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An investication of the participation of boys in family management courses Hall, Ellen Clare 1993

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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE PARTICIPATION OF BOYS IN FAMILY MANAGEMENT COURSES  By ELLEN CLARE HALL BHE The University of British Columbia, 1980  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1993 ©ElenCarH,193  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of  (Ce xr\-(e, cOt 4-he SA v 6,1 cc^k^  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date ^  DE-6 (2/88)  csn  ABSTRACT  This study examined boys' participation in Family Management. It looked at non-enrolled boys' perceptions of Family Management, enrolled boys' experiences in Family Management, and boys' beliefs about the relevance of Family Management to their present and future family lives. Data were collected from student interviews, teacher interviews, and classroom observations at two different sites. One site had a high participation rate for boys in Family Management while the other site had a low participation rate. The study found that boys' participation was less than girls' for a number of reasons. Boys' believed they would not use the information taught in Family Management in their future lives, as they could not envision themselves performing non -traditional work around the home. A second reason for boys' low participation was that they viewed the concepts taught in Home Economics as basic, boring, and common sense. Many boys felt they could pick up these concepts by watching their parents. Thirdly, boys selected courses they believed would help them secure a future job or career. The most powerful influence on boys' decisions to participate in Family Management at the high participation school was a recommendation from friends and school staff.^The reputation of Family Management in the school also has influenced enrollment decisions. ll  Boys' experiences in Family Management were varied and were influenced by the gender compositon of the class. Boys reported that some of the topics were oriented toward girls and not relevant to themselves. The presence of boys in Family Management had an effect on the classroom environment, student teacher interaction, and the way the teacher taught the class. Questions arising from this study included: (1) What are the expressed viewpoints of boys concerning the purposes of their education? (2) How can teachers reduce the stereotyping of boys and girls in Family Management courses and foster appreciations of the diversity of girls and boys? (3) Has the enrollment of boys within Family Management contributed to gender inequity for the girls?  lll  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract ^  ii  Table of Content ^  iv viii  List of Tables ^ Acknowledgements ^  ix  Chapter 1 Introduction ^  1  Research Questions ^  4  Definition of Terms ^  5  Limitations ^  7  Signigicance of Study ^  8  Outline of Thesis ^  9  Chapter 2 Literature Review ^  11  Gender Equity Developments and Changes in Feminist Thought ^ 11 Equal Opportunity ^  11  Revaluing the Female ^  15  Rethinking the Whole ^  17  Historical Development in Home Economics Education ^ 21 The Participation of Boys' in Home Economics ^ 26 Summary ^  32  Chapter 3 Methodology ^  33  Research Design ^  34  Gaining Entry to the Settings ^  34  iv  The School District ^ The Schools ^ Methods ^  38 38 39  Data Collection and Analysis ^  39  Interview ^  39  Classroom Observations ^  41  Documents ^  42  Chapter 4 The Findings ^  43  Factors Affecting Boys' Participation in Family Management ^ 43 Teacher Interviews ^ Reasons for Enrolling in Family Management ^  44 47  Enrollment at the High Participation School ^ 47 Enrollment at the Low Participation School ^ 48  Non-enrollment at the High Participation School ^ 49 Non-enrollment at the Low Participation School ^ 50 Summary ^  51  Non-enrolled Boys' Perceptions of Home Economics High Participation School ^  54  Low Participation School ^  54  Non-enrolled Boys' Perceptions of Family Management ^ 57 High Participation School ^ Summary ^  59 61  Experiences in Family Management Courses at the High Participation School ^  63  Narrow Focus of Course Content ^  64  Female Orientation ^  65  Lack of Male Voice ^  67  Stereotyping of Boys ^  68  Experiences in Family Management Courses at the Low Participation School ^  90  Summary ^  97  Perceived Relevance Family Management Courses ^ 98 Non-enrolled Boys at the High Participation School ^ 98 Non-enrolled Boys at the Low Participation School ^ 103 Enrolled Boys at the High Participation School ^ 108 Enrolled Boys at the Low Participation School ^ 117  Chapter 5 Conclusions ^  120  Summary ^  120  Conclusions ^  122  Discussion ^  125  Factors Influencing Boys' Participation in Family Management ^  125  Parental Attitude ^  126  Peer Pressure ^  127  Attitudes of Members of the School Staff ^ 128  vi  Non-enrolled Boys' Perceptions of Home Economics ^ 129 Boys' Experiences in Family Management ^  131  Boys domination ^  131  Personal Nature of Class Activities ^  132  Female Orientation of Family Management Curriculum ^ 133 Relevancy of Family Management to Boys' Present and Future Family Roles ^  136  Implications for Home Economics Curriculum Development ^ 141 Perceptions ^  141  Needs ^  143  Interests ^  144  Experiences ^  144  Implications for Teacher Education ^  146  Implications for Future Research ^  147  References ^  149  Appendices A. Teacher Consent Form ^  149  B. Interview Protocol for Family Management Teachers ^ 152 C. Interview Protocol for Students ^  155  D. Student Consent Form ^  159  E. Student Sample by Name ^  160  vi i  List of Tables  Table 1. Course Enrollment Data ^  33  Table 2. Student Sample ^  37  viii  Acknowledgements  This thesis is dedicated to my family, Dave, Amanda and Andrew, for their patience, understanding, and support. My sincere thanks to Dr. Linda Peterat, for her time, encouragement and useful comments. Thank you also to Dr. James Gaskell and Dr. Allison Tom for their helpful suggestions, Roger Oura for his computer expertise, and to the teachers and students who participated in this study.  ix  Chapter 1 Introduction  Schools have been criticized for reproducing gender inequalities in society. Since the late 1960s schools have been the target of many reform policies designed to make education and schools more equitable. These reforms have had many different agendas, but their common goal has been to make schools more equitable for girls. Jane Roland Martin (1981) argues that our current educational system is inequitable in that it provides an education primarily for the productive processes but not the reproductive processes of society. According to Martin, schooling perpetuates societal inequalities through valuing certain school subjects differently. For example, some subjects are designated core and academic (Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies) while others are elective and non academic (Home Economics, Art and Music), implying some subjects are more important than others. Time devoted to learning academic subjects is greater than time devoted to non-academic. Course content in many school subjects is dominated by the events and activities related to the productive processes of society. The core, or most valued subjects, educate primarily for the productive processes or economy of society while the elective subjects, such as Home Economics and the Fine Arts, educate for the reproductive processes. Gaskell and McLaren (1991) support Martin's critique 1  of schooling:  The curriculum has been designed to prepare men for the public and productive spheres of work and citizenship...It has ignored the private reproductive spheres of family, love, intimacy, for these were the domains of women. Women and women's concerns did not belong in the public world of school. (p. 225)  Patricia Thompson (1986a) also lends support to Martin and the Gaskell-McLaren position. She considers an equitable education, that is, one that would contribute to gender equity for girls and boys, would include an equal balance of education for the productive and reproductive processes of society. By productive processes Thompson means all the activities that take place outside of family life including economic, political and occupational.^The reproductive processes refer to activities that take place within the family such as meal preparation, household management, and the development and maintenance of relationships and parenting. Recent research has focused on female participation in non-traditional occupations and school courses.^Studies have tended to be concerned with female participation in Mathematics and Science (DuBois & Schubert, 1986; Gaskell, McLaren, Oberg & Eyre 1993; Wienekamp, 1987). Equity, concerned only with women securing acceptance and opportunity in non-traditional 2  occupations and courses, is an insufficient notion of equity for it serves to enhance and value further the already over-valued core courses. Such efforts serve to tip the scales more in favour of schooling for the productive processes of society. This study adopts the view that equity in society will not be achieved until there is equity in the valuing of human productive and reproductive processes. If schooling is to be equitable and just, it would mean:  (a)those courses currently focused on productive processes (men's activities and experiences) would be balanced with a focus on women's experience in these productive processes.  (b) an equal amount of time in the school curriculum devoted to, and equal value ascribed to, school subjects educating for the reproductive and productive processes of society for both young women and men.  (c) those courses which focus on the reproductive processes of society need to be balanced by incorporating men's experiences and viewpoints.  If we are to achieve an equitable education, according to the above stand point drawn from arguments by Thompson and Martin, then we must gain knowledge about boys' participation in Home Economics courses so we can better understand the ways in 3  which the subject can become both more inclusive of boys and a force to achieve equity in school and society. This understanding will enable us:  (a)to incorporate boys' experiences and interests in our courses.  (b)to modify courses so that they may more effectively contribute to educating for equitable school, home and family relationships, working towards the larger goal of a gender equitable society.  Family Management is the branch of Home Economics courses in British Columbia school curricula which has the most potential for contributing to gender equity. Boys increasingly participate in the Family Management 11 and 12 courses, although rates of participation vary and boys generally participate less than girls. Recognizing the need for boys to participate in Family Management courses equally with girls, this study investigated the participation of boys in Family Management.  Research Ouestions  Specific research questions in this study were:  1. Why do boys participate less in Family Management courses 4  than girls? a) What perceptions do non-enrolling boys have of Family Management courses? b) When boys are enrolled in Family Management, what are their experiences in the course? c) How relevant do boys see the topics studied in Family Management to their lives and future participation in families?  Definition of Terms  The following terms are central to this study: gender, equity, gender equity, gender balanced, gender sensitive, reproductive process and productive process. Gender socialization begins at birth as parents, siblings and others treat girls and boys differently. This socialization involves different notions, rules, actions, skills and behaviours which have been constructed by society and assigned to a specific sex (Evans, 1988). For the purpose of this study the term gender refers to both the biological and socially constructed differences between males and females. The term equity refers to justice, fairness, freedom from bias or favoritism. Applied to education, it means equal access to courses, schools and occupations for females and males. Equity also refers to the treatment within, and the outcomes, of schooling (Hyman & Schaaf, 1981). In this study gender equity refers to females and males receiving equal access to, equitable treatments within, and equal benefits from schooling. Gender 5  equity means placing equal value on the characteristics and activities which have traditionally been associated with one or the other gender. Nurturing, sharing and cooperation are as important as competition and achievement. It means women and men are educated to work comfortably and competently in either or both the reproductive and productive processes. Activities performed as part of both processes are seen as equally valuable for both genders. Gender balanced schooling includes in its curriculum the experiences and perceptions of both men and women. Equal value is placed on "those activities traditionally considered feminine and masculine" (Hayibor, 1990 p. 9). A gender sensitive approach to education acknowledges the differences between girls and boys, and provides compensatory education for the disadvantaged. Gender sensitive education acknowledges gender when it makes a difference and ignores it when it does not (Martin, 1985,1986). The reproductive processes include all activities which take place within the family. These activities include parenting, developing and maintaining relationships, meal preparation and household management. The productive processes include activities that take place outside of the home and family setting. They include political, cultural, employment and economic activities. The reproductive processes are commonly regarded as "private" and are often described as invisible (Thompson, 1986a). The productive processes are "public" and visible in the sense of being more 6  commonly studied and occuring in public places. These activities are often the focus of media coverage. In the gender equity literature one may find the terms reproductive sphere and productive sphere. I have chosen not to use the term sphere as the term tends to connote a separateness. The reproductive processes and productive processes are not separate entities but realms of activity that interact with one another. Thompson (1988), believes one cannot separate the private family life (reproductive processes) from the public (productive processes) because we all participate in both and at the level of individual experience neither is totally separate.  