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Gender issues embedded in the experience of women student teachers: A study using in-depth interviewing

Judith Harmon Miller, University of Massachusetts Amherst


In spite of the proclivity to organize educational practices around the concept of gender and the pervasive presence of women in public school teaching, little research exists which focuses on women's experience teaching in a patriarchal school environment. Even less exists on the experience of women student teachers in that same school context. This dissertation describes and develops an understanding of what it means to be a female learning how to teach in public secondary schools during the student teaching phase of preservice education. It focuses on how connecting the individual experiences of these women provides insight into the gender issues embedded in their lives and in the secondary schools where they did their preservice work. The gender issues that emerged from the study center on women's self-esteem and ways of knowing, patriarchal attitudes and other forms of harassment by male students and faculty, and collaborative and non-collaborative relationships between women student teachers and male and female cooperating teachers. I have used in-depth, phenomenological interviewing to ask women to reconstruct their student teaching experience in the context of their life history and inquire how they understand the meaning of that student teaching experience (Seidman, 1991).

Subject Area

Teacher education|Secondary education|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Miller, Judith Harmon, "Gender issues embedded in the experience of women student teachers: A study using in-depth interviewing" (1993). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9408314.