'The world must stop when I'm talking': gender and power relations in primary teachers' classroom talk

Read, B. (2008) 'The world must stop when I'm talking': gender and power relations in primary teachers' classroom talk. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29(6), pp. 609-621. (doi:10.1080/01425690802423288)

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Abstract

The present paper examines male and female teachers’ language practices in relation to ‘censuring’ talk in the primary classroom, in the context of the debate around boys’ ‘underachievement’ and the ‘feminisation’ of primary school culture. Through an analysis of classroom observations with 51 men and women teachers, it looks to see whether gender differences could be found in the ways individual men and women teachers communicated in terms of their ‘censuring’ comments of pupils’ work or behaviour. Secondly, the paper takes issue with the notion that teachers operate within a ‘feminised’ educational culture, by looking at the ways in which teachers’ classroom talk can be seen to be constrained by two contrasting discourses relating to the power relation between teacher and pupil: a ‘traditional’ disciplinarian discourse, and a more ‘progressive’ liberal discourse. Both discourses have complex gendered and class dimensions, challenging the conception of a ‘feminised’ primary school culture.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Read, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:British Journal of Sociology of Education
ISSN:0142-5692
Published Online:10 November 2008

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