Gender, Race, and the Politics of Role Modelling
This book provides an illuminating account of teachers' own reflections on their experiences of teaching in urban schools. It was conceived as a direct response to policy-related and media-generated concerns about male teacher shortage and offers a critique of the call for more male role models in elementary schools to address important issues regarding gender, race and the politics of representation. By including the perspectives of minority teachers and students, and by drawing on feminist, queer and anti-racist frameworks, this book rejects the familiar tendency to resort to role modelling as a basis for explaining or addressing boys' disaffection with schooling. Indeed, the authors argue, on the basis of their research in urban schools in Canada and Australia, that educational policy concerned with male teacher shortage and the plight of disadvantaged minority boys would benefit from engaging with analytic perspectives and empirical literature that takes readers beyond hegemonic discourses of role modelling. A compelling case is presented for the need to disarticulate discourses about role modelling from a politics of representation that is committed to addressing the reality of the impact of racial and structural inequalities on both minority teachers and students' participation in the education system. The book also provides insight into the persistence of gender inequality as it relates to the status of elementary school teaching as women's work.
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