Limitations  1) This study focused on boys' participation in Family Management courses and did not study boys' participation in other Home Economics courses such as Foods and Nutrition or Clothing and Textiles. 2) Other factors such as social class and ethnic group may also have effected boys' participation. These factors were not centrally examined within the context of this study, although, I was sensitive to their possible influence. 3) This study has geographical limitations. It was conducted in a large suburban school district and is limited by the particular context of Family Management courses in British Columbia and cannot be 7  generalized to all Home Economics courses or to all regions of British Columbia.  Significance of the Study  This study of boys' participation in Family Management classes may provide a number of contributions to Home Economics education, and to the broader field of education. Since the early 1970s Home Economics teachers have been concerned with increasing the enrollment of boys in their programs. Boys' enrollment in foods and nutrition courses has increased, but despite various strategies, girls continue to outnumber boys by 3022 to 46 in clothing and textiles and 6635 to 1165 in Family Management (B.C. Ministry of Education, 1989). The traditional view of man as the breadwinner and woman as the caregiver in families continues to break down as many women often return to positions of paid employment after giving birth. These changes are and will continue to have an impact on family life. The challenge to Home Economics teachers is to prepare both girls and boys for new dual roles of homemaker and wage earner. Barbara Bovy (1985) suggests:  The responsibility of teacher educators in Home to develop competencies in young men and women for the dual role of homemaker/wage earner...and to help remove barriers that prevent students of both sexes from achieving their full 8  potential. (p. 4)  At present, Family Management courses are reaching a small percentage of boys in the total school population. This study will provide Home Ecomomics teachers with information on boys' perceptions of Family Management, and their experiences in the course. This information can increase teachers' sensitivity to boys' experiences in Family Management classes and enable Home Economics teachers to plan and implement various strategies to attract more boys into the course. Secondly the findings of this research may provide us with information regarding boys' perceptions on the relevancy of their education to their life and future lives in families. This information should be of interest to Home Economics teachers and curriculum developers interested in making Home Economics more gender equitable. Finally, this study will add to the body of knowledge on gender equity. While most of the gender equity research has looked at girls' participation in non-traditional subject choices, this study focuses on boys' participation in Home Economics, a non-traditional subject for boys. It will investigate Home Economics, a subject area identified with women, home and family and thus neither considered a valuable nor desirable area of endeavor for young men. This reality poses a particular challenge for gender equity policy and action in schools.  9  Outline of Thesis  A review of relevant literature appears in Chapter Two. The review is divided into three sections: (1) the development and changes in feminist thought about gender equity, (2) a brief history of Home Economics education and (3) the participation of boys in Home Economics courses. Chapter Three outlines the selection of research sites and subjects, and the specific means of data collection. Chapter Four reports the findings which include: (1) reasons for selecting and not selecting Family Management, (2) boys' perceptions of Family Management (3) boys' experiences in Family Management and (4) boys' perceived relevance of Family Management to their future lives. In Chapter Five the findings are discussed; a summary of the study is developed along with conclusions and recommendations.  10  Chapter 2 Literature Review  Gender Equity: Development and Changes in Feminist Thought  While there are disagreements over a clear definition of equal opportunity, there is little disagreement that equal educational opportunity is something we as a society value. These disagreements have resulted in different gender equity perspectives. A review of gender research literature illuminates three equity perspectives, all having a similar goal, to make schools more gender equitable for girls. These perspectives have evolved over time and have influenced educational policy. These three equity perspectives have been described in the literature as (a) equal opportunity, (b) revaluing the female and (c) rethinking the whole (Gaskell & McLaren 1987, 1991; Weiner, 1989).  Equal Opportunity  In the early 1960s and 1970s feminists targeted the school system as a major force in perpetuating gender inequalities in society. Their aim was to remove course and career access barriers and to reform educational policy, textbooks and teaching practices. School and government policies were attacked that denied entrance of girls into non-traditional courses, programs and careers. The response in the United 11  States was enactment of legislation such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act And Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibit the denial of participation in federally assisted programs because of sex, race or social class (Hyman and Schaaf, 1981). In 1976, the Vocational Educational Amendment provided moneys to states to support programs to overcome sex stereotyping in vocational education. In 1978, the British Columbia government declared that no student should be denied enrollment in a secondary school course based on his or her sex (School Department Circular No. 75, 1978). Shortly after this circular, some schools developed an integrated Life Skills Eight program in which both girls and boys took courses in Woodwork, Metalwork, Drafting, Foods and Nutrition, and Clothing and Textiles. This Life Skills Eight program replaced two traditional courses, Technology Education Eight which had primarily boy participants and a girl dominated Home Economics Eight course. In addition to the removal of course access barriers, feminists also lobbied for other changes such as the removal of sex role stereotyping in curriculum, textbooks and resources. These were identified as being responsible for channeling girls into traditional school subjects and low paying jobs. Women were urged to enter areas of employment that were dominated by men. To prepare young women for these higher paying jobs, they were encouraged to enrol in non-traditional courses such as Technology (Industrial) Education, Mathematics and the Sciences. The gender equity literature reveals no parallel encouragement 12  of young men to enrol in non-traditional courses such as Home Economics, English and Fine Arts. Feminist researchers examined textbooks for gender bias, and found many of the textbooks used, pictured women and men in stereotypical roles. Elementary school readers often pictured mothers at home baking, and fathers working at the office. The B.C. Ministry of Education responded to these concerns with the appointment of an advisory group whose purpose was to develop guidelines and monitor educational materials for stereotyping. The British Columbia Teachers' Federation in 1975 also responded with the production of non-sexist curriculum materials for elementary schools. Despite their successes, the equal opportunities initiatives had short-comings. Wolfe (1986) has challenged the assumption that equal access to education would achieve equal opportunity:  Access to the male curriculum does not automatically create equality unless it also makes affirmative and serious efforts to change what girls and women are taught. It is not sufficient to offer women access to a curriculum and a pedagogy that affirms their inferiority as the natural order in a male centered culture. (p. 287)  Today, fourteen years after the B.C. government removed access barriers to secondary school courses, women are still 13  concentrated in the lower paying jobs in the labor force (MacKie, 1991). The enrollment of boys continues to outnumber the enrollment of girls in Physics and Technology Courses. The enrollment of girls outnumbers the enrollment of boys in Modern Languages, Business and Home Economics courses. A second error in the equal access initiatives was the failure to recognize the different treatments which girls and boys received in the classroom. Studies have shown that boys receive more instructional attention, praise, and criticism than girls. Boys were also given more detailed instructions (Harvey, 1986). Sadker and Sadker (1986) contend that this unequal treatment is the result of teachers receiving little or no training in sex equity behaviour, and that "educators are generally unaware of the presence or the impact of this bias" (p. 512). While there have been some positive steps taken toward the removal of stereotyping from curriculum materials and resources, recent studies suggest that stereotyping in textbooks continues. Bernice Hayibor (1990), in her detailed analysis of three Home Economics textbooks, found that gender bias continues to exist in three textbooks currently used in the teaching of Family Management. One of the most significant pitfalls of the equal opportunities initiatives is what Gaskell et al. (1989) called the "deficit model". Girls themselves were blamed for their lack of achievement and status:  14  The problem is located in girls' abilities and aspirations instead of in the curriculum...They leave unchallenged the gender bias in the schools ...girls must be changed. Men are the model of achievement... Women need remedial programs to make them more like men...Such an approach devalues the skills and attitudes of women suggesting they are bad because they lead to low achievement. (p. 17)  Another weakness of the equal opportunities efforts was the failure to address equity issues for girls in the reproductive process. These early initiatives were concerned with equity only in the productive processes of society which were dominated by male values and norms (Martin, 1985). The equal opportunities initiatives did make some gains toward achieving gender equity with the enactment of legislation, and the development of compensatory education programs for girls. Despite these educational changes, feminists argued the inequities in society continued (Gaskell & McLaren, 1991). There emerged a new view of what was necessary in schooling: revaluing of the female.  Revaluing the Female  These efforts in securing gender equity, unlike the equal opportunities initiatives, focussed on the importance of female 15  qualities and attempted to address some of the weaknesses of earlier efforts. The emphasis shifted from trying to make women more like men to valuing and appreciating 'feminine' qualities and characteristics. The urging of young women to enter nontraditional careers was not seen as the only means to gender equity (Gaskell & McLaren, 1987). Work traditionally done by females is both valuable and necessary to society. Feminists proposed that society should appreciate its worth. Colleges and universities began to offer women's studies programs. These programs were very important to the feminist movement, since as Wolfe (1986) points out women's studies courses have "focussed attention for the first time on women as a distinguishable group to be studied from their own perspective" (p. 287). These women's studies courses were 'empowering' to women, and evidence suggested that women who participated in them had higher self concepts than women who did not (Gaskell & McLaren, 1987). Although many feminists were in support of these programs, others felt that university was too late for this type of education to begin. The movement toward revaluing the female resulted in a change in the focus of educational research as for the first time, educational researchers began to examine womens' experiences:  Where women were invisible in academic texts, they are beginning to have a presence. Where questions about women were never asked, they are now being 16  pursued. The enormous gap in our knowledge about how women live, think and feel are providing opportunities for new research and innovative scholarship. (Gaskell & McLaren, 1987, p. 10)  While revaluing of female characteristics and qualities has attracted support (Gaskell & McLaren 1987; Thompson 1986a; Martin, 1986), many feminists have also argued that revaluing the female on its own will not achieve gender equity in society. Gaskell and McLaren (1987) point out that "revaluing the female falls prey to condoning characteristics that women have developed in response to male domination, and to automatically denigrating male characteristics" (p. 11). Gaskell and McLaren felt that "feminist scholarship must develop alongside, be incorporated into and ultimately transform the mainstream disciplines, and the curriculum which all students learn" (p. 43). Unless there is a transformation of curriculum they argued most students will continue their education in what they call 'mens' studies'. Short-comings in the revaluing the female perspective have led to a third perspective in feminist thought, "rethinking the whole".  Rethinking the Whole  In this perspective the qualities, traits, and tasks that have been genderized for females are valued for everyone, men and women. Advocates of 'rethinking the whole' argue that our 17  current educational structures and curriculum are biased in favour of males. They suggested that this schooling only prepares individuals for life in societies' productive processes (Bovy, 1985; Gaskell & McLaren, 1991; Martin, 1981, 1985; Thompson 1984). Martin (1981) best exemplified this perspective in contending that within our current education system a body of knowledge has developed which "ignores or misrepresents the experience and lives of women" (p. 99):  The intellectual disciplines to which a person must be initiated to become an educated person exclude women and their works, construct the female to the male image of her and deny the truly feminine qualities she does possess. (p. 101)  Martin argued that if a person is to be educated, then they must have an education in both the productive and the reproductive processes of society, and society has largely ignored the latter. The traits, characteristics and tasks of the reproductive processes are "central to the lives of each of us" (Martin 1981, p.106). Martin (1981) and Thompson (1986b) expressed a belief that since women and men take an active role in both processes, they should be educated in each. However, Martin (1985) and MacKie (1991) suggested that we cannot assume that the activities and tasks that take place within the reproductive processes are learned either in the family or in the workplace.  