"Girls' books" & "boys' stuff": masculinities and multiliteracies within grade 1 classrooms in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Kashty, Martin
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In Canada, there is the perception that boys are scoring consistently below girls in academic ranking, particularly in the area of literacies. Is there a bias? Is the school system promoting a certain type of 'boy'? Is hegemonic masculinity regularly promoted within the Grade 1 classrooms, in particular regarding literacies? If so, how? Are alternative masculinities encouraged and performed by the boys? This research was conducted over six months, from January to June 2009, in four Grade 1 public school classrooms in two schools in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Along with participant-observation in these classes, interviews were done with students, both individually and in groups. A theoretical framework supported by Butler's idea of performance of gender and Foucault's notions about the creation of self guide this exploration. The findings of this research concluded that, though alternative masculinites were performed, hegemonic masculinity was still regularly promoted within the schools.
masculinities, literacies, education, gender