Male preservice teachers, gender and performance in an online teacher education subject

Haase, Malcolm, Balatti, Jo, Knight, Cecily, and Henderson, Lyn (2010) Male preservice teachers, gender and performance in an online teacher education subject. In: Proceedings of Australian Teacher Education Association Conference, pp. 1-11. From: ATEA 2010 Australian Teacher Education Association Conference, 4-7 July 2010, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

The paper informs teacher educators concerned with the development of more sustainable futures for men in education.

There is widespread concern about the high attrition and poor performance of males when compared with females in teacher education programs (Drudy et al. 2005; Skelton 2009; Thornton and Bricheno 2006). To date research attention has mostly been upon male students' overall performance in a teacher education program. This research both confirms and extends research knowledge by examining the finer detail of gender, learning and performance at the level of an individual subject within a program. While, to an extent, the analysis of men's performance is compared with women's, importantly, the paper also draws out the range of difference between men. In doing so it emphasises the social constructedness of gender and highlights the imperative to not employ pedagogies that are underpinned by essentialist understandings of gender. Such understandings tend to be socially oppressive by the way they can homogenise groups and segregate human qualities into two falsely distinct gender categories (Connell, 2002).

Data are drawn from student submissions for online assessment tasks and two surveys. One hundred and thirty-five second year preservice teachers (100 female, 35 male) were enrolled in the subject. The subject aimed to develop students' praxis, which in this context, is the connecting of educational theory and the practice of teaching. The subject was an innovative trial, where much of the student/student and student/lecturer interaction was conducted in an online learning space that consisted of lecture notes, blogs and journals.

The paper concludes that better understandings of gendered patterns of learning can assist teacher educators to improve learning experiences for all students. This will hopefully lessen the attrition of males from teacher education, thus contributing to more sustainable futures.

Item ID: 17058
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: gender, teacher education, online delivery
ISBN: 978-0-9752324-5-3
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 12:50
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939904 Gender Aspects of Education @ 100%
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