18  Women's status outside the home depends upon equitable division of work within the home. Women are flooding into the paid labour force. However, their presence there will not revolutionize existing gender arrangements. (MacKie 1991, p. 274)  Citing statistics of family and domestic violence as proof, Martin (1985) argued "that knowledge, skills, attitudes, and traits of character necessary for effectively carrying out the reproductive processes of society don't occur naturally" (p.6), but rather must be nurtured through a 'balanced education' within a system of schooling:  We must not ignore these tasks and qualities that have been assigned to women and to the private (reproductive) sphere; rather we must integrate them into the main stream in the public school system. We must build nurturing capacities and an ethics of care into the curriculum for all our students and not depend on women to learn it privately, and do it for us all. (Martin in Gaskell & McLaren 1987, p. 48)  Martin (1981) also noted, that in order for an education to be "gender just" it must be gender-sensitive. She contended that a gender-sensitive approach would take "sex or gender into account when it makes a difference and ignore it when it does not" (p. 109). 19  Martin and others have called for a transformation of the curriculum and structure of schooling to represent the lives and experiences of both women and men. This transformation would require a shift in educational policy, curriculum reform and a change in teacher attitude. This "change" does not mean a separate reproductive-focussed curriculum for girls and a productive-focussed curriculum for boys. Martin, has pointed out, however, that it may mean different educational treatment for girls and boys. For example research that has explored the connections between gender and learning styles may result in compensatory education for boys in terms of gender differentiated teaching strategies (Tetreault, 1986). Thompson (1984) has advocated Home Economics as a window of opportunity for a gender sensitive and gender balanced curriculum:  Everyday problems addressed by the Home Economics curriculum- family living, preparing nutritious meals, caring for children, clothing and housing the individual and family- would appear to fall into this needed curriculum. (p. 333)  Home Economics has traditionally been regarded as a course which prepares young women with the skills required to complete work in the reproductive processes of society. Home Economics courses have been affected by each of the three inititives for gender equity. The equal opportunities perspective encouraged 20  Home Economics teachers to develop co-educational courses. Teachers examined curricula, resources and textbooks for stereotyping, and made modifications in courses so they would appeal more to boys. The "rethinking the whole" perspective has sparked an interest in gender equity in Home Economics among a number of educators (Bovy, 1985; Eyre, 1992; Hayibor, 1990; Thompson, 1986b). The philosophical beliefs of "rethinking the whole" have the potential to substantially alter Home Economics curriculum and schooling in general.  Historical Development in Home EcOripMtcs_Eripcation  Toward the end of the nineteenth century gradual industrial growth brought about changes affecting family life. The family changed from producer of goods to consumer. This change brought about a separation of work within the family and work done outside the family. In urban centres, the family was no longer able to educate their young in manual training as men, women, and children were now spending a large part of their day outside the home employed as factory workers. Manual training is a term that was initially used to describe practical training in both Home Economics and Industrial Education. Later this term was associated with boys' training in Industrial Education. As education in manual training disappeared from the home, the school was identified as an agent that could take over the family's educational role (Wilson, 1985). At the turn of the century womens groups lobbied for the inclusion of Home 21  Economics into the school system. One of the most influential groups was the Victoria Local Council of Women. A result of their lobbying efforts was the implementation of the first Home Economics foods program in a Victoria school in 1903. Home Economics (Domestic Science) programs were seen as a way to improve family life. The changes in family life brought about by industrialization and urbanization, were believed to be the root of many of societys ills such as poor hygiene, sanitation and health. Advocates for Home Economics education believed that inclusion of a curriculum that addressed these problems would improve family life. However, girls alone were seen as the benefactors of such an education. The teacher of the Foods program in Victoria in 1903 is quoted in The Daily Colonist:  The homes of the people should be made healthy and happy by means of the simple methods which this science of domestic economy can teach every girl who is ever likely to become the manageress of a house. (McKeand in DeZwart, 1990, p.24).  The first Home Economics curriculum document of 1914 makes no reference to Home Ecomonics education for boys. The Victoria Council of Women in the Putman-Weir report (1925) emphasized the importance of Home Economics instruction in young women's education:  We believe that the home is the natural and rightful 22  domain of women, and therefore that home ecomomics, the science of the home, is pre-eminently the proper and logical study for woman kind...We believe that in the different branches of this subject there is ample scope for the varying abilities of the most brilliant minds of the sex. We believe that much undesirable and unnecessary competition between the sexes will be avoided and many other social problems resolved when the dignity of home making is adequately recognized and home economics given its rightful place in a national and international scheme of education. Let us not forget that upon the physical stamina the mental and moral fibre of the mothers-to-be, depends the character of the ...very life of tomorrow. (Report in DeZwart, 1990, p. 76)  While girls received Home Economics instruction, boys received instruction in Manual Training. The first Home Economics instruction for boys did not appear until 1928 and, although there was no prescribed curriculum, boys in these classes were taught "elementary sewing and camp cooking" (Thomas, 1986). The first curriculum outline for boys appeared in the 1937 Home Economics curriculum revision with the expressed aim to:  Help the boys to be more intelligent and appreciative members of their families, to (enable boys to) plan and prepare simple outdoor meals, and to enable boys to prepare and serve a simple meal to a sick member of 23  the family. (B.C. Department of Education, in Thomas, 1986, p. 160)  The next Home Economics curriculum revision was completed in 1952 and this document included a "boys' course" which was open to senior students and included topics concerned with: Personal Appearance Foods, Nutrition and Home Management Family Relations and Social Customs and Courtesies The Home, Its Furnishing and Its Use Child Care. (Thomas, 1986 p. 163)  Up until 1965, the focus of Home Economics courses was the preparation of girls for "the vocation of homemaking" and in 1965 this focus was expanded to include "education for the workplace" (Thomas, 1986, p. 110). Also in the 1965 curriculum revision, boys could enroll in Cooking and Food Service at the junior level and at the senior level in the "Foods Specialty Area" of the Community Services Program (Thomas, 1986, p. 165). It wasn't until 1976 that Home Economics programs were completely open to both girls and boys as these new courses were said to be "coeducational in both content and methodology" (Thomas, 1986, p. 90). While the writers of Home Economics curricula maintain they are open to both girls and boys a study by Thomas (1986) has revealed that the school subject has traditionally been concerned with the education of females: 24  This study reveals that although provision for males has been made in the B.C. home economics curriculum for over 50 years, the emphasis in home economics education in this province has been an education for females. (p. 135)  Recent attempts have been made to include Home Economics programs for both boys and girls in British Columbia schools at the grade eight level through a Life Skills eight course. However, Eyre (1992) tells us that this course was not implemented in some schools and that many schools encouraged girls to choose a "Home Economics" component and boys to choose a "Technology" component. In Eyre's study she found that the implementation of Life Skills Eight actually resulted in less time for "reproductive" education as Technology education instruction came out of allocated time for Home Economics and not as a re-distribution of all instructional time. While the inclusion of Home Economics in the school curriculum during the early 1900s was seen as a victory, today some feminists have labeled Home Economics as the 'enemy' and accuse the school subject of promoting homemaking as the only life option open for women (Thompson, 1986b, p. 276). Thompson (1988) has rejected this criticism by defending Home Economics as the "discipline of everyday life," a discipline that values the reproductive processes of society. She has asserted that the two processes reproductive and productive, are not gender exclusive but rather gender intensive:  25  One is the domain of human necessity. It came first. It is primal. It's the domain of everyday life in which people meet the need for food, for shelter, for clothing, for human connectedness, and for human development over the life course... It is absolutely essential for individual species survival. (Thompson, 1988, p. 7)  While in the past Home Economics has been identified with female education, as Hayibor (1990) points out, many Home Economics teachers have "rejected the notion that Home Economics is only appropriate for girls and have sought to show that education for the private sphere is essential for all" (p. 4). Currently Home Economics programs in British Columbia are mandatory for all students at the grade eight level. Some students can complete high school without ever taking a Home Economics course. Such is the case in schools where Life Skills Eight has never been implemented, and students choose to take either Home Economics Eight or Technology Eight as year long courses. As Eyre (1992) points out the movement toward Life Skills Eight has not resulted in more time being given to Home Economics or Technology, but rather less time, and more students to teach.  The Participation of Boys in Home Economics  Very few studies have examined the participation of boys in 26  Home Economics programs. Studies in British Columbia which have addressed boys' participation in Home Economics were done by Picone (1982) and Eyre (1992). Picone (1982) surveyed British Columbia Home Economics teachers' attitudes concerning the need for co-education in Clothing and Textile courses. She found the majority of Home Economics teachers believed co-education in a Clothing and Textile Course should be valued. Her recommendations to the Ministry of Education included:  (1) to make Life Skills 8 a compulsory course. (2) to encourage all school districts to promote a co-education Clothing and Textiles program. (3) to seek to obtain textbooks for Clothing and Textiles that were appropriate for both sexes. (4) to provide a curriculum guide which outlined the course content and suggested learning activities for a co-education Clothing course. (p. 57-58)  While Picone was an advocate of co-education within Home Economics classes, Eyre (1992) has raised some concerns about the extent to which gender equity has been achieved through coeducation. Eyre (1992) observed a grade Eight co-educational Home Economics/Technical Studies program in an inner-city secondary school in British Columbia. She observed the class over the period of a year, as students moved through mini courses (eighteen hours) in Foods and Nutrition, Clothing and Textiles, and Family Management. Eyre found that a group of 27  boys dominated classroom discussions and student-teacher interaction. She observed that a group of boys took power in the classroom away from girls, other boys, and their female teacher. Eyre raised questions about the effect of co-education on girls' equity in the classroom:  Co-education implies an equal education for girls and boys, women and men. Some feminist theorists, however, argue that girls and boys, women and men, do not receive an equal education in co-educational means giving female and male students an education designed for males. (1992, p. 125)  She concluded from her observations that treating students "the same" did not result in gender equity for girls, rather, it "meant catering to the perceived interests and experiences of boys" (1991, p. 215). Eyre also criticized Home Economics programs for their emphasis on technical skills:  Curricular emphasis on manipulative skills and techniques did not necessarily lead to a valuing of domestic work or to an understanding of the importance of sharing of work in the private sphere. (1992, p. 132)  28  Eyre has argued that gender equity in Home Economics involves more than co-education:  It means understanding the inequalities that result when traditional power relations enter into our daily lives in classrooms. It means examining the taken for granted experiences we have as women, and men, girls and boys. It means recognizing the diversity of human experiences, revaluing women's knowledge and women's work, and changes in traditional ways of relating. Rather than accepting, ignoring, or excusing the social relations of students, it means placing gender relations on the agenda in the classroom. (1992, p. 149)  Using focus groups, Pleshek (1988) examined male enrollment and non-enrollment in Home Economics classes in Minnesota. Pleshek (1988) found males didn't continue in Home Economics after junior high school because they felt they already knew the basics of cooking and sewing, and they didn't expect to learn anything new from senior high Home Economics classes. Most of the students interviewed in the study reported enjoying their junior high Home Economics experiences, but reported they could learn more in other classes. Students who had not enrolled in Home Economics classes perceived the classes as boring, common sense and basic. In the minds of these students Home Economics was "cooking and sewing". Most of the students were not aware of 29  other curriculum areas in Home Economics such as Child Care, Home Management and Family Life. Another study which looked at the participation of boys in Home Economics programs was conducted in England and Wales by Geen (1989). During her study from October 1987 to April 1988, Geen interviewed boys from 50 secondary schools. Geen (1989) suggested that when boys were offered a choice of subjects, only a small minority elected Home Economics courses. She found some Home Economics courses such as Foods and Community Care were more popular with boys than other courses such as Textiles and Child Development. Geen proposed a number of possible reasons for the low participation of boys in Home Economics. The first reason Geen described, was boys' beliefs that certain types of knowledge are deemed more appropriate for one sex. In her study, boys reported courses in Foods, Clothing Care and Home Maintenance were "women's concerns". She also identified peer pressure as another factor influencing boys' participation. A number of the boys in her study reported they didn't pursue Home Economics courses for fear of being ridiculed by their peers and would only enrol if there was peer support. "Over half were adamant that they would not opt for Home Economics unless other members of their group took the same course" (p. 143). A third factor affecting boys' participation was the attitude of senior school staff towards Home Economics. Geen found staff members involved in career guidance influenced boys participation/ nonparticipation by suggesting boys take courses other than Home Economics. 