Introducing the topic: Hi, this is Maira Zhaksybay and Dilara Orynbassarova. Welcome to our discussion session which is part of class EDUC 710 Educational Studies in Context also known as Cultural Contexts of Education with Professor Anna Cohen Miller. Within the course we have following topics covered: social and cultural dimensions of schooling, political economy of education, social mobility and power relations, and gender and education. This discussion session is particularly related to elaborating and discussing the key points on gender and education brought up by the guest lecturer Jenifer Lewis an Associate Professor in the NU Graduate School of Business, and the director of the NU Women Lead Association.

Summary and main points of the guest lecture: Jenifer Lewis shared the concept of gendered education. The central claim of our guest lecturer which was backed up by her research was that the formalized educations as well as all social institutions are gendered. We cannot avoid and stop gendering in social institutions, and the society as a whole. But, we can recognize it and then make a choice with what to do with it.

Discussion Questions: In frame of our discussion session, we seek to answer three following questions: Is gendering avoidable or not? Is our knowledge limited by gender? What can be done with this?


  • Formalized education is gendered (social institutions)
  • Gendering is unavoidable, but it is recognizable
  • Gender is socially constructed (distinct from biological sex)
  • Society, teachers, students, knowledge – all gendered
  • Expectations of society: teachers, parents, students, etc:

Influences student behavior

Teaching styles

Classroom interaction

Teacher evaluation

Gender-stereotyped curricula: Pressures to confirm to masculinity/femininity

Job hiring decisions, performance reviews : “glass ceiling”, “invisible hand discrimination”

  • Student beliefs
  • Learned helplessness
  • Self-imposed stereotyping
  • Displays and exhibits
  • Sexual harassment and bullying

You can use for reference:

  1. Auster, C. J., & Mansbach, C. S. (2012). The gender marketing of toys: An analysis of color and type of toy on the Disney store website. Sex Roles, 67(7-8), 375-388.
  2. Gray, J., Adams, A., Jacobs, B. D., & Jacobs family. (1993). Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Harper Audio.
  1. Sadker, D., & Zittleman, K. (2005). Gender Bias Lives, for Both Sexes. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 70(8), 27-30

Additional resources: