counted every learning sentence formulated by a student as one learning experience We understood the following to be a learning effect sentence and thus as a learning experience in the research : (a) every complete sentence, regardless of length and content, that began with "I have learnt/noticed/discovered that" ; and (b) every complete sentence, regardless of length and content, that did not begin with "I have learnt/noticed/discovered that" but could be assumed to have been meant as a learning effect sentence by the student ("Pillarization involves . .") Sentences in the latter category were often preceded by a hyphen An exception to this rule were those sentences that were an explanation of a previous learning effect sentence ("I have discovered that people were pleased when the war broke out They thought it would solve certain problems ." Or "I have learnt that in the past women were not allowed much freedom They were certainly not allowed short skirts, short hair, to go to the cinema etc .") Quantifying different types of learning experiences leaves a great deal of information unused The positive and the negative meaning of a learning experience, for example, can be lost this way The students" precise choice of words can reveal how meaning has been given to what was taught How has the subject matter acquired meaning, especially for girls? What kind of connections have students made between the subject matter content and the social context in which they live, both in and out of school? How have girls interpreted what they have been taught and how did they relate the subject to their own gender 7 9


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff identity? 9 To answer these questions, we needed a method for dealing with the material whereby the students' expressions would remain intact We found a solution in the form of collective essays For each of the two research groups, we compiled a series of essays from the learning experiences written in the students' own words ; we also differentiated within each group according to teaching method and school type (general or prevocational education) Sixteen essays were compiled in total In each of the resulting eight groups, one girls' and one boys' collective essay was compiled We derived the methodology of combining the answers to an open question to form a collective essay from Janssen, den Hart, & Den Draak (1989) We compiled the essays using the procedure described below In principle, every learning effect sentence reported was included in an essay unless virtually the same sentence had been written by different students, in which case the sentence was only included once Sentences with the same meaning but written in other words were included The essays were divided into paragraphs on the basis of a differentiation we made between learning experiences reported by students in relation to the world and in relation to themselves (van der Kamp, 1984) The first type of experience related to the subject content of history (e .g ., mass culture, clothing, pillarization, suffrage) The second type pertained explicitly to the way a student related to the subject This involved reflection upon one's own place in the world ("I have learnt that women's history is an exciting subject" or "I have learnt that I do not like it if it is only about women") Each paragraph began with "I have learnt (discovered/ noticed) that . ." This opening was omitted from subsequent sentences Each paragraph also began with the learning effect sentences quoted most by students To make the essays easier to read, grammatical mistakes were corrected, any necessary punctuation was added, and some sentences were combined but the meaning of the sentences was not impaired The methodology of combining the learning reports of individual students to form a collective essay implies that the content of the essays is not consistent ; conflicting learning experiences are included in the same essay Within the scope of this article, we concentrate on the essays by girls who were taught women's history 9 We do realize that being a woman is not the only factor that influences a student's interpretation of the subject-matter The ethnic background and socio-economic class of a student are also important However, the ethnic and socio-economic mix of the students who participated in the research was not sufficiently varied to be able to draw any conclusions on the interrelationship between gender, ethnicity and class [11] English translation by Jean Vaughan 8 0


Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education Women's History : An Enjoyable Subject? The women's history lessons were appreciated more by girls than by boys While 65 percent of the girls said that they had enjoyed or really enjoyed women's history, only 38 percent of the boys were of the same opinion (p= .00001) In a comparison with the group of students who were taught traditional history, however, girls also appreciated the subject content of those lessons more than boys : respectively, 65 percent and 44 percent enjoyed or really enjoyed the lessons (p= .00001) In general, girls appear to like history more than boys ; women's history is not appreciated more or less than traditional history as a subject by girls, although this was the case with boys Boys liked women's history slightly less than traditional history (p= .01042) The fact that girls enjoyed women's history does not mean that they found the subject easier than traditional history On the contrary, 21 percent of the girls found women's history an easy subject while 33 percent of the girls taught traditional history considered this to be easy (not statistically significant) More than half of the boys thought that history was an easy subject (54 percent) regardless of whether they were taught women's history or traditional history (The difference between girls and boys is statistically significant ; p= 02195 for women's history and p= 00000 for traditional history ) Girls on Women's History With help of the learner reports written by girls after the experiment, we explored how women's history contributed to the gender identity of girls We examined how the three levels of dealing with the position of women in studying women's history are reflected in the individual interpretation of girls We conceive this individual interpretation to be an element of gender identity To provide some insight into the data we collected, here are a few extracts from the essays by girls who studied women's history Essay 1 I have learnt that women were in an oppressed position They were extremely oppressed In the past women were lower than men They were inferior to men and were hardly allowed to do anything Women were not allowed to do what they wanted (money and children) Women have a hard time behind them They have had to fight tooth and nail for themselves Women also had opponents who were against emancipation There are still many different opinions on the oppression of women Women have been subjugated and this has got to come to an end now I have learnt what women were like in those 8 1