30  Geen (1989) also examined strategies which schools had used to increase boys' participation in Home Economics. She concluded that the most effective strategy was what she termed the 'special escalator'. The focus of this strategy was re -education; "the elimination of unjustifiable beliefs and the search for pedagogic material which will act directly upon the interests of both boys and girls" (p. 145). Specific approaches to this strategy included:  (1) Re-education of parents as to what is currently taught in Home Economics classes. Questionaires returned by parents often indicated they held outdated views of Home Economics education.  (2) In-service courses for staff on equal opportunity issues.  (3) Altering pupils' perceptions of Home Economics.  Several successful strategies for altering pupils' perceptions adopted by the schools in Geen's sample included: student analysis of cases of sex stereotyping in society, participation of male role models in Home Economics classrooms, and the provision of career conventions and courses on equal opportunities.  31  Summary  In this chapter, literature from three areas was reviewed. The first area described the development and changes in feminist thought about possible means to achieve gender equity. The second area of literature reviewed the historical development of Home Economics education in British Columbia. When Home Economics was first introduced into the school system in the early 1900s it was seen as a course for girls. It wasn't until the late 1970s that Home Economics classrooms opened their doors and explicitly adopted a co-educational approach. The last area of literature examined boys' participation in Home Economics classes. This review also described boys' reasons for avoiding Home Economics. A study of the outcomes of co-educational Home Economics was included, and questions were raised about the effects of a co-educational Home Economics on gender equity. Chapter three outlines the method of study and provides descriptions of the sites, sample selection, data collection and analysis.  32  Chapter 3 Methodology  Interest in this study began with a desire to learn why the participation rate of boys in Family Management was low. An examination of B.C. Ministry of Education (1989) gender enrollment data for Family Management, revealed girls participated more frequently in Family Management than boys. (See Table 1.) Table 1. Course Enrollment Data 1988/1989  Secondary Course  Clothing & Textiles  Family Management  Foods & Nutrition  Male  Female  11  31  1,826  12  15  1,196  11  969  4,731  12  196  1,904  11  2,327  3,702  12  857  1,933  33  The Pinnacle School District was chosen as the site for this research. The district was selected because administrators were receptive to research, there was a large student population and the district contained eight secondary schools, from which to choose. The student population was diverse in terms of socioeconomic status and ethnic background. I had professional associations with many of the Home Economics teachers in the district and believed these associations would encourage teachers' participation in the research project.  Research Design  The design for this project was based on a similar research study by Gaskell, McLaren, Oberg and Eyre (1993), who investigated girls' participation in Mathematics and Science. Two school sites were selected with one having a high participation of boys in Family Management the other having a low participation of boys in Family Management. At each site boys taking Family Management and boys not taking Family Management were interviewed. Site and student selection will be described in detail in the following sections.  Gaining Entry to the Settings  Once approval for my research by both the School District's Research and Evaluation Department and the University's Human Subjects Research Committee was granted, I telephoned either the 34  Home Economics department head or a Family Management teacher at each secondary schoolin the district. In most cases the individuals at each school were aware of my study as the research officer had sent a letter to the principals of each of the eight schools indicating district approval for my study. During this initial contact I briefly explained the planned research and requested enrollment data by gender for Family Management 11 and 12. At this time I also spoke with the research officer about pairing schools in the district based on similar socio-economic status and ethnic background. I was told the school district did not collect this information, but we discussed possible pairings based on 1986 census data. After examining enrollment data one school was identified as having a higher percentage of males participating (36%) than any other school. This percentage is based on the gender composition of the class, not on the total male population of the school. A second school was identified as having a class where males made up 30% of the class. This school was ruled out as a possible site because there were three Family Management teachers, and their Family Management program was different than other schools in the district. At this school some of the Family Management class had been modified to include a leadership co-op work experience component. Two schools were identified as having a low participation rate (7%). One of the low participation schools was ruled out because the socioeconomic background of the students was thought to be significantly different from the school with the high participation rate. Once I had selected the two sites, I 35  telephoned the individual Family Management teachers outlining the purposes of the study, the research procedures, and the extent of their possible involvement. Both teachers indicated an interest in the study, and a meeting was set to discuss the research project in more detail. I met individually with each teacher. During this meeting the teachers were given a letter of consent (see Appendix A ), the method of student selection was discussed, and a plan was developed to notify students of their interview times. At this time, the teachers and I discussed and selected a location for the student interviews and set up a time for classroom observations. A total of twenty-four students were interviewed, ten students from the low participation school and fourteen students from the high participation school. Students were randomly selected from either a class list or school roster using random number tables. There was one exception to this, all students in the low participation school taking Family Management 11 or 12 were interviewed. In the school with the high participation of boys, I interviewed eight boys taking Family Management 11, two taking Family Management 12 and four not taking Family Management. Despite having a high participation of boys in Family Management 11 there were only four boys taking Family Management 12. In the school with the low participation of boys, I interviewed three boys taking Family Management 11, and one taking Family Management 12. (As mentioned earlier these students were not randomly selected as this was the total population). I 36  ^  also interviewed six boys not taking Family Management (See Table 2.) .  Table 2. Student Sample ^ Low Enrollment High Enrollment ^ School School ^ ^ Boys enrolled Ultra Seondary Aldila Secondary  Family Management 11 Family Management 12  ^ ^ 3 ^^ 1  8 2  Boys not enrolled  Grade 11  Totals  ^  6  ^  10  4  14  At both schools the course name Family Management had been changed. In the low enrollment school the new name was Sociology. In the high enrollment school it was Socialization and Human Behaviour. Both schools followed the Family Management curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education.  37  The School District  The Pinnacle School District is a fast growing suburban district with both rural and urban areas. At the time of the study the approximate student population was 44,440.^The district covers a vast geographical area. It is divided geographically into four zones for administrative purposes. The two schools in which this study took place were in neighbouring zones.  The Schools  In order to respect the confidentiality of the teachers and students, the schools are identified using pseudonyms and descriptive data is general. Ultra Secondary has low participation of boys in Family Management 11 and 12. It is located in an urban area of the school district. There are over 1100 students in grades 8-12 attending. The school is located in an area where there are many single and multi-family dwellings being constructed. The housing surrounding the school ranges from inexpensive mobile homes to expensive executive homes. Ultra Secondary has a newer and more modern building than Aldila. Aldila Secondary has high participation of boys in Family Management 11 and 12. It is also located in an urban area, however, its catchment area extends to a rural part of the district. There are also many homes being constructed within 38  the catchment area; however, fewer are multi-family dwellings. Many of the homes presently being constructed are expensive executive homes. Aldila's facility is aging and plans are currently being drawn to build a new school on the property.  Methods  Data Collection and Analysis  Data collection occured from the middle of May until the middle of June 1991. Audiotapes collected were transcribed and the data analysed during July through December. Data collection involved a variety of techniques including student and teacher interviews, document analysis, and classroom observations. After reading each interview transcript a number of times common themes were identified and coded. A chart depicting themes was then created and data were entered. From these charts Chapter Four was written.  Interviews  The teacher interview questions ( Appendix B) were pilot tested by two Family Management teachers in another school district. A few word changes were made to the questions after pilot testing to clarify meanings. I decided to interview the teachers as a cross check of the data obtained from student interviews and classroom observations. One teacher from the high 39  participation school and one teacher from the low participation school were interviewed. Each interview lasted approximately 65 minutes. The interviews were taped and then transcribed. Informal discussions over lunch or telephone conversations with teachers during the course of the study were recorded in field notes. Telephone conversations usually took place to discuss the mechanics for setting up student interviews and classroom observations. The student interview questions (Appendix C) were pilot tested on two students at Ultra Secondary who had previously taken Family Management 11 but were not taking Family Management 12 at the time of the study. No changes were made to the student interview questions after pilot testing. Additional questions were added to the student interviews after the study began. Reasons for adding additional questions to the list of student interviews are explained in Chapter Four. Student interviews ranged from 30-60 minutes in length. All students were interviewed individually. All student interviews were taped and transcribed. The interview questions in the study were semistructured. There were both specific and open ended questions. Students were very receptive to being interviewed. In all but one case they appeared or arrived for interviews on time. When this student missed his time, he contacted me to re-sechedule it. One student who was randomly selected as a student not taking Family Management was not able to participate in the study at the request of the ESL teacher on staff. He apparently had very little understanding of English. A second student was randomly 40  selected to take his place. All teachers in both schools were very cooperative as they permitted students to leave their classes to be interviewed. During the interviews I attempted to develop comfortable rapport with the interviewees. A number of factors helped in doing this. For the students the main factor was assurance of the confidentiality of their responses. In a couple of instances, I reassured the students that no one would be able to identify them from their comments. The development of rapport with the classroom teachers grew from my previous professional acquaintance with them.  