n Journal of Educational Studies - The influence of the patriarchy on pedagogical practices in the curriculum and possible life chances : insights from the lived experiences of classroom practitioners and pupils

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1680-7456



This study examined how the patriarchal ideology disguises as common sense in the school curriculum leading pupils towards a gender polarised consciousness. Data were collected through focus group and individual interviews as well as through classroom observations. The study sought answers to the following research questions: How does the school curriculum promote the patriarchal ideology? What effects do the patriarchal ideologies have on the girls' aspirations? The findings reported herein highlight what constitutes hegemonic masculinity in cultural practices and the school curriculum. The thematic analysis of data for this study also revealed the ways in which the patriarchal hegemony is promoted through the curriculum and thus reflects what society considers as the masculine and feminine roles. The consciousness developed by the girls and their teachers highlighted the significance of existential attitudes, beliefs and values held within their social structures about appropriate gender roles. As a result, the schooling system reinforced gender polarised roles and ambitions. Through their interactions with teachers, girls are oriented towards developing the type of consciousness, personal demeanour, modes of self-presentation, self-image and the gender identifications which predisposed them to specific social roles and competencies. The conclusion drawn is that the patriarchal nature of the Zimbabwean school curriculum thus advantages boys as opposed to girls and this is maintained through institutionalised and ingrained gender role beliefs and ritualised behaviours.

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