The Centre for Educational Research (School of Education) and the Sexualities and Genders Research group (School of Social Sciences and Psychology) are well-known for their research into issues of educational social justice. This research offers an opportunity for a highly motivated candidate to work with Associate Professor Susanne Gannon and Professor Kerry Robinson on a recently awarded Australian Research Council Discovery grant examining the policy and practice gap that exists in secondary schools around gender and gender-based issues.
The problem to be investigated is while gender remains a key determinant of experience in schools and wider society, gender-related educational policy has almost disappeared. Yet schooling continues to be a critical site for: a) regulation of gendered and sexual identities, despite the fact that many young people are redefining genders and sexualities in more fluid ways, and for b) the perpetration of sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Yet current practices in schools do not address these changing perspectives on gender or the gendered dimensions of school violence. These disjunctures will be addressed in the proposed research which incorporates historical and contemporary analyses of gender equity policies and practices.
We are offering a full-time research scholarship to a PhD candidate to work within the project to examine how young people understand gender in the present, how they negotiate gender-related experiences, what support is available to them and how gender-related school policies and practices impact on their experiences.
The PhD thesis will address the sub-question “How can arts-based methods be utilized in gender-related equity school research to investigate how gender is understood and experienced by young people?” The candidate will have a background in film-making/ design/ contemporary multimedia and a sound sociological knowledge of gender and sexualities. They will design the creative component, and trial materials within participating schools. They will be involved in workshops with university students and, with the support of chief investigators, will lead the school based creative component.