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff times I have noticed that it is unjust what happened in the past I have discovered that women changed during the period 1900-1929 Women have also done important things They started to play an increasingly important role, they have grown with history Women have acquired a much more important place in society The times we now live in are pleasant and women and men have virtually equal rights I have learnt that not very much attention is/was paid to what women have done in the past Women can be very important, for example during the First World War They were then very involved in the quest for peace and that is not even in the textbooks I cannot even start to imagine what the life of a housewife with fourteen children was like I have noticed that boys do not / did not like this subject at all Most boys think it is really boring, the girls too, actually I do not think this is a very nice subject I have noticed that there are a lot of differences of opinion between boys and girls It is all so overdone [The teacher] even goes to a women's bookshop now I think that is going too far and so emancipated Essay 2 I have noticed that women's history is enjoyable Women's history is really interesting (perhaps because I am also a woman myself) I enjoy it when it's about women and not about all those wars etc I thought it was a really nice subject I was more interested in the lessons History can really teach you a lot Essay 3 I have learnt that women have really fought for this and that they were used Women did not have it easy then Officially they were not allowed to wear a swimming costume, but they did on the quiet Now they are officially allowed to I have learnt how women finally got the right to vote Women had to fight for it Women's right to vote was an enormous breakthrough They won People [women] do not really think about it anymore, that they won I have learnt that women's history is a bit different I found it really interesting It is not really my subject but it 8 2


Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education has taught me a lot When my father talks about it, once a year, at least I have got something to say, even though I did not really pay attention because it was boring I have noticed that I was pleased when the lesson was over I did not like it I have noticed that I thought the subject went on for too long, some topics were interesting but there were one or two that I fell asleep in Essay 4 I have learnt how things were done in the past in comparison to now In the past, women's lives were very different to what they are now I have learnt how women have developed from the beginning up until now Times were not so good as now A lot has changed in the lives of women ; they were given the right to vote, they were allowed more, everything became more modern There is progress in life Men, some men, have not changed much They, some of them, are still the same I have learnt that it was a difficult time for women ; they were too busy, they were underpaid and so on It was difficult for women in the past and they had no say in things Women's lives were really difficult I have learnt that women can also stand up for themselves when they do not agree with men, and how I also got to know more about everything that women have done by themselves I have discovered that women and men are equal Women also worked in the past ; they did not sit at home the whole day Only rich people had to stay at home all day I have noticed that society was pillarized I have discovered that a topic which is only about women is enjoyable I have learnt some things about the way in which women live that I did not know I like this subject I have learnt that I do not like the subject of women It gets really boring when only women are discussed and it is a dull subject to learn I did not like it at all I liked the lessons that we had before much more I have done more enjoyable and easier subjects than this I began to think that history was even more stupid All of a sudden history is not nice any more In the girls' individual interpretation as expressed in these essays, the first level of addressing the position of women is manifested 8 3


