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Educational Research for Social Change

On-line version ISSN 2221-4070


SIMMONDS, Shan. Teachers as curriculum leaders: towards promoting gender equity as a democratic ideal. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2017, vol.6, n.2, pp.16-28. ISSN 2221-4070.

Curriculum is a site of political, racial, gendered, and theological dispute. Teachers who acknowledge this and see the implications for democratic living embrace their teaching practice as curriculum leaders and participate in complicated conversations. With the focus on gender equity as a democratic ideal, this article explores the lived experiences of some South African female teachers. From the findings, it became evident that some teachers still experience their school contexts as pervaded with patriarchy and sexism, and often fear confronting these traditional discourses. Engaging with subject matter that is likely to cause conflict or confrontation is avoided by some teachers because they do not feel comfortable in such contexts. However, some teachers do emerge as activists for gender justice and create awareness of injustice. These teachers are curriculum leaders who advocate for social change. This article concludes by putting forward some suggestions for how teachers can promote social change through their teaching practices.

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