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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

MUTEKWE, Edmore  and  MODIBA, Maropeng. Girls' career choices as a product of a gendered school curriculum: the Zimbabwean example. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.3, pp. 279-292. ISSN 0256-0100.

The unequal distribution of boys and girls in certain subjects studied at school and its consequent unequal distribution of men and women in the occupational structure suggest some failure by schools and teachers to institute adequate measures to ensure learning equity. In this study we sought to unmask factors in the Zimbabwean school curriculum that orient girls into not only pursuing different subjects at school, but also following careers in fields traditionally stereotyped as feminine. The study was qualitative and utilized an exploratory case study as the design genre. Data were collected through classroom and extra-curricular observations and focus group discussion sessions (FGDS) with girl pupils. A sample size of 40 participants comprising 20 sixth form school girls and 20 teachers was used. These were purposively sampledfrom four schools. To analyse data we used simple discourse analyses. The main findings of this study were that gender role stereotypes and the patriarchal ideology communicated through the hidden curriculum reflected teachers' attitudes and influence that contributed to girls' career aspirations and choices.

Keywords : career-aspirations; choice; gender-typing; girls; hidden-curriculum; ideology; learning-equity; occupation; patriarchy; Zimbabwe.

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