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff as follows Women's struggle for the right to vote particularly attracted the girls' attention Women were frequently referred to in the essays as political actors : "They have had to fight tooth and nail for themselves," or "I also got to know more about everything that women have done by themselves ." Women's fight for their rights was, virtually without exception, regarded as positive The perceptibility of women as political actors was important ; it showed that "women can also stand up for themselves when they do not agree with men, and how ." There was only one reference to the present inequality in the relationship between the sexes : "There are still many different opinions on the oppression of women ." From the perspective of identity development, it is important that links are made between the past and the present The majority of the girls made that link in one way only : Women's struggle is over ("They won") The learner reports also showed that the girls found women's lives interesting and worth studying (the second level) ; they "got to know to know more about the life of women ." It is striking that the domains traditionally ascribed to women were not specifically mentioned in the essays : "They were too busy," and "It's about women and not about all those wars ." The only exception was "I cannot even start to imagine what the life of a housewife with 14 children was like ." The association made between women and non-war came up again in the sentences in connection with the value of women and their activities "Women can be very important, for example during the First World War Then they were very involved in the quest for peace and that is not even in the textbooks ." Thus women's endeavours to stop World War I were interpreted positively by girls Nel Noddings (1992) made the following comment on the association of women with peace : "Pacifism, it seems, is respectable for women, but not for men" (p 232) There is not a single reference in the essays to men and peace or the absence of their struggle for peace Our attempts in the teaching materials to point out changes in meaning concerning the concept of femininity over the years (the third level) were not very successful These changes during the period studied were scarcely mentioned at all in the learning experiences Of the many comments made by students regarding the process of emancipation, we could only find one or two references to these elements and even those were mostly in terms of (in)equality ("Officially they were not allowed to wear a swimming costume, but they did on the quiet Now they are officially allowed to .") We could not find any evidence of the intended reflection upon one's own present gender identity in the learner reports Girls mainly interpreted women's history in terms of oppression and resistance Women's history was understood as the history of a group in a disadvantaged position that was in the process of 8 4


Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education emancipating itself Equality was the central issue in this view of history : Women are now equal or more equal to men than they were in the past Emancipation in this sense was generally considered by girls to be positive In the discussion on women's history as a final examination subject, the suggestion has been made many times that women's history would have a positive effect on girls' identification with the past Few sentences in the essays, however, testify to this ; the tone of the sentences was more detached The few learning experiences in which girls do make a connection between women in the past and themselves as women today are positive ("Women's history is really interesting, perhaps because I am also a woman myself") as well as ambivalent ("I cannot even start to imagine what my life would be like as a housewife with 14 children") The fear that a situation in which students who are forced to learn about women could lead to an antifeminist attitude (Grever, 1991, p 75) was not confirmed by the research Discussion Not everything that teachers intend to teach students is learned by students ; not everything that students learn is intended by teachers The importance of evaluating education does, in fact, lie in these two observations The first hypothesis has been the subject of far more research than the second In our research, we assessed the lessons by letting students speak for themselves What do they say they have learned? What unexpected learning effects have occurred? The focus in this article was on gender identity Girls and boys actively give meaning to a gendered world, a world in which man/masculine is opposed to woman/feminine and in which people are expected to be one or the other They develop a gender identity by participating in existing discursive practices and by occupying their own place within these (Davies, 1989b ; Kenway, 1994) The development of gender identity is a never-ending process which is affected by schooling Since woman and man have no unequivocal meaning and since categories other than gender-for example, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status also influence their meaning-the development of a gender identity is not without conflict (Nicholson, 1990) The learner reports show how girls gave meaning to the lessons about women's history and which implicit notions about gender identity were present Apart from a few negative learning experiences ("It gets boring when only women are discussed"), the girls' learner 8 5


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff reports reflected mainly neutral or positive learning experiences 10 "Women's history is worthwhile, it is good to know something about it, but we are lucky we are alive now, not then ." This appreciation is reaffirmed in girls' responses to the question, "Did you enjoy women's history?" Changes in the position of women have mainly been measured against those of men in general and against those of women today The learner reports reflect an optimistic interpretation of history : The ideal of gender equality has been more or less realized Teaching women's history has not clarified the relationship between women/femininity and men/masculinity at the present time Moreover, virtually none of the girls identified themselves positively with differences between the sexes In their view, differences between the sexes, if they do exist, should be abolished as soon as possible The following statements were expressed in various ways by girls in their learner reports : "Women are now allowed to do more than in the past" ; "We live at a nice time now in which women and men have virtually the same rights" The repetitive nature of this type of statement seems to indicate a magical formula that wards off the threat of belonging to a group perceived as somehow 'deficient' Girls are disinclined to identify with "a group that is lagging behind ." Belonging to such a group undermines a carefully constructed image of equality In closing, we would like to focus attention on a factor that has possibly reinforced this process The subject of women's history was presented and taught as a separate theme In the discussion preceding its introduction into secondary education, it was related continually to the needs of girls ; for example, the need for ways to express their identification The emancipatory value of the subject matter for boys and how they may view the past and present was scarcely discussed A subject advocated specifically as being the interests of girls/women tends to lose status and to result in stereotyping "Being different" implies that girls require special attention (ten Dam & Volman, 1995) Girls, in turn, react to this by recognizing the existence of inequality between the sexes but referring to the archives rather than the present for examples This research finding does not mean of course that the identity of modern girls is virtually gender neutral On the contrary, it indicates that in society we lack the discourses available to discuss gender differences and gender inequality properly 10 A11 paragraphs in the essays started with the learning effect sentences in which women's history is described as interesting ; these were quoted most by students 8 6


