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Gender mainstreaming in education policy - A comparative analysis of the German federal states Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg

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Abstract:

Educationally disadvantaged boys, gender-related choices of subjects, gender differences in school performances: gender and school is a highly topical and controversially discussed subject in many countries. Women´s and gender studies of different scientific disciplines made it possible to understand schools as places where gender relations are reproduced, where “gender is done” everyday. At the same time schools have to be understood as structurally “gendered organizations” (Acker 1990). The political strategy of gender mainstreaming aims to transform existing und unequal gender relations in all policy fields. In the field of education or school policy this means, for example, that school laws, school curricula or the approval of school books have to take gender issues into account. It also refers to the question, whether teachers are sensitized during their studies at university for gender aspects in the classroom and gender relations in school and society in general. This paper therefore focuses on the implementation of gender mainstreaming in German education policy (basic and secondary education) and analyses, why gender mainstreaming is implemented differently in various German federal states (comparative analysis of the three German city states Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg). Key questions consider the role of powerful equality initiatives or unions within the policy field, the relevance of formal or informal networks on a micro-political level or the different conceptualizations of terms such as gender and gender mainstreaming.

The use of qualitative methods makes an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms, considering the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the field of education, possible. The findings are drawn upon a documentary analysis and expert interviews (approx. 20 - 25 interviews) and show the importance of micro-political processes with regard to gender equality policies in the field of education (expected results/preliminary findings). At the moment I am in the stage of data collection. I have been working on this research project (dissertation) for 15 months now. During that time I analyzed the existing literature and developed a theoretical framework that suits the topic of my research. In addition to that, I started to get in touch with potentially interesting interview partners. So far, I spoke to four experts in Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg. Each interview was about 90 minutes long. The interviews are semi-structured and guideline-based interviews. During the next months I am going to conduct further 15 to 20 interviews and start the data analysis. First results can therefore be presented by the time the conference will take place.

The theoretical framework of this dissertation combines different approaches. Due to the specific research topic, it is necessary to work with approaches that regard structure as well as action. Gender mainstreaming processes are influenced through institutional frameworks on one side and the role of actors (bureaucrats in the field of education policy etc.) on the other side. Therefore, I am working with a micro-political framework, which respects the role of individual actors (administrators) in the process of implementation, but at the same time also reflects the power of institutions. The approaches I´m combining are the following: micro-political approach, historical institutionalism and sociological institutionalism.

My findings are especially interesting for researchers that deal with the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the field of education in other countries. The role of administrations in Germany is comparable to many other countries so that parallels could be identified. In addition, my research can help to understand gender mainstreaming processes on an international level (e.g. also UN-Administrations or EU-Administrations etc.). An in-depth understanding of what makes gender mainstreaming (un)successful can also help equality initiatives and NGOs to reach their goals.
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Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
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MLA Citation:

Crcic, Jasmina. "Gender mainstreaming in education policy - A comparative analysis of the German federal states Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p706890_index.html>

APA Citation:

Crcic, J. , 2014-03-10 "Gender mainstreaming in education policy - A comparative analysis of the German federal states Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p706890_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Educationally disadvantaged boys, gender-related choices of subjects, gender differences in school performances: gender and school is a highly topical and controversially discussed subject in many countries. Women´s and gender studies of different scientific disciplines made it possible to understand schools as places where gender relations are reproduced, where “gender is done” everyday. At the same time schools have to be understood as structurally “gendered organizations” (Acker 1990). The political strategy of gender mainstreaming aims to transform existing und unequal gender relations in all policy fields. In the field of education or school policy this means, for example, that school laws, school curricula or the approval of school books have to take gender issues into account. It also refers to the question, whether teachers are sensitized during their studies at university for gender aspects in the classroom and gender relations in school and society in general. This paper therefore focuses on the implementation of gender mainstreaming in German education policy (basic and secondary education) and analyses, why gender mainstreaming is implemented differently in various German federal states (comparative analysis of the three German city states Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg). Key questions consider the role of powerful equality initiatives or unions within the policy field, the relevance of formal or informal networks on a micro-political level or the different conceptualizations of terms such as gender and gender mainstreaming.

The use of qualitative methods makes an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms, considering the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the field of education, possible. The findings are drawn upon a documentary analysis and expert interviews (approx. 20 - 25 interviews) and show the importance of micro-political processes with regard to gender equality policies in the field of education (expected results/preliminary findings). At the moment I am in the stage of data collection. I have been working on this research project (dissertation) for 15 months now. During that time I analyzed the existing literature and developed a theoretical framework that suits the topic of my research. In addition to that, I started to get in touch with potentially interesting interview partners. So far, I spoke to four experts in Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg. Each interview was about 90 minutes long. The interviews are semi-structured and guideline-based interviews. During the next months I am going to conduct further 15 to 20 interviews and start the data analysis. First results can therefore be presented by the time the conference will take place.

The theoretical framework of this dissertation combines different approaches. Due to the specific research topic, it is necessary to work with approaches that regard structure as well as action. Gender mainstreaming processes are influenced through institutional frameworks on one side and the role of actors (bureaucrats in the field of education policy etc.) on the other side. Therefore, I am working with a micro-political framework, which respects the role of individual actors (administrators) in the process of implementation, but at the same time also reflects the power of institutions. The approaches I´m combining are the following: micro-political approach, historical institutionalism and sociological institutionalism.

My findings are especially interesting for researchers that deal with the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the field of education in other countries. The role of administrations in Germany is comparable to many other countries so that parallels could be identified. In addition, my research can help to understand gender mainstreaming processes on an international level (e.g. also UN-Administrations or EU-Administrations etc.). An in-depth understanding of what makes gender mainstreaming (un)successful can also help equality initiatives and NGOs to reach their goals.


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Gender mainstreaming in education policy - A comparative analysis of the German federal states Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg


 
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