Reconceptualizing Gender Issues in Education
So far in this book we have discussed three main areas. First, I looked at the position of the female as Other in Western society, and outlined how this applied to education. I then went on to describe in some detail the ways in which this Otherness is manifested in the school setting, concentrating in particular on the differential experiences of males and females in the classroom, subject takeup in secondary schools, issues of assessment and achievement and deficit models as they are applied to girls and young women in schools. Third, I looked at the ways in which gender is socially and culturally constructed in Western society, laying particular stress on the contingency of such constructions. In this chapter I want to move on and start to consider whether we have to continue with the gender regimes that prevail in our schooling systems. I shall argue that such regimes are always and by their very nature open to challenge, and that the key to such challenge is an understanding of how they operate.