Teaching Women's History in Secondary Education References Beetsma, J ., (1989) Geschiedeniswerkplaats Examenboek Havo/vwo [secondary education history examination book] Groningen : Wolters-Noordhoff Davies, B (1989a) The discursive production of the male/female dualism in school settings Oxford Review of Education, 15(3), 229-241 Davies, B (1989b) Frogs and snails and feminist tales Sydney : Allen & Unwire de Groot, A D (1974) The problem of evaluating national educational systems In H F Crombag & Dato N de Gruyter (Eds,), Contemporary issues in educational testing (pp 9-27) Den Haag : Mouton Grever, M (1991) Pivoting the centre Women's history as a compulsory examination subject in all Dutch secondary schools in 1990-1991 Gender & History, 3, 65-81 Hermsen, J J & van Lenning, A (Eds .) (1991) Sharing the difference Feminist debates in Holland London/New York : Routledge Janssen, J ., den Hart, J ., den Draak, Chr (1989) Praying practices The Journal of Empirical Theology, 2(2), 28-39 Janssen, T & Rijlaarsdam, G (1990) What do pupils learn from literature teaching? In M Hayhoe & S Parker (Eds .), Reading and response (pp 95-106) Milton Keynes : Open University Kenway, J (1994) Making 'hope practical' rather than 'despair convincing' : Feminist post-structuralism, gender reform, and educational change British Journal of Sociology of Education, 15(2), 187-210 Kneedler, P (1988) Differences between boys and girls on California's new statewide assessment in history-social science Unpublished paper presented at the annual meeing of the California Council for the Social Studies Kreeft, H P J (1991) Examens LBO/MAVO/HAVO/VWO, 1990 [Secondary education examinations, 1990] Arnhem : Cito Malson, R ., O'Barr, J ., Westphal-Wihl, S ., & Wyer, M (Eds .) (1989) . Feminist theory in practice and process Chicago : University of Chicago Ministerie van Onderwijs en Wetenschappen (1979) Schets van een beleid voor emancipatie in onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek [Outline of a policy for equal opportunities in education and research] Den Haag : Author Nicholson, L (Ed .) (1990) Feminism/Postmodernism New York : Routledge Noddings, N (1992) Social studies and feminism Theory and Research in Social Education, 20(3), 230-241 8 7


ten Dam & Rijkschroeff Scott, J W (1986) Gender : A useful category of historical analysis American Historical Review, 91, 1053-1075 ten Dam, G ., Farkas Teekens, H ., & van Loosbroek T (1991) Leerverschillen tussen meisjes en jongens Effecten van vrouwengeschiedenis in het voortgezet onderwijs [Learning differences between girls and boys The effects of women's history in secondary education .] Amsterdam : Algemene Hogeschool Amsterdam, Pedagogiek Publikatie, 2 ten Dam, G T M & Volman, M L L (1995) Feminist research and educational policy Journal of Education Policy, 10 ten Dam, G T M ., & Farkas Teekens, H (in press) The gender inclusiveness of a women's history curriculum in secondary education Women's Studies International Forum van der Kamp, M (1980) Wat neemt de leerling mee van kunstzinnige vorming? [What do pupils get out of art education?] Den Haag : Staatsuitgeverij van der Kamp, M (1984) Self-assessment as a tool for the evaluation of learning outcomes Studies in Educational Evaluation,10, 265-272 van Kesteren, B (1989) Gebruiksmogelijkheden van het learner report [Possibilities for using the learner report .] Tijdschrift voor Onderwijsresearch, 14(1), 13-29 Volman, M ., ten Dam, G ., & van Eck, E (1993) Girls in the educational research discourse Comenius, 13(2), 196-217 Authors GEERT TEN DAM is Associate Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Teaching and Learning of the University of Amsterdam RALLY RIJKSCHROEFF is Research Director of the Verwey-Jonker Institute for Research in Social Issues 8 8


