Gender, Sexuality & Education: Exploring Key Issues of Social Justice in Feminist & Educational Research - EDU00068M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Vanita Sundaram
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

In this module we examine the ways in which gender influences children and young people’s access to, participation in, and outcomes of education. We consider how norms and expectations for gender might differentially impact on students across all stages of education (primary, secondary and tertiary).

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

During the course of this module students will:

  • Critically examine their understandings of gender and reflect on their own expectations of appropriate ‘male’ and ‘female’ behaviour.
  • Understand the importance of making gender visible in educational and social theory
  • Engage critically with debates about gender differences in participation and achievement in education
  • Discuss how learner identities may be influenced by current understandings and expectations of gender and sexuality
  • Explore the role of schools in creating and maintaining gender hierarchy and stereotypes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of gender sensitivity in conducting and engaging with research.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

Students will cover key issues within gender and education and make links to important social justice debates in feminist and educational research, through the individual sessions outlined below:

2. Introduction: what is gender and why is it important?

3. Why do we need to consider gender in education: the global perspective.

4. Gender, participation and achievement: examining differential attainment and subject choice.

5. Constructing gendered identities in the classroom.

6. Do male teachers shape ‘real’ boys? Maintaining gender hierarchy in schools.

7. Gender and sexual violence among secondary school pupils: the role of schools in violence prevention.

8. ‘Lad cultures’ and higher education: tackling gender inequality in higher education institutions.

9. What do we mean by gender equality in education?

10. Conclusion. The links between gender, education and society.


Academic and graduate skills

  • Ability to critically analyse and evaluate educational policies which are relevant to gender and sexualities equality.
  • Ability to source, synthesise, apply and evaluate theories and empirical research on gender, sexuality and education in relation to social justice.
  • Competence in demonstrating these skills orally (formative) and in writing (summative).

Module content

Module Structure:

2. Introduction - What is gender and why is it important?

Understanding gender as a social construct; exploring and critiquing the gender binary; theorising differences between men and women.

3. Why do we need to consider gender in education - The global perspective.

Understanding gender differences in participation in education; understanding intersections between gender and other barriers to accessing education.

4. Gender, participation and achievement - Examining differential attainment and subject choice.

Understanding gender differences in STEM participation; theorising reasons underlying differential participation and engagement.

5. Constructing gendered identities in the classroom.

Understanding the construction of gendered learner identities; exploring the links between gender expectations and norms, and pupil behaviour, engagement and participation.

6. Do male teachers shape ‘real’ boys? - Maintaining gender hierarchy in schools.

Understanding contemporary debates around the need for men teachers; theorising the ways gender norms are reinforced and reproduced in debates about the feminisation of education.

7. Gender and sexual violence among secondary school pupils - The role of schools in violence prevention.

Understanding young people’s experiences of, and views on gender-based violence; exploring and theorising the underlying causes of gender-based violence.

8. ‘Lad cultures’ and higher education - Tackling gender inequality in higher education institutions.

Understanding sexual harassment and violence within higher education settings.

9. What do we mean by gender equality in education?

Exploring intersectionality and conceptual distinctions between equality and equity in gender and education.

10. Conclusion - The links between gender, education and society.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3,500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3,500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written feedback on formative assessments by the end of Week 8 of Spring term.

Feedback on summative assessments will follow the standard timing for full-time masters programmes within the Department of Education. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information

Indicative reading

Journal publications

  • Gender and Education
  • British Journal of Educational Studies
  • British Journal of Sociology of Education
  • Cambridge Journal of Education
  • Journal of Interpersonal Violence
  • Sex Education
  • Comparative Education

Textbooks

  • Sundaram, V. & Sauntson, H. (eds.) (2015). Global perspectives and key debates in sex and relationships education: Addressing issues of gender, sexuality, plurality and power. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Arnot, M., & Mac an Ghaill, M. (eds.) (2006). The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Gender and Education. London: Routledge.
  • Francis, B., Skelton, C., & Smulyan, L. (eds.) (2006). The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Education. London: SAGE Publications.
  • Ball, S. (ed). (2004). The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Sociology of Education. New York: Routledge.

Policy documents

Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Girls (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181088/vawg-action-plan-2013.pdf



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.