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Sacrificial girls: a case study of the impact of streaming and setting on gender reform

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This article reports on research funded by the Australian Research Council to investigate school responses to gender equity. It addresses the efforts of a disadvantaged school to tackle what they perceived to be gender inequalities, but in the process of constructing a top-set and bottom-set/stream class they are developing new forms of old inequalities and new forms of inequalities. This research indicates that despite popular assertions that girls' education has become the priority of schools and education systems, girls are being further disadvantaged through attempts to implement market strategies coupled with gender reform agendas grounded in liberal notions of equity and relying on unsophisticated notions of affirmative action. In addition, this study highlights the extent to which a media-driven debate about boys' education has influenced the constitution of boys as the 'new disadvantaged' with the capacity to determine the nature of gender reform agendas and programmes in schools.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The University of Queensland, Australia 2: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia 3: University of Western Ontario, Canada

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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