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Liberal liability: Understanding Students’ Conceptions of Gender Structures
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Social Science Education, ISSN 1611-9665, E-ISSN 1618-5293, Vol. 13, no 2, 63-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research has shown that teaching gender theories tends to be an educational challenge and elicits student resistance.However, little is known about students’ learning processes in social science. This study aims to explore these learningprocesses by drawing on feminist pedagogy and conceptual change theory. The results show that when students areasked to perform analysis from a structural gender perspective, they recurrently introduce other explanatoryframeworks based on non‐structural understandings. The students’ learning processes involve reformulatingquestions and making interpretations based on liberal understandings of power, freedom of choice and equality. Weargue that this process is due to the hegemonic position of the liberal paradigm as well as to the dominant ideas aboutscience. Clarifying the underlying presumptions of a liberal perspective and a structural perspective may help studentsto recognise applied premises and enable them to distinguish relevant explanations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 13, no 2, 63-73 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, higher education, conceptual change, liberalism, political science, feminism
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102699DOI: 10.4119/UNIBI/jsse-v13-i2-1237OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102699DiVA: diva2:712664
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-04-16 Created: 2014-04-16 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Lärande, värderingar och statsvetenskap: Studenters tolkningar av genus- och nationsbegreppet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lärande, värderingar och statsvetenskap: Studenters tolkningar av genus- och nationsbegreppet
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Learning, values and political science : Students’ interpretations of nation and gender
Abstract [en]

Sociologists and feminist researchers have emphasized the prevalence of taken for granted notions about political concepts. Nation and gender are examples of concepts that are often perceived as non-political and “natural”. Researchers have understood these concepts as related to self-perception, and studies have demonstrated that students tend to perceive gender perspectives as pseudoscientific.

From an educational perspective, this raises questions as to how values are involved in students’ learning processes. Over the last 20 years, an increasing number of researchers have characterized conceptual change as affective in nature. However, few empirical studies have put effort into investigating affective aspects of the conceptual change process. This thesis adds to this research discussion by offering an empirically rooted conceptualisation of the value-oriented dimension of the learning process. The thesis is based on three empirical studies that investigate how students interpret tasks challenging them to adopt a critical and structural perspective of ‘nation’ and ‘gender’. Drawing on qualitative analyses of tape-recorded group discussions and written home exams, the thesis argues that students bring in other ideas than those advocated in the specific teaching settings with regard to three topics. Firstly, students express values relating to power, meaning when and how it is legitimate to speak about power. Secondly, students express values that concern how science should be practised. Thirdly, students express values related to identity that revolve around how “I” relate (or not) to the concepts taught in the particular course setting. These results suggest that students enter the classroom with personal ideas and principles of what is “good” or “right” when practising political science, and that values can be seen as a key aspect in understanding the complexities of students’ learning processes in this particular subject area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Education, Stockholm University, 2014. 72 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 29
Keyword
conceptual change, values, student learning, political science, higher education, nation, gender
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102703 (URN)978-91-7447-908-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-10, Lilla hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Accepted. Paper 2: Accepted. Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2014-05-19 Created: 2014-04-16 Last updated: 2014-05-14Bibliographically approved

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