University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Teaching lads’ lads and girly-girls: why recognising and tackling gender stereotypes still matters in education

Sheehy, Amanda ORCID: and Solvason, Carla ORCID: (2023) Teaching lads’ lads and girly-girls: why recognising and tackling gender stereotypes still matters in education. Education 3-13. ISSN Print: 0300-4279 Online: 1475-7575

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Teachers’ representations of femininities and masculinities were examined to consider how their understandings of gender might impact upon the developing gender constructions of the children they teach. In interviews, teachers reflected on their gender construction in their personal lives as well as how this impacted on their displayed attitudes to gender within their pedagogy. Findings suggest that teachers made associations between femininity, nurture and physical appearance, and, in contrast, associated masculinity with physical strength, enjoyment of sport, and the role of financial provider. Although one might assume that gender stereotypes are dated and that contemporary British society has moved beyond such discourses, the data suggests that limiting binary gender stereotypes perpetuate, and with them the possibility that teachers might still be constraining their pupils’ opportunities. Having reflected in this way, the teachers in this sample presented as more inclined to modify their practice for an increased focus on equality.

Item Type: Article
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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: gender, stereotypes, feminities, masculinities, reflection
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
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Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Carla Solvason
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2023 11:27
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 09:14

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