Jane and Sue responding to Judy

jane kenway (jk@deakin.edu.au)
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 23:24:52 +1100 (EST)

Jane and Sue respond to Judy,
Thanks for you comments Judy . Yes, we set out to fill a gap in the
literature which was that while there are lots of accounts of the different
gender issues in schools, there are very few sustained discussions about
what actually happens in schools when teachers try to change the gender
dynamics. As you indicate from your own experience it is not always easy
or simple but is always challenging. One of our hopes was to try to explain
why this is so. Why do some things work and others not and in what
circumstances. We were particularly interested to see how approaches
changed over time and space and to understand what works or otherwise with
particular populations of students. We wanted to explore these issues
without a blame and shame approach, but one which tried to see where
people were coming from. Equally, we wanted to situate the discussion
within some of the bigger debates within feminist circles within education
and indeed with in other educational debates.

We think the issue of boys' education is most interesting for feminists but
equally we believe that there are many other issues to discuss for instance
how gender reformers may best work with their colleagues who show differing
levels of knowledge, commitment and responsibility.

As we indicate there is still much more to consider with regard to girls;
for instance we are currently thinking about three groups of girls; the can
do girls, might do girls and the make do girls. We are looking at girls'
motivational and survival strategies and trying to suss out why girls from
equally difficult circumstances can be spread across this spectrum and what
is it that moves them between categories. We are finding that lots of the
answers are to be discovered though very active listening to girls with our
generational and indeed feminist lenses to off to one side. This was the
intention behind the title answering back; in particular to hear what kids
have to say about gender reform without assuming that they have got it
wrong if they disagree with us. We have actually used the title taking
stock for another paper but in using the title A B we wanted to capture
that cross generational feistiness and help adults to learn from kids on
this topic.

Again, thanks for interest in the book, we are delighted you found it of value.

Associate Professor Jane Kenway (Dr)
Director Deakin Centre for Education and Change
Social and Cultural Studies in Education
Faculty of Education
Deakin Univesity


Ph: (03) 5227 1490

Fax: (03) 5227 2014


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