Jody S. Piro

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pickle, Judy||Shaw, Carla C.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Girls--Education; Mathematics--Study and teaching; Sexism in education


This ethnographic case study explored the pedagogical experiences of an all-girl math class created to deal with certain issues of gender equity. Specific findings include that the body of the participants altered within the various pedagogies of both all-female and mixed-gender configurations. This self-regulation affected the ways in which students identified themselves for both productive and unproductive visions of the future. Second, participant experience of positionality within both the all-girl and mixed-gender classes altered the experiences of the learning process. The ways in which participants located themselves within the two contexts depended on the sometimes-contradictory constructions of their identity within teacher discourse on learning, gender, and/or sexuality, and predominant cultural and social discourses of adolescence, including social status. Third, institutional desires to create a liberatory space and teacher desire to manifest that space conflicted with the swirling and fluid social relations that already existed among students. Altering the gendered structure of the class did not eliminate the other power structures of status and the regulative functions of teacher attention in the all-girl setting. The findings in this study conceptualize a specific site of resistance, aimed at opposing gender discrimination through the development of an all-girl math class. As an embodied site of resistance, it has several suggestions to the study of social reconstruction theory. Male privileging and subject formation are analyzed as they intersect within gender/sexuality and education. Second, the production of docile bodies through Foucault's use of the disciplinary effect of observation and Derrida's notion of difference are addressed. Third, Foucault's writings on power/knowledge, the creation of regimes of truth, and observation as regulatory are analyzed as they relate to learning spaces and the politics of resistance is analyzed. This study concludes with a reading of data through the lens of various pedagogical theories and an autobiographical examination of pedagogy and theory as they intersected with this study.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [149]-158)


viii, 165 pages




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