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Teacher candidates as the agents of change for a more gender equal society

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2007
Baba, Habibe Burcu
For the purpose of achieving gender equality in education, this study analyses the transformative power of the elementary school teacher candidates on society. The theories in the field of sociology of education have been used as a starting point for the study. Based on the feminist pedagogies of different strands of feminism, feminist critical pedagogy has been presented to achieve gender equality in education. The transformation of curriculum and the hidden curriculum are elaborated to achieve a non-sexist education. After the depiction of the situation Turkey holds in the field of women’s education, the research conducted in three universities using feminist methodology and interview method is presented. With a view on their gender socialization, gender perceptions of the teacher candidates are analyzed. The ways their lives both inside and outside the household are affected by patriarchal hegemony are depicted and their ideas on education and the reproduction of gender through education are analyzed. The new generation of teachers holds low transformative power to transform the inequalities in society. However, the females in the group are leading their own individual struggles that lead to changes in their close circles. The simplified notion of patriarchy they have makes them blind to the reproduction of it by women and supports the bias against feminists. The fact that they are open to change and yet detached from civil society is reason to conclude that in the short run the most influential results can be obtained through the institutional changes at teacher training programs and schools.