Constructions of gender in the context of free primary education : a multi-site case study of three schools in Lesotho.Morojele, Pholoho Justice. January 2009 (has links)
his thesis reports on a qualitative study of stakeholders’ constructions of gender in the context of the Free Primary Education policy in three primary schools in Lesotho. Through the lens of the social constructionist paradigm, the thesis examines how parents, teachers and children living in and around these primary schools think, act, and feel in relation to gender in their academic and social worlds. It looks at the ways in which these stakeholders engage with issues of gender in Lesotho communities ravaged by gender inequality. Based on parents’, teachers’ and children’s constructions of gender, the thesis suggests strategies that might help address inequitable gender relations in and around the primary schools. The thesis grounded my personal life experiences, as the researcher, as crucial in the development of methodological strategies and processes of this study. In a flexible and responsive manner, the study utilised informal conversations, semistructured interviews, observations, questionnaires and document analysis, as methods of data collection. It found that, influenced by ‘discursive constructs’ of providence and God’s will, child-adult relations, naturalness of gender differences and attributes as well as the Basotho culture, parents and teachers constructed gender in ways that reinforced existing gender inequality in and around the primary schools. The structural and social organisation of the schools that tended to allocate girls and boys into rigid social categories, and parents’ and teachers’ constructions of gender which reinforced inequitable gender relations, were found to have significant impact on the regulation of children’s experiences and meanings of gender. The study found that children’s experiences of gender informed how they actively engaged with issues of gender and the meanings they attached to being girls and boys. The study traces how Basotho culture and religion have been fundamental to gender inequality and violence in Lesotho. These factors encouraged the schools to use structural/physical identities (such as having biological sex as a boy/girl), as the bases for allocation of girls and boys into rigid and inequitable social categories. The dominant discourses of gender that emanated from these factors, ascribed stereotypic attributes to males (boys and men) and females (girls and women) as means to ground inequitable gendered human aptitudes, which were used to justify gender inequality. The study also identifies ways in which girls defy the insistence on their subordination, and sees fault lines where gender inequality can be confronted without abandoning Basotho culture. / Thesis (Ph.D.) - University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2009.
This study attempts to broaden the knowledge and understanding of issues of sexual harassment experienced by girls in a high school in Lesotho. It does this by focussing on Form D girls in one high school in Maseru, here referred as Fora High School; and consequently how they cope with it. The study locates itself as concerned with gender justice. It assumes that it constitutes a discursive position that contrasts and opposes dominant patriarchal discourses. It sets out also to establish to what extent sexual harassment occurred and how it was perceived by those that experience it. It is a qualitative study that employs narratives and observation as the research methods. To achieve this, a module that introduced concepts of sexuality and sexual harassment preceded the data collection. Although the study was confined to Form D girls and did not include all the girls in this school, findings reveal that girls in this class experienced and observed sexual harassment in this school and more specifically in the classroom than anywhere else. Teachers were the major perpetrators of sexual harassment. Studying the narratives presented as data, physical harassment was the most frequently reported form of harassment. When such behaviours are reported, teachers ignore it and this suggests that they 'normalise' sexual harassment and thus reinforce dominant patriarchal discourses of hegemonic masculinity. Based on the participants' narratives and also arguing from the discursive position of gender justice, recommendations are suggested for this school and others to introduce sexuality and sex education in an attempt to make schools more equitable places for girls. It proposes that educational policies and curricular development more generally be revisited and to ensure that they are addressing sexuality education and therefore sexual violence particularly. / Thesis (M.Ed.) - University of Natal, Durban, 2002.
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