Classroom Observations  Classroom observations were done to verify information obtained from both teacher and student interviews. In each school two classroom observations were conducted. In both schools I observed two different Family Management 11 classes. Classroom observations were not done in Family Management 12. At Aldila Secondary there were three Family Management 11 classes. At Aldila I observed the class with the highest number of boys and the lowest number of boys. The class with the lowest number of boys had only one boy in the class, and on the day I scheduled the observation he was not present in class. I arranged to observe the class another day, and he was absent again. Therefore, I observed the class on this one occassion with no boys present. At Ultra there were only two Family Management 11 41  classes and both of these were observed. Details about the classroom setting, the participants, verbatim accounts of what the teacher did and said were recorded in field notes. Notes gathered during observations confirmed the data obtained from both student and teacher interviews.  Documents  A number of documents were collected from each teacher for analysis. These included course outlines, handouts from observed lessons, major assignments and course selection booklets. These documents also were used to confirm data gathered during interviews and observations. Course outlines were compared to determine whether the two schools were following the Family Management Curriculum, and to identify similarities and differences between the courses at each school.  42  Chapter 4 Findings  Data in this chapter is organized through examination of research questions, school setting, and student response. For the convenience of the reader, a table outlining the student sample by name appears in Appendix E.  Factors Affecting Boys' Participation in Family Management  At both schools the course name Family Management had been changed in the course selection booklets. At the high participation school the name had been changed to Socialization and Human Behaviour (SHB) while at the low participation school the course was called Sociology. Both teachers had changed the name hoping to attract more boys into the course. This was the first year of the name change at the high participation school and the second year for the name change at the low participation school. Both teachers used the Family Management curriculum guide to develop their course. At the high participation school, the description of SHB appeared under the Social Studies section in the course selection booklet. The course was taught by a member of the Social Studies Department, with financial responsibility for the course being part of the Home Economics Department. At the low participation school the description for Sociology in the course selection booklet appeared under a Home 43  Economics heading and Sociology was taught by a Home Economics teacher.  Teacher Interviews  Susan taught SHB at Aldila, the high enrollment school. Susan's teaching major was in Psychology and Social Studies. Susan had taught the course for the last three years. It was called Family Management during the first two years that she taught it. She decided to change the course name last year, as a number of other schools in the district had done, in an effort to attract more boys into the course. When Susan first started teaching Family Management, the class was all girls, and it was offered through the Home Economics Department. The course was taken away from the Home Economics Department and given to Susan to teach. This was done by the school's previous principal when the department had to down-size. However since this time, the Home Economics Department has grown and gained back the one teacher that was lost. The Home Economics Department would like to teach Family Management. Susan reported Family Management had been "a dumping ground for non-academic students who were failing other classes." However, Susan felt that gradually the type of students enrolled had changed, and this was the first year where there was a significant increase in the number of boys enrolled. Susan credits the high enrollment of both boys and girls with the positive support received from the counsellors. She said "they sell the course to the students and 44  make it sound exciting." Susan taught SHB in a regular classroom. The students sat at individual desks which they moved into a circle during class discussions. The walls of the classroom were decorated with maps, and student bulletin board assignments on date rape, eating disorders and family violence. Susan enjoyed teaching SHB and believed it was one of the most relevant courses that she taught. She also taught Social Studies and believed it also was relevant to the students' daily and future lives. Susan indicated that she had lots of support for SHB from both administrators and counsellors. Susan stated "the counsellors are always putting things in my mailbox that are relevant to the class like notices to workshops." Susan attended inservice training for Family Management sponsored by the local Home Economics Association. She also attended Family Management workshops at the provincial Home Economics convention. She consulted with other Family Management teachers in the district about their programs. When Susan first started teaching Family Management she talked with Nancy (the Family Management Teacher at the low participation school) and received student handouts and teaching ideas. Some of the assignments that Nancy and Susan gave their students were similar, particularly the bulletin board and personal history assignments. Nancy taught Sociology at the low participation school. She had a Bachelor of Home Economics and one year of teacher education. She has taught Family Management since its introduction to the schools six years ago. She reported that students were often placed in the class at the end of October 45  when they had received failing letter grades in other classes. The majority of students in the class were non-academic students. Nancy reported there had been a small change in the type of students selecting the class over the past few years with a few academic students taking the class, compared to none in previous years. Sociology was taught in a Foods and Nutrition laboratory/cassroom. Students sat at tables in one of the six kitchen units in the room. The walls of the classroom were decorated with travel posters, pictures of food, and student bulletin board assignments. The bulletin boards included as their focus such topics as AIDS, Eating Disorders, and Alcoholism. Nancy enjoyed teaching Sociology, stating that it was her favourite course to teach. She reported that there was a competition between the Social Studies Department and the Home Economics Department for students. The Social Studies Department at the low participation school offered Psychology. This course competed with Sociology for students. The Social Studies Department advertised that Psychology was for academic students. Social Studies Department members were upset with the name change of Family Management to Sociology, and they tried to block the change. The Social Studies department argued that the name was misleading, and the course description in the course selection booklet did not accurately describe what was being taught. This was the third year for the course name change at Ultra Secondary. Nancy did not report the same kind of support for her program in the school that Susan did. 46  Reasons For Enrolling in Family Management.  Enrollment at the High Participation School  Ten boys enrolled in Socialization and Human Behaviour were interviewed and asked why they enrolled in the course. Six said they chose it because a friend had taken it previously and recommended it to them. Three reported taking the course because a counsellor had recommended it. Brad, a student currently taking SHB 12, told me he initially signed up for Family Management 11 because he was trying to fill up his timetable and the counsellor suggested Family Management. He selected the course after the counsellors told him what it was about. Brad took SHB 12 this year because he enjoyed Family Management in grade 11. Another student Ryan said that the counsellor had suggested the course to him because it would help him with his career in elementary teaching. He also chose the course because the majority of his friends had taken it. Trevor had the course recommended to him by a counsellor and by his friends who took it last year. He told me, "the reason I chose SHB was because I had ideas of becoming a psychologist and a couple of my friends last year said it was a pretty good course and that it was fun." Thomas transferred to the school part way through the year and  had been taking Family Management at another school. When he arrived at Aldila he was put into SHB. He was told by the counsellors that it was the equivalent course. Thomas however, 47  didn't feel that it was the same course. He found the course at this school to be very different from the last school. He initially chose Family Management because he thought it might be useful to him later in life. Adam took the course out of interest and because he thought it would help him with his career in the RCMP. "I read about it and I thought it might be interesting, and I want to be an RCMP Officer and I thought it might help." Two other boys also reported they took the class because their friends had recommended it to them. Recommendations from friends to take the course appeared to be a strong influencing factor on enrollment. Brenden one of the students taking SHB told me, "most advertisement is word of mouth. Mrs Ramon (Susan) is the only one teaching this course and since she does such a good job everyone is telling their friends." The four boys in the high participation school that I interviewed who were not taking SHB were all aware of the course. One of the boys, James said "there are lots of guys in the school that I have heard are going to take the course next year because they have heard that it was such a good course this year."  Enrollment at Low Participation School  At the low participation school, all boys enrolled in Sociology were interviewed. There were three boys taking 48  Sociology 11 and one boy taking Sociology 12. Steve reported that a number of different factors influenced his decision to take the class. He thought the course description in the course selection booklet sounded interesting. His second reason for selecting the course was he thought it might help him with his future career plans to become a police officer. Tyson took the class because he would like to be a social worker, and a university entrance calendar had Sociology listed as one of the courses one takes. Justin took the course because a friend of his had taken it the year before, and told him what the course was about. Cameron was enrolled in Sociology 12. He had the course recommended by a counsellor. His second reason for taking the class was that he perceived it to be the easiest course he could take to meet graduation requirements.  Non-enrollment at High Participation School  At each school I asked the non-enrolling students their reasons for not selecting the course. At the high participation school I interviewed four boys not taking the class. All of these boys had heard about the class from others who had taken it. These boys were aware that it was offered through the Social Studies department. Gino reported taking classes that would help him with his career and meet college entrance requirements. Gino was enrolled 49  in the Hospitality Foods Career Preparation program. Gino felt that SHB was a course for people who were going into the field of Psychology. He did not feel the course would help him become a chef. Mathew reported taking courses "that help him with his  career." He was enrolled in the Accounting Career Preparation program. He told me this "meant having a set course plan throughout high school." He reported that "there was no room in his timetable for Home Economics or Industrial Education classes after grade 8." Hartmeet took business courses, as he felt they would help  him get a job after high school. He also took Physical Education courses because he liked sports. Hartmeet told me "I didn't take it because I had too many other courses to take. If there were nine courses then probably I would have taken it." James also took courses to help him with his planned career  and meet university entrance requirements. If James had an opening in his course load, SHB was one of the classes he would like to take. He reported that this was still a possibility for next year.  Non-enrollment at the Low Participation School  I interviewed six boys who were not taking the class. Four of these boys had never heard of the course. They didn't know it was offered at the school. Of the two boys that were aware of the class, one of them had read about it in the course selection 50  booklet. The other had a girlfriend who was taking the class. Raymond, Derek, Phil and Grant had not heard of the course. They all reported taking classes that they felt would help them with a future career or to find a job. Gary was aware of some of the topics covered in the class because his girlfried had discussed them with him. He selected courses that would meet university entrance requirements and didn't feel that Sociology met this criteria. Dane had read about Sociology in the course selection booklet. He reported selecting the course as an alternate for next year. (Students are required to list two alternate courses at course selection time in case they are not able to timetable their first choice). Dane reported that he selected Sociology as an alternate because some female friends had recommended it to him.  