BOOK REVIEW BOOK NOTES Teacher Stories and Gender Tales Kleinfeld, J S & Yerian, S (Eds .) (1995) Gender tales : Tensions in the schools . New York : St Martin's Press Review by PAT GALLAGHER, College of Education, San Francisco State University The emergence of case-based teaching for the professional development of teachers stems from a recognition of the need for authentic contexts in which complex, ambiguous and often-troubling issues can be identified and confronted by teachers (in ways that encourage participants to stretch and grow) The case serves as a kind of "paper apprenticeship" in which a novice (to a situation) can engage and grapple with problems or dilemmas that do not yield to easy resolution The case reader "listens" to the other make decisions and choices, and reflects on the wisdom of those choices In reacting to, analyzing and discussing the case with others, the novice develops habits of mind that can eventually be brought to bear on situations in the teachers' own practice It provides, in the words of Judith Kleinfeld and Suzanne Yerian, editors of Gender Tales : Tensions in the Schools, "the luxury of learning from others' experiences" (p .vi) Gender Tales, stimulated by the work of teachers in the Gender Equity Project, recounts the experiences of a variety of both female and male teachers working through gender-related barriers in school and classroom contexts, barriers that prevent their students, and sometimes themselves, from realizing their full potential Of the many ways in which new teachers are under-prepared for the complex work they face as members of the professional education community, it is social and ethical issues that often take them by surprise and reduce them to feelings of incompetence Gender Tales, a collection of twenty-six cases written by teachers who faced difficult issues of gender-equity in their professional work, reveals the many ways in which gender issues assert themselves in the classroom Kleinfeld and Yerian have assembled a collection of cases written by elementary, high school, and university educators that offer possibilities for rich discussion and debate The casebook is divided into five parts, each containing cases loosely related to a unifying theme The cases in Part One address the 89


Pat Gallagher "meaning" of gender equality In Part Two the focus shifts to teachers' attempts to increase achievement among young women Part Three presents four cases of female teachers' struggles for "professional standing" In Parts Four and Five male voices enter the dialogue and the focus turns to sexual harrassment and, finally, to the issue of freedom of expression One of the strengths of this collection is that the cases are complex and rich enough to be viewed through multiple lenses It will be enlightening to new teachers to learn, in the course of reading and discussing these cases, that many problems attributable to gender equity issues may be disguised as something else For example, the case, "Patsy : The Hunt for the Golden Egg", written by teachers in the Gender Equity Project, is a richly developed, multi-layered case that can be addressed on a number of dimensions in addition to gender : culture, institutions, age, experience, social class, power and authority The value of a case-based approach to teaching is in the discussion that follows the reading of the case It is in the discussion that participants confront their own values, beliefs, strengths and limitations The quality of the discussion depends on the participants' willingness to share honestly, on the case discussion facilitator's skill, and on the nature of the prompts and questions derived from the case itself In this collection each "tale" is followed by a set of provocative questions designed to elicit the views of case discussion participants and to stimulate dialogue The cases and questions are ripe with possibilities for provoking disagreement and conflict Some of the cases in Gender Tales include an Epilogue, in which the outcome of a crisis or dilemma is reported Others, like 'Girlspeak' and 'Boyspeak' : Gender Differences in Classroom Discussion", leave the reader with an unresolved problem to respond to In Part Four, which the editors characterize as "cautionary tales", one of the tales leads to one set of interpretations, but a surprising turn of events is presented in the epilogue, leaving the reader to wonder anew There is a quality of suspense in many of the cases that pique curiosity and challenge the reader to become involved These stories by (mostly) female teachers of their engagement with students, colleagues, parents and community have an authenticity that renders them familiar to anyone who has spent time in classrooms The dilemmas, crises, and problems related to gender equality, and in particular to equity for female students and teachers, are ones that all teachers face in one form or another While they are, for the most part, derived from secondary school contexts they raise issues that cut across the K-16 continuum In addition to the discussion questions, each case is followed by a set of "Activities" and "Readings" that offer readers an opportunity to expand their capacity to address issues raised in the case The activities are thoughtfully constructed to lead the reader into 9 0


