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Gender Equity in Education: Meanings and Practices

Schechter, Kate (2013) Gender Equity in Education: Meanings and Practices. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this study is to further understanding regarding how U.S. teachers make meaning about gender and how their conceptions translate into the classroom environment. The teachers were also asked to discuss any formal training they had in gender sensitivity, and how important they consider gender equity to be in today’s educational system. Respondents included 20 teachers of various age groups and disciplines from Pennsylvania and Maryland, who participated in in-depth interviews over a four-month data collection period. Data were coded using the mixed-methods software Dedoose and then mined for themes with memoing. Results indicated that teachers perceived gender to be largely a biological distinction between the sexes, although some included sexual identity and personality traits in their definitions. The influence of being a parent and a teacher was found to be especially strong, with parents-as-teachers holding more sex-based notions of gender than teachers without children. None of the teachers interviewed had received any formal gender sensitivity training, although all perceived that such training would be beneficial in their schools. However, issues such as race and poverty were considered of more critical importance than gender. The data evince a classroom culture in which gender-differentiated treatment in pedagogical decision-making, including lesson planning, behavioral direction, and student-teacher interaction is the norm, not the exception. The findings suggest that the lack of clarity and intentionality in teachers’ conceptions of gender, combined with the absence of gender sensitivity training, has contributed to an educational environment in which gender inequities are prevalent.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schechter, Katekms237@pitt.eduKMS237
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.eduMGUNZEN
Committee MemberJacob, W Jameswjacob@pitt.eduWJACOB
Committee MemberRamey, Jessieramey@pitt.eduRAMEY
Date: 12 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 June 2013
Approval Date: 12 September 2013
Submission Date: 20 June 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 68
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender equity, gender equality, teacher perceptions of gender, gender sensitivity training, education practices, gender in education
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 18:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:13


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