Summary  All boys in the study were asked how they chose their courses. They responded with a variety of reasons. The reason most often given (eighteen out of twenty four students), was that they chose courses which they thought would help them with their future career or job. Fourteen students said that recommendations from friends or siblings influenced their course selection. Observing friends do assignments or homework, and discussions of class activities with friends influenced their course choices. These students 51  felt that they were the ones that made the final decision on whether to enroll or not. They did not feel there was peer pressure to take certain classes. Derek said "I listen to people's opinions about a course but it is usually my decision." Dane told me "if they say to go into it and I think I will do well and I also like it then I will go. I don't go into it just because they are going into it." The third most common influence on course selection cited by eight students was reading a course writeup that sounded interesting. Adam reported "by reading the course selection book I eliminate the ones I don't like." Six students reported that counsellors influenced their course selection. Students said counsellors suggested courses that would prepare them for university entrance or courses that would help with a future job or career. Four students said that a teacher's reputation influenced their course selection. Four students also reported taking courses that a teacher had suggested to them. Two students reported taking the easiest courses they needed in order to graduate. The most common reason for selecting SHB at the high participation school was recommendations from friends. It appeared that SHB was spoken of favorably by enrolling students and the course had a good reputation in the school. Even boys who were not enrolled in SHB were aware of the course. Two nonenrolling boys cited lack of space in their time tables as a reason for non-enrollment. University and job requirements determined what courses these individuals needed. These boys indicated that if they had an opening in their course load, they 52  might have taken the class. Reasons for selecting Sociology at the low participation school were varied. Two of four boys said they took the class because they thought it would help them with their future careers. One boy had the course recommended to him by a friend. The other boy selected the course because he thought it was the easiest course he could take in order to graduate. Sociology was not as well known at the low participation school. Four of six non-enrolling students had not heard of the course. Of the two boys that had heard of the course; one boy had a girlfriend taking the course and the other had selected the it as an alternate for the following year.  53  Non-enrolled Boys' Perceptions of Home Economics  Despite following the same curriculum, Family Management was constructed differently at each school. Unfortunately I didn't recognize this until I was part way through my interviews. After I realized this I decided it was important to ask students at the high enrollment school their perceptions of not just Family Management, but Home Economics classses as well. Up until this point I had only asked students their perceptions of Family Management, which I thought they viewed as a Home Economics course. At the high enrollment school, when Susan changed the course name from Family Managment to Socialization and Human Behaviour, the course lost all of its ties with Home Economics. SHB in students minds was a course in Social/Behavioural Science. At the low enrollment school, Sociology was viewed by the students as a Home Economics class. The Home Economics image remained because the course was taught by a Home Economics teacher in a foods laboratory/classroom.  High Participation School  Of the four boys interviewed at the high participation school, Matthew had no previous Home Economics experience but he had formed some opinions, from talking with friends who were 54  taking Home Economics courses. He made the following comments:  As far as guys go. I think they would prefer Home Economics classes if there was more cooking. I know guys that took Home Economics in grade eight and they did horrible in sewing and really well in the foods compartment and throughout school have taken foods and they are really good cooks. But I think you get an image of sewing, domestic work, housework, which I don't think is bad.  James told me his friends in Home Economics "say its lots of fun and they enjoy it." James also stated "I know alot of guys are taking Home Economics because they are going to be single and they want to know how to sew or hem their pants, iron or cook." According to James "people who stereotype (Home Economics) are too scared to take it themselves". Gino had previous Home Economics experience. He had taken Foods and Nutrition 9/10, enjoyed the experience and decided to go into the chefs training program. He told me that his friends think what he does "is pretty cool". Gino thought there "has been more of an evolution toward guys thinking it's okay for another to cook". Gino thought that course selection was more of an "individual interest thing" rather than something influenced by one's gender. Hartmeet is an Indo-Canadian student. He had the most traditional view of Home Economics classes although he had no 55  Home Economics course experience. He told me that a number of his friends took Home Economics courses "because they liked to get close to the girls." Hartmeet viewed Home Economics courses as mostly suited to girls. He told me that he had an excuse for this view because his parents and the area in which he lived were very traditional. Filipe was one of the students I interviewed who had previous Home Economics experience and was taking SHB. For the most part Filipe enjoyed his Home Economics experiences in grade eight and grade nine. He said "I really didn't like sewing much but I enjoyed the cooking part. It was fun." Filipe had some perceptions about why boys didn't take Home Economics classes. He told me:  Guys don't take Home Economics not because they don't want to, don't like, but because they are too scared what their friends and other people might say because they are in it.  Brenden a grade 12 student taking SHB and Foods and Nutrition 11, reported:  I liked basically the foods part in grade eight. That's why I took foods now, also because I will probably move out in another year and to get some background in cooking.  56  Thomas was currently taking Cafeteria 11. He reported enjoying  the class. He told me that Home Economics courses have the image of being "fun" and an "easy credit".  Low Participation School  At the low participation school Sociology was not well known. One student told me that perhaps the course was not known at this school because boys did not read course descriptions in the Home Economics section of the course selection booklet. Grant:  Well I don't have an interest in cooking or sewing, things like that so I just skip over it. There are alot of guys that would skip over it. ...I think if they put this course somewhere else in the booklet like near physical education you would get alot more attention.  The majority of students at the low participation school had previous Home Economics course experience. Eight out of the ten students interviewed had taken Life Skills eight. One student had taken Foods and Nutrition 9/10. One student (Steve) had no previous Home Economics course experience. Sociology was his first Home Economics course. A variety of reasons were given by the boys for not taking other Home Economics courses. Raymond: 57  I take stuff that is going to come in handy in the future. I took mechanics because obviously your car is going to breakdown some time in the future and you are going to have to fix it. I guess you don't really hear about boys taking it... like Foods and Nutrition and Home Economics courses.  Gary felt that he and his friends didn't take Home Economics courses because "they like harder labor, well guys like harder physical kinds of activities." He mentioned mechanics as an example. "I think guys like going in and getting all dirty. Yeah...I am all dirty you can see I worked hard." He also felt that by taking a mechanics course the guy would definitely be using it "because it's usually a guy who has to work on the car if it breaks down." Whereas in a Home Economics course the guy wouldn't be using what he was taught. "He might one day out of a year make a real big dinner." Gary said he thought it was more important for girls to take Sociology than boys as they were more concerned about their appearances than boys. When I asked him why he felt this way he told me:  If someone has a very low self esteem and they are not very confident with themselves it might be good for them to take it. But if someone has their goals set out and they have planned it and everything is set up then I don't think they would need the course. 58  Phil had taken Life Skills Eight but hadn't selected Home Economics courses since then because they were "boring, slow paced", "basic and common sense." Phil said "people can learn about it through experiences, they don't need a course. If there is anything else I can't do it is simple enough for me to go out and get it done for me." I asked Phil if this meant to pay someone to do it and he replied yes. Phil was quite negative about his Home Economics experience in grade eight. He also stated "it is not something that I would like to spend the rest of my life doing...The pay wouldn't be very good for stuff like that." Derek reported enjoying Life Skills Eight, but said that he hadn't signed up for any Home Economics classes since then because they were "slow paced." Dane had signed up for Sociology as an alternate but he wasn't sure what was taught. He correctly identified reproduction as one of the topics. He told me that he thought Sociology and Psychology were the same course.  Non-enrolled Boys' Perception of Family Management  High Participation School  I asked each of the students who were not enrolled in SHB what they thought students did or learned in the class. ^Gino thought students learned about human characteristics, what 59  people think and how they feel. "Less Biology more of the thinking part of the sciences" he told me. Gino correctly identified two of the topics that had been studied in SHB. When he was told of others he was surprised and responded, "but I thought more of something along the line of motherhood and stuff like that. I didn't think men would see the importance of it." Hartmeet had heard about the course from a friend who was currently taking the class. He was not quite sure what was taught in the class. He thought it talked about "how humans react to some stuff in different ways". He perceived that the course would be easy. James had friends that were taking the class. In fact he had participated as a "subject" in one of his friend's assignments. James was able to identify some of the topics taught. James' perceptions of the class were positive. He made the following comments about the course based on what his friends who were in the class had told him:  They have told me that you really get alot out of it. For the most part some of it really is alot of work. In the long run its really worth it. There is alot behind the scene stuff it uncovers. You learn about yourself and others from doing projects.  Matthew first learned about the course after reading the course writeup in the selection booklet. Matthew thought students learned about "the way people react to different things, 60  different situations and how to cope with those situations." After Matthew was told of some of the topics studied in SHB he responded:  I had no idea they were doing all that. It has the reputation of being a course if you are doing badly in one course you can drop that and take this. Sit there and stare at the teacher all day or the black board and get an A.  Summary  At the high participation school one half of the enrolled and non-enrolled boys (eight out of fifteen) had previous or current Home Economics course experience. At Aldila the boys seemed to have a positive image of Home Economics courses. Their images ranged from "they are fun", to "I will need cooking skills when I move out." Some of the boys felt there had been a movement toward acceptance of Home Economics courses by males. These same boys indicated that there was a small percentage of boys who felt they were too macho to enroll in Home Economics. Of the boys that had taken Home Economics courses most enjoyed them. Sewing was mentioned as an area of dislike by a number of boys. The non-enrolled boys had a positive perception of SHB and a limited knowledge of what was taught. At the low participation school the majority of enrolled and non-enrolled boys (nine out of ten) had previous Home Economics 61  experience. These boys had taken the required Life Skills Eight course. Comments about Life Skills Eight ranged from "I enjoyed it" to "I found it slow paced", "it was common sense", "it wasn't useful". Most of the boys reported they did not enjoy the sewing portion of Life Skills Eight. At this school Home Economics courses were seen as girls' courses. Three of the boys reported they prefered more physical kinds of activities such as mechanics. Only two out of six non-enrolled boys were aware of Sociology however their knowledge about it was limited.  62  Experiences in Family Management Course  There were three blocks of SHB 11 at Aldila, each having a different gender composition. The block A class had ten boys and twenty girls, block B had eight boys and seventeen girls and block C had one boy and twenty-four girls. I attempted to interview boys from all three classes. I wished to find out if the experiences of the boy on his own in the block C class was any different from the experiences of the boys in blocks A and B where there was a higher enrollment of boys. My sample had a selection of boys from each class including the boy (Sam) from block C. Unfortunately, Sam had not attended class for awhile, and I was not able to interview him. The two blocks of SHB 12 were predominatly made up of girls each class had two boys enrolled. As I was not able to interview Sam I decided to include the boys in the SHB 12 classes in the study after the teacher at the high participation school suggested doing this. All boys in SHB 12 had the possibility of being randomly selected. It turned out that one boy from each of the two grade 12 classes was selected.  Experiences of Boys at the High Participation School  Brad is a grade 12 student enrolled in SHB 12. He is one of two boys in the class. Brad and the second boy do not attend 63  the class on a regular basis. Brad initially chose SHB in grade 11 after a counsellor recommended the course. He reported enjoying SHB 11, but his feelings toward SHB 12 were not positive. My interview with Brad lasted longer then any of the others. He appeared to be very eager to tell me about his experiences. During this interview, I developed the feeling that Brad had bottled up his experiences in the course, and was pleased he had the opportunity to tell someone. Brad's negative image of SHB 12 was influenced by a number of different factors. I have grouped these factors under the following categories.  (1) Narrow focus of course content (2) Female orientation of course content (3) Lack of a male voice (4) Stereotyping of males  Narrow Focus of Course Content Brad enjoyed SHB 11 because "it touched on alot of different areas, and that was really good." He felt the SHB 12 course had a narrow focus. In referring to SHB 12 Brad said:  This year we mainly focused on mostly, it kind of all fell under one topic like babies and marriage and really family oriented kinds of things... and I kind of found that was really boring. It just got to the point where I didn't even want to bother going. 