Teacher Stories and Gender Tales experiences that enrich knowledge and understanding For example, in Yerian and Weikel's "You'll Be Washing Dishes" an African-American English teacher advises against a Mexican-American high school senior's applying to Stanford Issues of culture, ethnicity, class, and gender are salient in the case One activity following the case urges the reader to seek out University personnel who are knowledgeable about the difficulties faced by minority students and about programs and policies that facilitate or impede their progress The case serves as a particular instance of a much larger phenomenon The activity moves the reader out into the real-world arena to take action in a positive direction It is this movement toward action that distinguishes Gender Tales The cases portray dynamic incidents The voices of the teachers who reveal their dilemmas are recognizeable from our own lives and work in schools Some of the cases are suspenseful They lead the reader to wonder how "it" all turned out And they all provide multiple ways for teachers to engage with the stories and learn, in advance of encountering similar dilemmas in their own practice, a way to think about the problem or issue should it arise Teachers have been telling their stories forever Occasionally they write them for others to read Only recently have we dignified these "teacher stories" by attending deeply to the principles embedded in them and structuring ways for others to learn from them The cases in Gender Tales are a welcome contribution to the growing body of case material in teacher education They are stories by teachers about their work in the struggle for gender equity They are also tales of courage and risk Teachers in the initial stages of professional training as well as adept practitioners will find themselves in Gender Tales And they will find the opportunity, through case discussions and follow-up action, to engage others and enhance their capacity to see and to see themselves through others' eyes 9 1


INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS Theory and Research in Social Education is designed to stimulate and communicate systematic research and thinking in social education Its purpose is to foster the creation and exchange of ideas and research findings that will expand knowledge about purposes, conditions, and effects of schooling and education about society and social relations Conceptualizations and research from all of the social sciences, philosophy, history, and the arts are needed in clarifying thinking and practice in social educaton Manuscripts are welcomed on topics such as those that follow : € t Purposes of social education ; € t Models, theories, and related frameworks concerning the development, diffusion, and adoption of curricular materials ; € t Instructional strategies ; € t The relation of the social sciences, philosophy, history and/or the arts to social education ; € t Alternative social organizations and utilizations of the school for social education ; € t Comparative studies of alternative models of social education ; € t Models of and research on alternative schemata for student participation and social action ; € t Relationship of different preand in-service patterns of teacher training to social education ; € t Models of the utilization of objectives in social education and related research findings ; € t Implications of learning theory, child development research, socialization and political socialization research for the purposes and practice of social education ; € t The relationship of different independent, explanatory variables to educational achievements in the area of learning about society and social relations ; € The social climate and cohesion of schools and other school characteristics as independent, explanatory variables predicting general achievement In most cases, submissions will be reviewed blind by a panel of at least three reviewers When we send a manuscript out for review, we ask reviewers to judge the author's work in terms ofsix criteria : 9 2


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 € t significance (the contribution of the manuscript to knowledge about the human condition) ; € t scholarship (the accuracy and thoroughness reflected) ; € t methodological sophistication (the adequacy of the author's research design) ; € originality (the uniqueness of the manuscript) ; € t lucidity (the clarity of the author's writing) ; € t timeliness (whether or not the manuscript is up-to-date) Submission of Manuscripts All manuscripts submitted will be considered for publication Manuscripts (five copies) should be addressed to : Dr Wayne Ross School of Education and Human Development P O Box 6000 State University of New York Binghamton, NY 13902-6000 In addition, please send a 3 .5" disk containing your manuscript (including tables), formatted in Microsoft Word for the Macintosh ; the disk will be used in the final editing of your manuscript for publication Manuscripts are considered for publication with the understanding that they are original material and have not been submitted elsewhere for publication Ordinarily, manuscripts will not be returned TR S E is a refereed journal Manuscripts are sent to outside reviewers This is a time-consuming process Reviewers of individual manuscripts remain anonymous, although outside reviewers are identified in each issue of the journal Specifications for Manuscripts All material submitted for publication must conform to the style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association : Third Edition (1983) Abstract All manuscripts should be sent with an abstract of 100150 words Typescript Manuscripts should be typed on 85 x 11-inch paper, upper and lower case, double-spaced, with 15 inch margins on all sides Subheads should be used at reasonable intervals to break the monotony of lengthy texts Only words to be set in italics (according to the APA style manual) should be underlined ; sentence structure-not italics or quotation marks-must be used for emphasis Abbreviations and 9 3


