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ERIC Number: EJ831835
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0159-6306
Moving Away from "Failing Boys" and "Passive Girls": Gender Meta-Narratives in Gender Equity Policies for Australian Schools and Why Micro-Narratives Provide a Better Policy Model
O'Donovan, Denis
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v27 n4 p475-494 Dec 2006
In this paper I argue that the move towards devolved modes of educational governance provides significant opportunities for feminist and pro-feminist constructionist research to impact on the types of "gender work" used by schools. Research-based understandings of gender in schools have been on the defensive in Australia and elsewhere for a decade, as demands for performative social justice policies coalesce with popular and governmental attention on the educational problems of boys. However, feminist and pro-feminist researchers can re-attain legitimacy in the policy field by marketing localized understandings of gender micro-narratives as improvements on the negative "failing boy" meta-narratives pursued by mainstream gender equity policy interventionists. While the popular, media-driven understanding frames gender as a constraint on educational access and participation, constructionist research identifies masculinity and femininity as changing constructs that produce highly specific and localized power relations. In the final part of the paper I consider the positioning of constructionist gender research in the federal government commissioned report "Meeting the challenge: Final report on the boys' lighthouse project," which demonstrated that feminist and pro-feminist readings of gender can attain legitimacy at the local level. (Contains 14 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia