The term feminization of teaching carries at least two meanings. The first refers to the historical circumstances by which women came to dominate the teaching profession in the middle to late 19th century in the United States and elsewhere, particularly the field of elementary school teaching. The second meaning is more complex and has to do with the loaded nature of the term feminization. To say that anything is “feminized” is still to say, after more than 40 years of the contemporary women's movement, that it is somehow slightly inferior, less serious, and less weighty in the world. To call the teaching profession in particular “feminized” is to challenge both teachers' claims to intellectual and professional stature and their impact on the schooling process, simply ...

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