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 acronyms should be spelled out at first mention unless found as entries in their abbreviated form in Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary (e .g ., IQ needs no explanation) Pages should be numbered consecutively Length Manuscripts should typically run between 12 and 30 pages in typed length Author Identification The complete title of the manuscript and the names of the author(s) should be typed on a separate sheet to assure anonymity in the review process The first text page of the article should have the complete title of the manuscript, but no list of the author(s) Subsequent pages should carry only a running head The first-named author or the co-author who will be handling correspondence with the editor should submit a complete address and telephone number Footnotes and References Footnotes are explanations or amplifications of textual material They are distracting to readers and expensive to set ; accordingly, they should be avoided whenever possible When they must occur, they should be typed on a separate sheet and numbered consecutively throughout the manuscript A reference list contains only those references that are cited in the text Their accuracy and completeness are the responsibility of the author(s) Tables, Figures, and Illustrations The purpose of tables and figures is to present data to the reader in a clear and unambiguous manner Authors should not describe the data in the text in such detail that illustrations or text are redundant Figures and tables should be keyed to the text Tables should each be typed on a separate sheet and attached at the end of the manuscript Figure captions also should be typed on a separate sheet All figures and tables must be included on the disk that accompanies the manuscript Photocopies may accompany the additional copies of the manuscript Book Reviews The length may vary from 500 to 3,500 words The format for the top of the first page is as follows : 9 4

PAGE 100

Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 Author (last name first) Date of publication (in parantheses) Title (in italics) City of publication : Publisher, total number of pages, list price (for both hard and softcover, if available), ISBN # Reviewer's name, followed by institutional address, complete with zip code Like all manuscripts, book review manuscripts should follow the guidelines described above Send book reviews to Dr Ross at the address listed 9 5

PAGE 101

Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1996 RESEARCH IN SOCIAL' EDUCATION Editorial Bo d James L Barth Purdue University Jane Bernard-Powers San Francisco State University Allan R Brandhorst University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ambrose Clegg Kent State University Richard A Diem University of Texas at San Antonio James Eckenrod San Francisco, CA Ronald Evans San Diego State University Jesus Garcia Indiana University Nancy R King Towson State University Gloria J Ladson-Billings University of Wisconsin Linda Levstik University of Kentucky Eric Luce University of So Mississippi Peter H Martorella No Carolina State University John R Meyer University of Windsor Ontario, Canada Merry M Merryfield Ohio State University Stuart B Palonsky University of Missouri at Columbia Walter C Parker University of Washington Wayne Ross State University of New York at Binghamton Sam Shermis Purdue University Robert J Stahl Arizona State University William B Stanley University of Delaware Lynda Stone U of N Carolina, Chapel Hill 9 6

PAGE 102

Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 Executive Committee o the College and Univers Faculty Assembly 1995-1996 Dorothy J Skeel (1996) Chair 981 General George Patton Road Nashville, TN 37221 (615) 646-2110 Linda Levstik (1995), Immediate PastChair 114 Taylor Education Building University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40506 (606) 257-3230 Wilma Longstreet, (1998) Chair-Elect 101 Hidden Oaks Slidell, LA 70461-8541 504-286-5556 Clifford T Bennett (1996) 246 Ruffner Hall Curry School of Education University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22903 (804) 924-0841 Lynne Boyle-Baise (1997) Indiana University Education Building Bloomington, IN 47405 (812) 856-8191 9 7 Valerie Pang (1996) School of Teacher Education San Diego State University San Diego, CA 92182-0139 (619) 594-6286 Gloria Ladson-Billings (1997) Curriculum & Instruction University of Wisconsin 225 N Mills Street Madison, WI 53706 (608) 263-1006 Ceola Ross Baber (1998) Curriculum and Instruction Curry Building University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC 27412 Brenda Weikel (1998) 150 Huntington Hall Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 13244 (315)-44-2684 Jack Zevin (1997) Secondary Education Queens College, CUNY 65-30 Kissena Blvd Flushing, NY 11367-1597 (718) 997-5150 Jack Fraenkel, Editor-TRSE San Francisco State University School of Education (HSS 104) San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-2510

PAGE 103

Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1996 The National Council for the Social Studies Officers 1995-1996 Michael Hartoonian, President Social Studies Education Supervisor State of Wisconsin 125 S Webster Street Madison, WI 53702 (608) 267-9273 (608) 233-1643 Pat Nickell, President-Elect 672 Andover Village Place Lexington, KY 40509-1928 1996 CUFA Program Chair Bruce VanSledright 2223 Benjamin Building College of Education University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742 301-405-3141 9 8

PAGE 104

~eory d'~esearch in Social Education NCSS 3501 Newark Street, NW Washington, DC 20016 I Bond Class Postage id at Oashington, D .C an 'additional mailing offices 11 I


Download Options

Choose Size
Choose file type
Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.