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Hidden messages, gendered interaction in Israeli schools

Abrahami-Einat, Judith (1994) Hidden messages, gendered interaction in Israeli schools. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

This ethnographic study exposes hidden, sex differentiated messages conveyed to boys and girls in Israeli Jewish schools. The analysis of classroom interactions, the school culture, school documents, extra curricular activities, and teachers' reflections about sex roles and their pupils' sexuality, all render valuable information about the powerful undercurrents present in the Israeli educational system, that is officially committed to equal opportunities. The observations conducted over a full academic year in three schools, are read within their cultural context. References to those social constructs that both generate the subtle sexist practices observed, and explain their deeper meanings and far reaching implications, make this study significant to the understanding of the specific Israeli scene. In addition, the disparity recorded between the teachers' stated commitment to equality, and their explicit and implicit gendered expectations, suggests a line of enquiry relevant to other educational systems too. The incompatability between traditional Jewish values, social constructs of modern Israel, and recent feminist critique, results in an ambivalent attitude to sex equity. This in turn leads to the resort to the most circuitous manner of preserving traditional values, that actually contradict the egalitarian ethos of each of the schools studied. Hence, the teachers' belief in the complementarity of the sexes, their interest in the pupils' patterns of heterosexual pairing, the insensitivity noted to subtle forms of sex discrimination, to sexual harassment and to double standards in evaluations, all suggest an agenda hidden from the teachers themselves. The gendered interactions and the hidden messages conveyed through them, are most pronounced in extra curricular activities. The conclusion is that whether or not the Israeli national curriculum contains or encourages sexist practices, the schools, in their unique ways, convey traditional messages about sex roles, in extremely subtle manners.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: PhD University of London Institute of Education [Department of Curriculum Studies] 1994..
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 12:51
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2015 10:48
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