Gender issues in initial teacher education
Sanderson, Nicole Brigit
Master of Education
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The purpose of the study was to examine preservice teachers' perceptions towards gender issues in education. It also examined whether gender issues are an integral component of prospective teacher training. This was done using focus group methodology supplemented by "self appraisal" questionnaires. Five themes were persistently a part of the students' perceptions of gender issues. Theses themes were: a) the prescribed roles of males and females ; b) the invisibility of gender inequity; c) the importance of practice teaching; d) the belief that gender issues are female issues and; e) the resistance to gender equity initiatives. One theme that emerged from the focus group sessions that was not found in the literature was that of harassment of female student teachers by male teachers and students. The results also suggest that gender continues to be a major organizational construct within educational institutions and that the problematization of gender continues to be ignored despite increased awareness and discussion of gender inequity in education.