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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17827

Title: Women Kindergarten Teachers in Pakistan: Their Lives, Their Classroom Practice
Authors: Pardhan, Almina
Advisor: Pelletier, Janette
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: Gender in early childhood education
Gender perceptions in early childhood education
Gender in early childhood education in Pakistan
Gender perceptions in early childhood education in Pakistan
Gendered teaching practice in early childhood education
Gendered teaching practice in early childhood education in Pakistan
Women teacher life history
Women early childhood education teacher life history
Teacher life history
Early childhood teachers in Pakistan
Early childhood teacher life history
Early childhood teachers
Mixed methods research
Life history
Women teacher gendered teaching practice
Women early childhood teacher gendered teaching practice
Women kindergarten teacher gendered teaching practice
Women kindergarten teacher life history
Early childhood education in Pakistan
Gendered teaching practice in Pakistan
Pakistani teacher gendered teaching practice
Teacher gender perceptions
Women teacher gender perceptions
Women early childhood teacher gender perceptions
Gendered teaching practice
Gendered teaching practice in kindergarten
Women teachers in Pakistan
Women early childhood teachers in Pakistan
Gender in pre-primary education
Gender perceptions in pre-primary education
Gendered teaching practice in pre-primary education
Issue Date: 28-Sep-2009
Abstract: This dissertation explores how women kindergarten teachers in Pakistan understand the concept of gender as evident from their own reflections of their life experiences and from their interaction with their students. Early childhood education and gender equality in education are critical policy issues in Pakistan. Women pre-primary teachers have received little specific attention and little is known about their experiences. Seven women kindergarten teachers from one co-educational, private, English-medium school in the urban city of Karachi, Pakistan were involved in this mixed-method study. Multiple methods were used, namely, life history interviews with the women teachers, classroom observations of their teaching practice and interactions with girls and boys, and document analysis. Data were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. The findings were presented and discussed through the five nested interrelated structures – microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem and chronosystem - of Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model of human development. Study findings reveal that the family and school are critical microsystems that have shaped the women kindergarten teachers’ understanding of gender in terms of possibilities and impossibilities for girls and boys, women and men within the norms of the broader patriarchal macrosystem. Throughout their lives across the chronosystem, they have had to negotiate multiple positions in their patriarchal extended families, schools, and, to some extent, the larger community in response to social change across diverse geographical spaces. Compromise and conformity have formed much of how they have understood their role and position as women in this patriarchal context. As women and as kindergarten teachers, they are doubly disadvantaged. They have been inadequately prepared to take up positions as pre-primary teachers. Nevertheless, their developing knowledge of teaching young children based on their practice and in-service training in a school with a positive outlook towards teaching has led to a more professional perspective of themselves and their careers. They are committed to teaching, but face the challenge of coping with their professional and familial demands. Often times, they draw upon their religion for strength and to make sense of their gendered experiences. Tensions are evident in their understanding of gender, particularly in relation to their own children and their kindergarten students, about following ascribed gender norms or allowing for more change in tradition in a context being rapidly influenced by globalization and socio-economic change. For the most part, their interaction with their students reflected their internalization of dominant patriarchal values and their active role in perpetuating them. Nevertheless, their gendered teaching practice has also presented possibilities for change in their unconscious and, occasionally conscious, attempts to push gender boundaries towards more equitable gender relationships in this patriarchal context. This study is significant for bringing to the fore women kindergarten teachers’ lived experiences to provide a dimension of education which has gone largely unexamined locally and globally, and which, in the context of Pakistan, are critical to consider in light of issues related to quality, access, and gender equity in early childhood education.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17827
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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