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Browsing by Author "Rainio, Anni"

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  • Rainio, Anni (2016)
    This thesis is a literature review of gender in school and in physical education. The objective is to find out how gender is currently defined and what role it has in school in general and in physical education in particular. Sex and Gender. We are used to divide people into two sexes and we are expected to act in accordance with this biological classification, i.e. as a man or woman, boy or girl. Today gender is seen as both biological (sex) and social (gender). In addition to biological and social gender, at least mental gender can be identified. Gender equality and gender in school. Schools have obligations to promote gender equality according to the Finnish Constitution, Equality Act, Basic Education Act, curricula and other regulations. Gender awareness is important in school because gender identity begins to form in school-age and school is a major promoter of social values. However, official documents dealing with school only speaks about students and teachers in general without distinction of sex, i.e. the school is treated as a genderless institution. Previous research shows that teachers may experience acting in a gender-neutral way, but this is not necessarily the case. It is important that the teachers are aware of their own gender related views, in order not to interpret the behavior of students schematically by gender. Physical education and gender. Physical education is the only subject in Finnish schools where students still are grouped by gender. In the first and the second grade, physical education is conducted in mixed groups. However, starting from the third or fourth grade, physical education is usually organised in separate groups for each gender. According to research literature gender seems to be an important factor in physical education. In addition to gender division and same sex teacher with the group, the notion of gender separation is visible in the educational content. There is little comparative research in Finland on coeducational and single sex physical education and international research results are still partially contradictory. In my future Master ́s Thesis I will examine the experience of primary school teachers of co-educational and single sex physical education.