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Another Missed Opportunity: Gender in the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

Kathryn E. Engebretson (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 1 November 2014

Issue publication date: 1 November 2014



As the Era of Accountability has given rise to the prevalence of curriculum standards and multiple educational stakeholders have engaged in the writing of these documents, the National Council for the Social Studies has revised its original standards document published nearly two decades ago. This study investigated what the revised document reveals in terms of gendered discourses. Through employing the tools of discourse analysis, the dominant discourses advanced in the document’s curricular recommendations were revealed. Two discourses prevailed in the analysis: gender imbalance with a narrow view of valued masculinity and gender-free with a hidden discourse of males dominating in those spaces. A discussion of the presence of trans and other gender identities in the document is included. As gender is sparsely mentioned in the curricular recommendations, and a binary view of gender is adhered to throughout, there is little guidance for curriculum writers and teachers to teach in transformative ways that challenge the status quo.



Engebretson, K.E. (2014), "Another Missed Opportunity: Gender in the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 21-34.



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