Historic Lessons: Gender Inequity in Middle and High School

Degree Name

MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard


What happens in our classrooms shapes the thoughts and lives the students within them, not simply through the explicit curriculum, but also through what we do and do not address, our interpersonal relations, and our own unintended biases. This research focuses on the ways in which gender inequity and its relationship to production relations are reinforced in a rural school at the 6-12th grade level. In this case study, interviews, surveys, and extensive observations were used to analyze the ways in which social and historic inequality is reinforced or challenged within the school. Research is focused on lesson contents, student behavior and classroom management, and interpersonal interactions- specifically teacher-to-student, teacher-to-teacher, and administrator-teacher.

Subjects were interviewed on their thoughts on the need or lack of need for equitable practices within the school, as well as their interpretation of equity and equity practices. Additionally, subjects were surveyed on their perceptions of student behavior and participation within their classroom, as well as their perceptions of equity in the school environment in terms of physical artifacts, educational materials, and teaching methods.

This research informs how educators may inadvertently uphold inequitable social practices, and teach students unintended lessons about gender hierarchies. The research also compares the inequities seen in the classroom to historic inequities as they arise from class-based societies, and concludes that the current economic system is at the root of inequitable practices in education, as well as in the broader world.


American Politics | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Disability and Equity in Education | Economic History | Economic Theory | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Educational Methods | Educational Sociology | Education Economics | Education Law | Education Policy | Elementary Education and Teaching | Gender and Sexuality | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Higher Education and Teaching | Inequality and Stratification | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Law and Economics | Law and Gender | Law and Politics | Law and Society | Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility | Other Education | Political Economy | Politics and Social Change | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Rural Sociology | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning | Secondary Education and Teaching | Sexuality and the Law | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Sociology of Culture | Special Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development

This document is currently not available here.