Technische Universität Wien
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Univ.-Prof. Dr. Angelika Paseka

Bringing gender into the mainstream of schools: On crises, learning individuals and learning organisations.

Friday 5 September, 11:00 - 12:30

After almost 20 years of gender mainstreaming and plenty of targeted projects and initiatives, it is now time to step back and reflect on the actual depth and sustainability of this strategy in schools. A closer look reveals a certain level of resistance in schools to the gender issue. To determine why this is the case, we must in an initial step take a look at teachers and at the ‘reality’ they see and experience in their everyday work. We must then go on to critically examine the current different gender discourses and their influence on the debate. In a second step, we need to ask what might serve as a ‘door opener’ for getting gender equality issues into the mainstream of schools. At first glance, the recommendations made by the OECD (2013) appear quite simple: “Stereotyping needs to be addressed in educational choices at school from a young age. For example, adapt teaching strategies and material to increase engagement of boys in reading and of girls in maths and science; encourage more girls to follow science, engineering and maths courses in higher education and seek employment in these fields.” But how can this engagement in subjects and topics which still have a clear gender bias actually be encouraged and increased? To answer this question, we have to look at the concrete learning processes and not just at the figures and statistics which reveal the observable side of the issue. When and how do individuals learn gender awareness? It is the teachers who are responsible for such learning processes in their classes. But are the teachers themselves aware of such gender equality issues? Likewise, do the people who train these teachers share this gender awareness? My own research reveals that the conditions for implementing gender mainstreaming in its full sense are not really good – neither on the teacher/teacher trainer level nor on the level of schools and their motivation to become active in this regard. In a third step, this presentation demonstrates that there is a clear need to anchor the gender issue within a broader debate on professionalism and to extend school development efforts beyond superficial events and projects.

Angelika Paseka is a Full Professor for Educational Science with a bias on school education and professionalism at the University of Hamburg. She was born in Vienna in 1957. She studied Mathematics and Geography at the College of Teacher Education in Vienna and became teacher in a Secondary School. She continued with studies in Sociology and Education at the University of Vienna. Angelika Paseka holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Vienna and has a post-doctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) in Educational Science. After 17 years lecturing at the College of Teacher Education in Vienna and the Universities of Vienna and Linz she changed to the University of Hamburg in 2010.
Her current research interests are teacher professionalism, family-school-partnership, school-development (with a focus on Gender Mainstreaming) and qualitative methods in educational research.
Angelika Paseka was member of the national working group EPIK (Entwicklung von Professionalität im internationalen Kontext, Development of professionalism in an international context), installed by the Federal Ministry of Education, Austria. Currently she is council-member in the ÖFEB (Austrian Society for Research and Development in Education) and the EERA (European Educational Research Association). She is co-editor of the ‘Zeitschrift für Bildungsforschung’ as well as author and co-author of several publications.


Publications (in English language)
Gerhartz, Sabine; Paseka, Angelika; Schrittesser, Ilse (2014): Innovative Learning Environments. About Traditional and New Patterns of Learning. In: European Educational Research Journal (EERJ), Vol. 13 (2 or 3) (accepted).

Paseka, Angelika; Schrittesser, Ilse (2012): Beyond Measurement: Some Crucial Questions on Research About Professional Competences of Teachers. In: Boufoy-Bastick, Béatrice (Ed.): The International Handbook of Cultures of Professional Development for Teachers: Comparative international issues in Collaboration, Reflection, Management and Policy. Strasbourg: Analytrics, 709-732. Online:

Paseka, Angelika (2008): Political Will is not Enough: Results from the Evaluation of a Pilot Scheme to Implement Gender Mainstreaming. In: Grenz, Sabine et al. (eds): Gender Equality in Higher Education. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag, 137-152.