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Hegemony and Education (Coursework Sample)

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Hegemony and Education Name Grade Course Tutors Name November, 30, 2012 Hegemony and Education In Marxist theory, Hegemony is used to describe the complex ways that the dominant, most powerful class (bourgeoisie) maintains monopoly over power by controlling ideas. The dominant class has the power to impose norms and write history because it controls and directs educational, state, scientific, cultural, religious, etc institutions. Apart from delivering material services, the education system conveniently acts as an ideological system for the dominant class because its activities are directly controlled by the state in the case of public education and through grants in case of private universities. Male norms stress values such as autonomy, certain forms of aggression, adventure, courage, toughness of both mind and body etc. Hegemony involves persuasion of the greater part of the population the organization of social institutions and the media in ways that appear “natural”. Hegemonic masculinity in education involves the application of certain strategies for the subordination of women (Gibbs, 2008). Most universities promote an ideology that fosters the outlook of white middle class males. Through the media, sports in universities have helped uphold a masculine hegemonic order in society (Kian, 2007). In comparison to women’s sports, men’s sports and male athletes are given more coverage. This gives a clear depiction of how masculinity is cherished more than femininity. The education system has therefore institutionalized gender with the aim of constituting people as two significantly different categories, male and female so as to organize social relations of inequality on the basis of this difference (Gibb, 2008). The gender system in universities just like race becomes constructed as a distinct organizing principle of social relations to determine how resources are distributed. Thus, cultural beliefs about gender are nothing more than stereotypes. However, the significance of such stereotypes is more significant than we may want to think. For instance, the sex composition of a student-teacher interaction is certain to bring to mind gender beliefs that will determine how students evaluate each others performance and how to enact their individual roles. Biological factors such as high levels of testosterone in men and different genetic make up are thought to affect cognitive abilities of men and women differently. Such biological factors are held to be the cause of difference in educational performance between male and females. Cultural beliefs that male students are supposed to exhibit an interest in traditional masculine subjects i.e. physics and past times such as rugby, football, athletics etc. constitute strategies for the construction of hegemonic masculinity in education. Studies have revealed that women outperform men in schools that adopt learning and assessment procedures that are better suited for females than to males. This is based on the difference in behaviors, learning styles and attitudes of male and females thereby requiring implementation of different school and teaching practices in order to succeed. Feminized schools lack adequate number of male teachers to guide boys. Such schools exhibit prejudice towards feminism in curriculum materials, reject competition and luck toughness in discipline. However, hegemonic masculinity may foster highly disruptive, inattentive, and aggressive behavior among males inside and outside the classroom leading to poor educational achievement (Gibb, 2008). Ethical issues arise from hegemonic power processes which occur as subroutines that eventually regulate daily interactions and work flows in organizations, without any open opposition. The implicit nature of hegemonic processes leads to gradual acceptance of organizational practices some of which may be against the general good of the society. The concealed nature of hegemonic processes condition employees to act according to the rules and social values of everyday life. The employees act upon the decisions made by the ruling class willingly thereby creating retrogressive organizational practices that may potentially hinder them from achieving their objectives. People make such decisions oblivious of the power structure behind such social practices. Hegemonic power revolves around the “knowledge power analyses” which is all about understanding the ongoing process of meaning and identity formation (Connell, 2005). Normally, people reconstitute and reconsolidate their commonly shared sense of what is real. Certain practices that are considered realistic are entrenched in everyday activities while other possible conceptions are left out. Formation of meaning eventually reflects an individual’s identity formation. Implicit and explicit rules and norms in an organization are therefore accepted based on an individual’s identification. Through time formation of meanings and identities eventually succumb to change. Consensual social relations cause individual’s to accept social inequality in organizations including institutions of learning. Implicit and explicit rules are formed behind through such concealed processes thereby raising ethical issues regarding hegemony. Workers are made to consent to practices that determine labor conditions and division of labor. The informal rules determine the kind of careers that students select based on their gender. Hegemonic masculinity therefore engenders practices that discourage women from pursuing certain career paths with the aim of enhancing male interests. Privatization of public education is one of the fundamental negative effects of hegemony. Through privatization, corporations will get an opportunity to exert undue influence on the discourse of schooling and the curriculum in general. Students and the teachers will suffer alike considering that the quality of education will become compromised through unethical practices of the hegemony of the market economy. Some of these practices include hiring of non union teachers with the aim of lowering expenses. This weakens the labor rights of teachers thereby combating teachers’ effectiveness. Ideological hegemony may also interfere with teachers’ effectiveness. Neo-conservatives who normally derive their power from religious fundamentalism rely on legislative enforcement and government sanctions to attain morality in society. On the other hand, neo-liberals advocate for the reign of market forces of demand and supply as a safeguard of their rights in a free market economy. They loathe any form of government interference. Curriculum content is subject to be influenced by neo-conservative in matters relating to morality i.e. evolution vs. creation, sex education, school prayers etc (Gibb, 2008). Teachers effectiveness is reduced the most by the neo liberals who impose their free market mentality on the practices and discourse of schooling through increased privatizations. Teachers can minimize the negative influences of hegemony on education by refusing to accept hegemonic discourse at face value. Teachers should challenge terms used by neoliberals to justify economic transformations which are in essence hegemonic transformations that threaten the well being of academia. Thus, teachers should openly expose the ill intentions of neo liberals by exposing the motive behind the terms such as “cutting public investments in education” among others. Creating public awareness through media and other means can help severe neoliberal retrogressive encroachment in education sector. Specifically speaking, negative effects of hegemony including media hegemony etc can be prevented from harming the quality of education for both sexes by adapting learning and assessment procedures that are suited to the needs of each group. Private schools should be held accountable for the quality of education that they offer. This proposition is perfectly in line with the philosophy of educational progressivism which creates a clear boundary between education and the 19th century traditional curriculum. The curriculum which is strongly differentiated by socioeconomic level places emphasis on classical preparation for entry into college and universities. With privatization, the quality and objectivity of education based on such retrogressive curriculum can be undermined by entrepreneurs who could easily be tempted to employ competitive practices that are not in harmony with education. Progressivism cushions the education system from such influences by placing emphasis on the intrinsic value of education i.e. education for democracy and social responsibility, personalizing (adapting sex based learning procedures) education to account for each individual’s personal goals, placing emphasis on varied learning resources instead of relying exclusively on textbooks etc (Patri, 2009). In conclusion, Masculinity hegemony which is subtle in nature will continue to undermine the objective of education unless progressive education programs are reinstated. Such programs address the issue of Hegemony directly by sealing loopholes through which irrational ideologies based on stereotypes, financial ambitions and despotism could find their way into the education system and without any challenge. Promoting ideals of educational progressivism is the best remedy to the problem of Hegemony and masculinity hegemony in particular. Thus, the curricula should be centered on the needs, experiences, abilities and interests of students and lifelong learning practices. References Connell, R. (2005). Hegemonic masculinity; rethinking the concept: Gender & Society, 19(6), 829-855. Gibb, S. (2008). Gender difference in educational achievements to age 25. Australian Journal of Education, 52(1), 63-80. Kian, M. (2007). Gender in sports writing by the print media: An exploratory examination of writers experiences and attitudes. The Smart Journal, 4(1), 5-6. Patri A. (2009). The promise of progressivism. Ardsley NY: Transnational Publishers.

