Faculty Constructions of Gender at Xavier Preparatory
Literature on sex equity and school reform during the last two decades clearly shows that successful school change occurs with an aggressive and conscious commitment to it on the part of staff members. According to the research, difficulties that staff members have in providing equal educational opportunities to all students and in coping with the complexities of change include: their overt communication and covert meanings, their articulated beliefs and unstated assumptions, and how their expectations are communicated and realized (Lockheed and Hall, 1976; Sadker et al., 1991; Tetreault, 1986; Tetreault and Schmuck, 1985). We believed like other researchers what teachers thought about gender and what they expected would happen when young women entered their classroom and their school represented critical factors in how the change would be implemented (Clark and Peterson, 1986; Cuban, 1988; Doyle and Ponder, 1977; Fullan, 1991; Richardson et al., 1991). Acknowledging the difficulties and subtleties of the challenges the faculty and students faced, we sought to understand how the faculty framed issues of fairness and sex equity in the post-Title IX era.