An Avenue for Challenging Sexism: Examining the High School Sociology Classroom


  • Kaylene Mae Stevens Boston University
  • Christopher C Martell Boston University



In this interpretative qualitative study, the researchers investigated the beliefs and practices of six high school sociology teachers in relation to the teaching of gender. Using a feminist lens, this study employed mixed methods, analyzing teacher interviews, observations, and classroom artifacts. The results showed that the teachers viewed sociology as different from other social studies courses, because it serves as a more intentional way to reduce sexism and gender stratification. As such, the teachers saw the sociology classroom as a place for students to grapple with issues of gender stratification and inequity.  Teachers’ beliefs related to gender and sexism strongly influenced what they saw as the purpose of sociology class, and it influenced the instructional practices that they used.  Recommendations are made related to professional development around issues of gender equity.

Author Biographies

Kaylene Mae Stevens, Boston University

Kaylene M. Stevens is a teacher at Framingham High School and a doctoral candidate at Boston University. She teaches sociology, U.S. history, and research methods to high school and undergraduate students.  Her research interests lie in new teacher development, specifically preparing social studies teachers in gender and racially equitable practices

Christopher C Martell, Boston University

Christopher Martell, Ed.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University


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How to Cite

Stevens, K. M., & Martell, C. C. (2016). An Avenue for Challenging Sexism: Examining the High School Sociology Classroom. JSSE - Journal of Social Science Education, 15(1), 63–73.