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Content:

Hegemony and Education
Name
Grade Course
Tutors Name
November, 30, 2012
Hegemony and Education
In Marxist theory, Hegemony is used to describe the complex ways that the dominant, most powerful class (bourgeoisie) maintains monopoly over power by controlling ideas. The dominant class has the power to impose norms and write history because it controls and directs educational, state, scientific, cultural, religious, etc institutions. Apart from delivering material services, the education system conveniently acts as an ideological system for the dominant class because its activities are directly controlled by the state in the case of public education and through grants in case of private universities. Male norms stress values such as autonomy, certain forms of aggression, adventure, courage, toughness of both mind and body etc. Hegemony involves persuasion of the greater part of the population the organization of social institutions and the media in ways that appear “natural”. Hegemonic masculinity in education involves the application of certain strategies for the subordination of women (Gibbs, 2008).
Most universities promote an ideology that fosters the outlook of white middle class males. Through the media, sports in universities have helped uphold a masculine hegemonic order in society (Kian, 2007). In comparison to women’s sports, men’s sports and male athletes are given more coverage. This gives a clear depiction of how masculinity is cherished more than femininity. The education system has therefore institutionalized gender with the aim of constituting people as two significantly different categories, male and female so as to organize social relations of inequality on the basis of this difference (Gibb, 2008).
The gender system in universities just like race becomes constructed as a distinct organizing principle of social relations to determine how resources are distributed. Thus, cultural beliefs about gender are nothing more than stereotypes. However, the significance of such stereotypes is more significant than we may want to think. For instance, the sex composition of a student-teacher interaction is certain to bring to mind gender beliefs that will determine how students evaluate each others performance and how to enact their individual roles.
Biological factors such as high levels of testosterone in men and different genetic make up are thought to affect cognitive abilities of men and women differently. Such biological factors are held to be the cause of difference in educational performance between male and females. Cultural beliefs that male students are supposed to exhibit an interest in traditional masculine subjects i.e. physics and past times such as rugby, football, athletics etc. constitute strategies for the construction of hegemonic masculinity in education.
Studies have revealed that women outperform men in schools that adopt learning and assessment procedures that are better suited for females than to males. This is based on the difference in behaviors, learning styles and attitudes of male and females thereby requiring implementation of different school and teaching practices in order to succeed. Feminized schools lack adequate number of male teachers to guide boys. Such schools exhibit prejudice towards feminism in curriculum materials, reject competition and luck toughness in discipline. However, hegemonic masculinity may foster highly disruptive, inattentive, and aggressive behavior among males inside and outside the classroom leading to poor educational achievement (Gibb, 2008).
Ethical issues arise from hegemonic power processes which occur as subroutines that eventually regulate daily interactions and work flows in organizations, without any open opposition. The implicit nature of hegemonic processes leads to gradual acceptance of organizational practices some of which may be against the general good of the society.
The concealed nature of hegemonic processes condition employees to act according to the rules and social values of everyday life. The employees act upon the decisions made by the ruling class willingly thereby creating retrogressive organizational practices that may potentially hinde...
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