Wise and Foolish Virgins

Wise and Foolish Virgins : White Women at Work in the Feminized World of Primary School Teaching

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Wise and Foolish Virgins: White Women at Work in the Feminized World of Primary School Teaching by Sally Campbell Galman asks the question, what does it mean for an entire profession to be numerically dominated by white women, and what is the relationship between teacher preparation and professional feminization? Galman provides a sharp, unflinching look at the landscape of a profession on the verge of transformation and offers a frank assessment of where teacher education must go in order to maintain its relevance in the new economy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 246 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 22mm | 544.31g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739147714
  • 9780739147719

Table of contents

Introduction and Reader's Guide Section I Chapter 1: The Windy Side of Care Chapter 2: No other but a Woman's Reason Section II Chapter 3: Seeking to Understand: Methods of Inquiry Chapter 4: The Moral Careers of Wives, Mothers and Others Chapter 5: Divining the Hand of Destiny Chapter 6: Planning for Temporary Experience and Other Horizons Section III Chapter 7: For Goodness Sake, Consider What You Do Chapter 8: Sweet are the Uses of Adversity Conclusion: Boldness, Be My Friend Bibliography Index About the Author
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Review quote

A complicated argument presented with aplomb, that in what many rush to call a post-gender world, the feminized performances of teachers and teacher education ooze gender. While popular media and the mind's eye of our own past educational experiences often reduce women teachers to a monolithic caricature, Galman reminds us that wisdom comes in releasing the foolish, too-simple answers and seeking the complex contradictions of being an effective woman teacher. -- Christine Mallozzi, University of Kentucky Dr. Sally Galman's book cleverly combines story, metaphor, and research to shed new light on the gendered nature of the teaching profession. This book is a provocative read for anyone interested in how gendered teaching identities are taken up and performed by white, middle-class, heterosexual females who dominate the profession. -- J. Camille Cammack, University of Massachusetts Sally Galman closely examines teachers through qualitative data gathered at various schools of education in a beautifully written book that both informs and entertains the educated lay reader and the scholarly critic. Elementary teacher identity emerges as twisted up in life-choices and identities that are feminine, racial, class-based, sexual, and professional. Galman seriously yet critically switches like a 'born' teacher among ironic humor, intense concern, and trenchant analysis. This book is an important study of teacher identity that achieves the difficult balance of rootedness in elementary teacher education as well as Goffman-framed anthropological analysis. -- Shabana Mir, Oklahoma State University Galman's data make a strong case for how the association of white, middle-class women with the early childhood and elementary teaching field affects the reality of who enters the field. The author's speculative thoughts at the book's end are intriguing The book's main strength lies in its intervention into sexist discourses about teaching and teacher preparation. Galman refuses to denigrate "women's work" or the feminized nature of early childhood and elementary teaching, and instead celebrates the possibility of resistance within this feminized field. The book provides a solid analysis of the gendered nature of how young women construct their ideas about the teaching field and their ability to enter the field. It can provide an opening for critical discussions within teacher preparation programs about the role that race, class, and gender play in the students' paths toward becoming a teacher. These discussions seem sorely needed if we are to change both the current negative discourse about teachers and the demographics of America's teaching force. Anthropology & Education Quarterly
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About Sally Galman

Sally Campbell Galman is an assistant professor of Child and Family Studies at the University of Massachusetts School of Education.
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