Towards New Approaches to Reviewing Literature in Gender Education

By Deborah Hartman.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Policy making and practice for gender equity in schools is undergoing substantial change as the focus has shifted in recent years from girls to boys. It has been argued that social policy makers need evidence from a variety of sources to make informed decisions about social policy and program implementation. There should be ways of characterising, comparing and contrasting differing perspectives from the public, the media, research and practitioners so that their similarities and differences can be laid open for inspection and therefore provide broad, deep and useful information to policy makers and practitioners. New approaches to reviewing and synthesising literature have both been claimed to have the potential to provide more useful information to social policy makers about ‘what works’ than traditional methods of reviewing literature. One is an ‘argument catalogue’ developed by the Canadian Network for Knowledge Utilisation. This paper outlines an attempt to synthesise literature from a variety of sources, including views from parent bodies, teacher unions, practitioners, the media, government departments, and research and theoretical perspectives on gender in schools. The paper offers the findings from utilising this approach as one possible way of dealing with the complexities facing research on policy and practice in this highly contested field.

Keywords: Research Methodology, Literature Review, Gender Equity in School Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp.109-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 571.862KB).

Deborah Hartman

Manager - Research, Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Deborah Hartman Dip Teach (DDIAE, QLD), BA (Macquarie University, NSW), Grad Dip Teaching English as a Second Language (Darwin, N.T.), MEd (Deakin University, Vict.) Deborah has been an educator for over twenty years. She has taught primary aged children in Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory, Australia, where she worked as a teacher, teacher-educator and curriculum developer with Aboriginal communities. Deborah is the mother of two fine young men and has an interest in the care and education of boys, both as a teacher and parent. She is currently the Manager of Research at the Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. She is particularly interested in women’s work with boys and the relationship between the social and academic outcomes for boys and those for girls. Deborah believes that child-care and school settings offer us important opportunities for developing wonderful, equitable relationships between boys and girls and for assisting both boys and girls to reach their full potential.

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