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Teaching gender: A qualitative study of how gender appears in the thinking of four elementary teachers

Carolyn M Pillow, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Four elementary teachers were interviewed in a qualitative study to determine how gender was reflected in their thinking. All four teachers, three female and one male, had been at their job for 20 to 25 years and were designated by their colleagues as sensitive to issues of gender in the classroom. They grew up in the 1950's when gender roles were rigidly defined and were young adults when the women's movement began to challenge the traditional roles of women and men in society. During the past decade these teachers worked in an area in which gender equity training and resources were readily available. Although there were no references made by the teachers to the cultural changes that occurred during their earlier years or to the current emphasis on gender equity in education, the data did indicate three ways that gender was reflected in the teachers' conversations. Sometimes it was implied. At other times, although gender issues were explicitly described, they were not identified as relating to gender. There were also instances in their interviews where the teachers directly described bow gender issues affected them or their students.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Social psychology|Educational sociology

Recommended Citation

Pillow, Carolyn M, "Teaching gender: A qualitative study of how gender appears in the thinking of four elementary teachers" (2000). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9960778.