ERIC Number: ED322122
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
The Call of the Sirens? The Influence of Gender in the Decision To Choose Teaching as a Career Change.
Social feminists insist on the relevance of personal experience and believe that, for changes to occur, it is essential to understand the dynamics of how and why gender roles are perpetuated. Social feminists view the career course of second-career teachers as vulnerable to the covert structures and curriculum of the schools. The social feminist position is documented throughout this paper. A case study discusses the biography of a 37-year-old woman, Sally, and provides data demonstrating the presence of gender socialization as a factor in her career course. Sally expressed the motivation for her career change in terms of traditional gender traits, such as nurturing and gentleness, and of the continuity between women's work as mothers in a family and as teachers in schools. At the same time, her decision to teach is rooted in her opposition to the system in which she was educated. Her career change can, therefore, be viewed as motivated by a commitment to the possibility of social change. The data emerging from this study indicate that biography affects career motivation and performance and that gender socialization is an important component in biography, having a significant influence on who teachers and, ultimately, on what is taught and how. Implications for teacher education and the conduct of teacher education programs are indicated. (JD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Boston, MA, April 17-20, 1990).