64  Brad referred back to this factor six times during the interview. He said things like "we just kept covering the same topics over and over again" and "the most things that I remember through the year was those two subjects, that's the only two things that kept popping up." Brad told me that at the end of Grade 11 he was looking forward to SHB 12, but these feelings soon changed to disappointment. "I think I basically got gypped on this course this year. Because I was expecting a continuation of all the other things that we covered last year."  Female Orientation Brad's second area of dislike was the female orientation of the course. He felt the female orientation was present in the topics covered, the assignments, resources, and class discussions. Brad felt that it was okay to spend some time learning about a marriage and babies, however he felt that too much class time was spent on this. He felt this topic was of more interest to girls:  Alot of the girls are more interested in the marriage and the babies they get really. I noticed they got totally (in a girls voice, refering to an assignment on planning a wedding) oh we're going to have it here, we're going to do this. They were totally planning everything out...they were picking out their dresses. For me it really didn't do 65  anything because I couldn't pick out a dress...It was totally irrelevant to me. You can plan ahead six months to a year but not like ten years in advance.  Brad described the class as being dominated by female content:  I think its kind of like there's a meter with boys on the one end and girls on the other and the material always just bump (using his arm to represent a meter, he moved his arm from a neutral/balanced point to the girls end)  Brad described to me how he felt the assignments and resources favored the girls. One of the projects Brad told me about was a project on planning their own marriage. He made the following comments on that assignment:  Okay great I will plan my own marriage but (laugh) all the books and material they had were all brides books. Oh yeah I'll pick out a dress for me you know....You see alot of projects I didn't do because I really hated them like weddings.  Brad also felt that class discussions were geared toward the girls in the class. He reported that he was very active in class discussions last year in SHB 11, but this year he was "passive" 66  because he had difficulty relating to the topics discussed. "Alot of times I found I couldn't get into the conversation because they were talking mostly about husbands and this and that." Brad said that he did try to get the topics of discussions changed, but he was always overruled:  At one point I spoke out and I said something about it like why do we always stick on the same subject, it gets to be really boring. Everybody, mostly all the girls were "oh well, it's not boring." Sure its not boring to them because that all they do talk about the same thing over and over again.  Lack of Male Voice Brad also identified absence of a male voice as one of the reasons for his lack of enjoyment with the class. He felt the females in the class determined the direction and length of time spent on assignments. He reported that he tried speaking up in class suggesting that they move onto a different topic. His efforts led nowhere. He made comments such as "I felt outruled. It was just like talking to nobody. We might as well stick with it I'm the minority group." Brad felt the SHB 12 class would be dominated by females, and missing the male perspective until more boys enrolled. "I don't think if there is not enough guys in the course they are never going to get the male perspective." Brad became reluctant to verbally participate in class, because he felt his opinion didn't seem to matter, and he felt the girls in 67  the class might not like what he had to say. Brad reported that the teacher encouraged the males to participate. "She always wanted to hear our opinion which is good." Despite this encouragement, Brad held back:  Alot of time I won't say my opinion because there are 20 other girls in the class so you can't really say anything without getting a stupid look...But when I am the only guy there who is going to get eaten up and chewed (laugh) I am just kind of like not going to say it.  Stereotyping of males The last experience Brad mentioned which made him uncomfortable was the stereotyping of males:  It's just that there are those times when they do say the odd thing. Oh guys are just bla, bla, bla. They stereotype you and you just kind of look at them and say 'how can you say that'? You know I would like to come out and say. Stand up and say bla, bla, bla. Sometimes I would and they would all say "well my boyfriend did this." (Sarcastically) Well am I your boyfriend? Why are you taking this out on me? How can you stereotype me and this other guy bla, bla, bla (In a girls voice) "Well because you are all the same this and that." Well you have your opinion and I have 68  mine. See you later.  Brad enjoyed SHB 11 because there was a variety of topics covered. He did not enjoy SHB 12 because it seemed to cover only two topics, marriage and babies. Brad reported that the girls enjoyed this "family focus", and were unwilling to move on to different topics. This female orientation and lack of a male voice led Brad to become frustrated with the course. This frustration led Brad to skip class and not do assignments. Brad was still hoping that he would pass the class. Lee was also a grade 12 student currently taking SHB 12.  He initially chose SHB 11 (it was called Family Management when Lee took the class last year) after reading about it in the course selection booklet. He reported reading about the course with his friends, and they encouraged him to take it because they thought he would be good at it. Lee told me that he has always been the type of person who has been able to help people with their problems, and give them advice. He reported that he likes "arts" courses better than "math/science" courses. Lee's other electives this year were acting and creative writing. He had no previous Home Economics course experience. He was not aware that SHB fell under the Home Economics umbrella. His experiences, unlike Brad's, overall were positive. He reported liking the projects he was assigned, and felt his mark in the class would be a B. Lee told me one of the highlights of the course this year was a child study project they did:  69  We had to do a project where we had to go through and get a child, talk about him and analyse him and stuff like that and I was looking forward to that all year.  Other things that Lee liked were class discussions, group work, and guest speakers. Lee reported he was an active participant in class discussions. The course gave him a "chance to explore something you don't talk about everyday." Lee liked group discussions best. He indicated group work was good because "it taught us alot about working in groups" and group work also provided the "opportunity to interact with others and problem solve." Lee reported the class had a number of different guest speakers this year in SHB 12. Guest speakers included, a woman who had been abused, a police officer talking on family violence, a couple who was expecting a baby, an infertile couple, and a prenatal instructor. Lee enjoyed the guest speakers. He made the following comment about their presentation. "It is really good because you get to sit there and watch someone who has gone through the experience or knows about the experience." Lee felt comfortable being in a class that was predominately made up of girls. When I asked him if it was any different being in a class with more girls he replied, that it didn't feel any different than other classes. He said "sometimes I enjoy it more because there are females in the class and you get some really great conversations going in the class." Lee described 70  the classroom environment as warm:  When you walk in the class you know it is not going to be a class where people are vindictive toward each other or hateful toward each other. When you walk in you know it is going to be a class you are going to like.  Overall Lee's impressions of SHB 12 were positive. Like Brad, Lee identified two aspects of the course that made him uncomfortable. These were a female orientation to the course and male stereotyping:  Every once in a while you get a feeling of a more feminism then masculine. Because for awhile there we were talking about abuse in the family and home and mostly the damage is done by the male to the females. I sort of felt a bit alienated during that thing.  Lee felt the unit on family violence went on "a bit too long". He was not an active participant in the course during this unit. He said "I just had to sit back and just sort of watch everything else happen instead of me interacting." Lee's experiences in SHB 11 and 12 were mainly positive. He was an active participant during class discussions and group work, and he attended class on a regular basis. Lee became uncomfortable 71  during a unit on family violence and reported that during this unit he was a passive participant. In SHB 11 I interviewed three males from block A and five males from block B. I observed one block A class and one block C class. The same lesson was taught in both classes. It was a lesson on abusive relationships. In conversation prior to the class, the teacher indicated it was a challenge to teach the block A class because the boys in the class required "close supervision" and "entertaining" to keep them on task. I would tend to agree with her assessment. A group of boys were constantly interrupting her and the other students. When girls would raise their hands to indicate a desire to participate in the discussion, the boys would interject. During my observation, I noticed a group of boys were frequently 'off task' and involved in their own side show. The classes were very different, and it was a challenge to keep them on task. Filipe was a grade 12 student enrolled in the block A SHB 11 class. Filipe was not aware that SHB was a course which fell under the Home Economics umbrella. He signed up for SHB 11 after his friends who took the class last year recommended it to him. He told me that his girlfriend was the main person who influenced his decision. Filipe's attitude toward the course was rather indifferent. He wasn't sure at first if he liked the course. He later told me "I probably wouldn't be sticking with the course for the whole year if I didn't more like it then dislike it. So I guess I do like it." He identified a number of things that he liked about the course. These included, certain 72  topics, group work, and guest speakers. He reported the class often worked in groups. He liked group work because "it takes the pressure off you if you don't know something, someone might fill in for you and when they don't know something you can fill in for them." Filipe reported liking the units on drugs, alcohol, cults and relationships. He said he likes "topics that are not touched on much in today's world." Filipe found the unit on mental illness boring, because his science class had covered the same information. He was "bored relearning what he already knew." Two things that made Filipe uncomfortable in class were a female orientation to course content and stereotyping of males. Filipe noticed both of these occured during the units on relationships and rape. Filipe was uncomfortable during these two units because he felt (1) the teacher was teaching "from a female perspective," and (2) "the boys in the class were being stereotyped as abusers." Filipe felt the topic was approached from a female orientation both in the way the teacher presented the information and the handouts the students were given:  Right now she is teaching from the girl's point of view. What happens when a boyfriend beats you and how you should get out of that relationship. It's more for a girl's benefit....A guy is not really learning much getting a handout from a female perspective because its not for him and he should get one for a male.  73  Filipe felt that it was possible to teach from a more equal point of view by providing the boys in the class with different handouts. He reported feeling "intimidated" during these units, because he felt all guys were being stereotyped as abusers. He recognized that the teacher was not doing this on purpose, but, he felt that the lesson came across in this manner. He said "she refers to all guys are like that, she wasn't saying that properly." Filipe noticed a difference in girl/boy participation in the course. He felt the girls were more involved and excited than the boys during the rape and relationship units. During the other units he noticed the guys tended to dominate the class. He felt that some girls were reluctant to participate during discussions for fear of being put down by the boys:  There are a couple of guys, class clowns in our class. If you say anything too out of this world type thing then they'll make fun of it. Never bothers me, but it does seem to bother some girls they tend to pick on.  Overall Filipe reported feeling "pretty normal" in the class. He didn't notice any other differences between this class and others. He felt that the female orientation was mainly present during the units on relationships and rape. Ravinder is a grade 12 student in the block A SHB 11 class. He has a bubbly and colourful personality. Ravinder told me he likes to do things to be different, which was one of the 74  reasons he chose SHB 11. Recommendations from friends and the counsellor were the other reasons for his taking the class. Ravinder had taken Home Economics in grade eight. He told me that he knew SHB was a course offered under the Home Economics umbrella. I am not sure if his statement was true, because later in the interview he referred to SHB and Family Management as being separate courses. Ravinder was quite positive about the class. He spoke favourably about the topics and class activities. He liked the topics the course covered because "those kind of subjects are not really talked about." He mentioned the units on cults and stereotyping as examples. Ravinder thought the topics gave one a chance to learn about oneself. "Like you learn alot about yourself in that class. Like stuff you don't normally think about is brought up. Like it makes you think about yourself. Your self attitude." Ravinder enjoyed SHB because the activities the class was given were good. He identified games and class discussions as his favorites. He particularly liked discussions because he felt his verbal skills were better than his writing skills. Ravinder was an active participant in class discussions. "I can't stay quiet if there is a discussion. I always give my opinion." Ravinder identified stereotyping of males and topics that were "too personal", as things he did not like about the course. Ravinder felt stereotyping of males occured in the rape unit:  Like when doing the rape unit. It is always totally the males fault. Right. Guys are 75  always forcing and guys are always after one thing. Stuff like that, which is not always true.  