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Divide and School: Gender and Class Dynamics in Comprehensive Education


by Carmen Montecinos & Deborah K. Deemer 1999

Greenfield Comprehensive is the fictitious name John Abraham gives to the British school where he did fieldwork in 1986 to examine interactions among the organization of school knowledge, curricular texts, students' subcultures, and teachers' ideologies that further social divisions. In the first of nine chap­ters, Abraham outlines the political context that propelled the emergence of comprehensive schools in Great Britain. Most noteworthy is his analysis of how influential politicians and educators have used "meritocracy" and "naturalized" notions of ability to derail the principles of integration and egalitarianism associated with the creation of these schools. Next, he pro­vides a critical review of research that examines social class gaps in achieve­ment, and notes that this research fails to adequately address gender issues. After describing his methodology and research findings, he concludes with a list of recommendations for educational practice designed to promote egali­tarianism, along with a somber analysis of the British political context. By examining the lived experience of students and teachers at Greenfield, Abraham argues that gender and social class... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 101 Number 1, 1999, p. 137-138
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10690, Date Accessed: 10/24/2017 12:18:01 AM

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About the Author
  • Carmen Montecinos
    University of Northern Iowa

  • Deborah Deemer
    University of Northern Iowa

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