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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Going against the Grain: Schools and the perpetuation of Gender Divisions and Inequalities in Australian Society Going against the grain: Schools and the perpetuation of Gender divisions and inequalities in Australian Society

Loshini Naidoo.

It is crucial to understand how pedagogy, the curriculum,learning and schooling generally , are complex practices that are connected to broader cultural, social, economic and political discourses operating in Australian society. Within this context, understanding how inequality is constructed and perpetuated is essential,including the practices in which individual teachers engage. Consequently, developing teachers' awareness of their own subjectivity in relation to identity issues is crucial in order to encourage reflexivity and the development of socially just relationships and practices in schooling.In an effort to evaluate the extent to which schools perpetuate gender divisions and inequalities, it will be necessary to focus on how the curriculum fosters a marked divergence between males and females by the choices and options it offers for careers. Similarly, further divisions are perpetuated by extreme specialization along gender lines which again is encouraged by certain timetabling practices.So while Australian schools appear to operate within a framework that seeks to overcome gender divisions and inequalities in society, we must remember that schools operate within the macro, consensual framework which in effect means that while changes in schools should be taking place from the bottom up, the inequalities are often perpetuated from the top down through administration,curriculum and common peer groups.


Loshini Naidoo  (Australia)
School of Education and Early Childhood Studies
University of Western Sydney, Penrith Campus

Lecturer in Sociology, School of Education and Early Childhood Studies. Unit Advisor for Social Justice Issues in Secondary Education. A mamber of the Faculty;d Research Working Party and currently engaged in the Global Trouble Social Justice research project on the attitudes of others towards female Muslim students wearing the traditional headgear on campus.

  • Gender divisions
  • Inequalities
  • Teachers
  • Schools

(30 min Conference Paper, English)