Curriculum is always gendered...so what?
School curricula are inevitably gendered. Written, enacted, and hidden curricula are all influenced by understandings of masculinity and femininity that are interwoven with academic subjects, school sports and clubs, romance and sexuality, and school discipline and authority.
Awareness of gendered knowledges has led to developments in STEM programs, more attention to sexuality in schools, and an awareness of how curricular knowledge is embodied. Remaining challenges to the gendered order of schools include the rise of neuroscience and neurosexism, additive approaches to curricular change, the rise of post-feminism, and transgender and gender-nonconformity. These challenges, among others, require thinking complexly and with nuance about gender, sexuality, and school knowledge. Written by Dr. Stephanie McCall with Dr. Nancy Lesko (Teachers College, Columbia University), this article utilizes the lenses of poststructuralist and intersectional feminisms in presenting some prominent aspects of school curricula as gendered. Intersectional feminism prioritizes the understanding that gendered identities are always interwoven with other statuses, such as race, class, sexuality, nationality, or ability. Utilizing these perspectives, researchers have reported that school knowledges are selected with ideas of and desires for particular kinds of girls and particular kinds of boys.
Photo by moren hsu on Unsplash