EQUALITY, INCLUSION AND OPPORTUNITY: CONTEMPORARY IRISH SCHOOLS AND MODERN MASCULINITIES

Suzanne O' Keeffe, Donal Horgan

Abstract


The notion of equality is central to European public life. Yet, equality is a concept with as many definitions as it has varied use. Traditionally, equality in education focused on access to schooling and on boys’ underachievement. As globalised education systems are becoming increasingly socially, culturally and politically diverse, it is important to consider equality in education in relation to the school as a workplace. Employing a feminist research design and focusing specifically on the lives of six Irish male primary teachers, this article unpacks a number of assumptions relating to equality and masculinities. Many of these assumptions are discreet, which allow for inequalities to be created and maintained. In this context, discussions surrounding informal barriers will be explored in relation to teacher education colleges and the staffroom. The study's findings show that the number of males entering teaching is declining and that male teachers within the profession feel isolated due to various forces are not neutral occurrences. They are not natural economic patterns. Gender plays a pivotal role in this ideological drama. This article will be of particular interest to those educationalists interested in promoting gender equality in schools.

 

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Keywords


gender, masculinities, feminist research, primary education

References


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