Ravinder felt the self unit had some questions and activities that were too personal. "Some of the stuff asks you quite personal questions and you don't want to answer but you have to because you need the marks". Ravinder said some of the personal questions he didn't do and he lost marks. He also felt he lost marks because he was lazy. He reported that often he could answer a whole worksheet verbally "but when it comes to writing it down I won't even bother". Ravinder believed that the boys and girls participated equally in the class. He said the boys offered their opinion regularly. (This statements contradicts Filipe's earlier statement. Filipe thought the boys participated more.) In refering to girls, Ravinder said:  Most of them probably learn alot. Because alot of the stuff there is dealing with the guys' aspect like the male point of view compared. So the females learn more how the males think.  It appears that there was a "male voice" in the block A SHB 11 class, which was lacking in the grade 12 classes. Ravinder was proud of this male voice. He said:  We gun the girls down. Not always but it seems when 76  the girls say something the guys always have to gun them back down. Keep them quieter...Four or five of us guys sit together. If the girls say anything oh men can't do this, put down men. Then we just burn them. Then all of them get choked. But then we always at the end, they always calm down or the teacher breaks it up.  While Ravinder was talking I got the impression that the boys dominated the class. Perhaps Ravinder is one of the class clowns Filipe was refering to. Girls that were 'gunned down' might be reluctant to participate. Ravinder said he was comfortable in SHB. He described the classroom environment as relaxed, an "easy going room". Brenden, a grade 12 student sat with Ravinder and Filipe in SHB 11. Brenden was one of a few boys who had previous Home Economics course experience which included Home Economics Eight and Foods and Nutrition 11. Brenden told me last year the course was called Family Management, but he was surprised to learn it fell under the Home Economics umbrella. "Well I know its nothing like mechanics or that but I didn't know it was Home Economics." Brenden became interested in the course last year after watching his friend who was taking Family Management 11 do assignments and homework. Brenden enjoyed his year so far in SHB and said "I like almost everything we have done." He felt the teacher made the class exciting. According to Brenden, she "presented it in a really fun manner." Brenden also liked the 77  course because it was "different" from any other courses he had taken and he felt he could "be himself in the class". "We did alot of new things like different games and we learned about alot of new things". He credited his teacher with an ability to make students feel comfortable. "She won't make you feel uncomfortable if you have a wrong answer. She will make you feel like you are right even if you were wrong". Brenden implied that the teacher worked to create a comfortable classroom environment for everyone.  Everyone is happy and cheering [sic] and everyone is always talking back and forth and its more of an open forum. You can be yourself, say what you think.  Filipe's reporting of the classroom environment differed from Brenden's. Filipe reported the classroom environment wasn't comfortable for everyone. He indicated some of the girls in the class were reluctant to participate, for fear of being 'picked on' or 'put down'. Ravinder's verbal accounts on the classroom tend to agree with Filipe's. Perhaps, Brenden's view is somewhat distorted, and limited to himself. Brenden enjoyed the activities the class was given, especially role plays and discussions. He felt he was an active and comfortable participant in these class discussions. "We may not always be right about what we are saying but we are probably the most comfortable expressing what we are thinking". Brenden said his teacher quite often called upon him and his friends to get class 78  discussions going. When I asked Brenden if he thought there was one sex that dominated class discussions, he reported: "I think it's the guys. I think it's us. I think we are probably the more popular people and feel more comfortable just talking". While Brenden was comfortable for most of the class, he did mention two units where he felt uneasy and intimidated. One of these units was on rape, the other on abusive relationships. During the unit on rape, the teacher brought in a guest speaker. Brenden did not like this guest speaker:  We had a guest speaker who was a very biased feminist. She was just the worst. She was talking about rape and everyone knows rape isn't really violence, or sexual crime its more of a violent act. But she was portraying everything like men are just beasts.. teaching girls how to kill guys or what ever when they tried to rape them and stuff. It was just stupid.  Brenden felt all males were being stereotyped as abusers. Referring to the present unit on abusive relationships:  I thought it was a total bias again. I know that violence in a relationship is more of a male dominant trait, but I am pretty sure it happens the other way. Just like male rape, it happens but it is something that men wouldn't really like to be proud of because of the image that society once 79  again portrays for them.  I observed Brenden's class during a lesson on abusive relationships. The students had been given a homework assignment from the previous class in which they were to write a 'Dear Diary' entry describing the progression of a relationship into an abusive one. The teacher had asked the students to take on the role of the victim. A number of girls read their 'Dear Diary' stories to the class. The students' stories began with infatuation. The stories went on to describe how the relationship changed into an abusive one. Everyone in the class was quiet while the girls read out their stories. The teacher thanked each student and summarized the abusive pattern at the completion of each story. No boys volunteered to read their stories. A girl in the class volunteered to read out Ravinder's story. Ravinder was absent from class. As Ravinder's story was read, people in the class began to laugh. I didn't find Ravinder's story outrageous or laughable. When I asked Brenden about the laughing he replied:  Well if you met Ravinder you would understand. Ravinder is the type of guy who is really wierd. I can just picture Ravinder being pushed around by the girl. That is just the way I saw it. No one really. If you think of some guy writing in his diary about being beatup by his girlfriend, you think of some woman from the Amazon, seven foot, 300 pound 80  beast.  Brenden did not write a 'Dear Diary' entry because he was absent from class when the assignment was given. I asked him if he thought the majority of boys in the class would do the assignment. Brenden said:  I think the guys would write the letter. They just wouldn't look at it seriously, because it is hard to take every topic if you are talking about dating and how you feel about intimacy on the first date, not all the guys are going to feel comfortable.  I told Brenden, that I noticed the boys were quiet during the letter reading. He agreed and indicated that his friend Dave, who usually expresses the male view point, was absent from class:  Usually the thing is we need Dave there because Dave is the one who will say no no no, you can't do that. Because he is really smart and he is the one who can best show our point.  Four boys were absent from this class. Their absence may have affected the boys participation. Perhaps the boys are more comfortable expressing their viewpoints when there are other boys to support them. 81  Ryan is a grade 11 student in the block B SHB 11 class. He  would like to become an elementary school teacher. He took SHB because the counsellor told him it was a good course for someone going into the field of teaching. The majority of Ryan's friends were also taking the class. Ryan enjoyed his experiences in SHB and signed up to take SHB 12 next year. He identified groupwork, specific course units, guest speakers, assignments and class discussions as positive aspects of the course. He liked the opportunity to work in groups because he was able to socialize with his friends. He found the units on cults, mental disorders and the self interesting. A variety of "stimulating guest speakers" was also identified as a strong part of the course. He enjoyed the majority of topics that were studied, and found some familar to him. Ryan indicated this was good because SHB provided the opportunity to study these topics in more detail. "In late elementary we talked about abuse and stuff like that so it is sort of like we have already been doing it....and now we have the chance to study it in depth." When I asked Ryan to tell me about some of his positive experiences in the class, his first answer was the "personal history assignment." This assignment was also given to the class at the low participation school. In this assignment students put together their life history from birth to present in a scrapbook. The information was presented in a written format and supplemented with photographs, art work, and other mementoes. 82  The classroom environment and atmosphere also helped make Ryan's experiences in SHB positive. He reported feeling very comfortable in the class. He told me most of the students in the class were in grade 11 and they were his friends. He described the classroom environment as "friendly" and "laid back". He indicated that his amount of participation in the class was in the medium to high range. He felt the class discussions were balanced, in that neither boys or girls tended to dominate. He did not directly mention a female orientation in the course, but he did say that he thought the course could be improved, "If there was more even in sexes, then we could do more interesting projects."  Mao, a grade 12 boy, is an English as a Second Language student, in the block B SHB 11 class. He selected SHB because the description in the course selection booklet sounded interesting, and Mao's friend who took the course last year "advised" him to take it. Two things that Mao liked about the class were that there was not much homework, and it didn't require any extra hours to study. He reported SHB was a "nice class", and he felt he had got "alot out of it." Mao said SHB gave him: "Alot of confidence, public speaking. There is alot of presentation, so I got confidence to speak in public". Mao found some activities in the course more difficult than others, particularly those activities requiring verbal skills. He identified class discussions and presentations from guest speakers as examples. Mao indicated these difficulties were the 83  result of a "language problem". He ranked his participation in the low to medium range. He reported that he doesn't complete all of his home work assignments. He felt he was passing the course with a "minimum grade". Despite there being a higher percentage of girls in this class than other classes, Mao didn't feel the class was any different. Mao thought that more girls took the class than boys because "It is easier. Easiest course you can take. Sciences are more harder...This course is easier, that's why more girls take it". Mao described the classroom environment as friendly and aggressive. I asked Mao in what ways students were aggressive, and he responded , "they don't hesitate to talk on any topic".  Adam a grade 11 student has taken Foods and Nutriton 9/10. He plans to become an RCMP officer, and took SHB 11 because he thought it might help him in his career. He said SHB was "pretty enjoyable". Some of the things he liked about the course were, the oral presentations, the self unit, and being able to choose one's own topic for the bulletin board assignment. Adam thought the course was valuable because "it helps you to ready yourself to speak in front of the class." Adam described the classroom environment as friendly, and added he "sits with an enjoyable group." He felt his participation level was about medium, and his standing in the class was a C+. He did not like the cults or mental disorders units. He believed these units (particularly the cult unit) were not realistic. He stated: "I would like to have spent less time on cults and more time on the family section." Adam made no 84  mention of a female orientation to the course. When I asked him how he felt being in a class that was mostly made up of girls he replied: "Well its not mostly female. Well it is but there is more guys. Three or four at the front and two or three on the sides." Adam didn't notice any difference in the class as a result of there being more girls. He perceived the achievement of girls as higher than the boys; however, he didn't know why this might be the case. Trevor was a grade 11 student who had no previous Home  Economics course experience. Trevor perceived Home Economics classes as "being for girls", and he was not aware SHB was part of Home Economics. He signed up for SHB because his friends told him it was a "pretty good course and that it was fun". He had another reason for taking the class, he said: "actually last year the reason I chose SHB was because I had ideas of becoming a psychologist". Trevor basically enjoyed the class, but he indicated that he wouldn't be taking SHB 12 next year.  After being in the class, it is not to say that I don't like the topics, it is just that I am not as interested as I thought I would be, so I won't be enrolling next year.  Trevor liked class discussions, group work, and activities that involved the whole class. He thought the section on personality profile was interesting. In this section Trevor said they discovered what kind of personality they had, and what jobs they 85  would be best suited to. Trevor told me the most positive and benefical experience in the class was:  Getting in front of the class and talking. We have these things called impromptu and they give us a chance to go in front of the class and speak. I think I developed a better. I can go in front of the class and speak now. I feel more comfortable.  Trevor reported his participation level as medium, and said he is "more of a listener than a person asking questions." One of the things Trevor did not like about the class was the tests. Trevor was disappointed with his performance on them. He said: "I don't like her tests. I just never seem to get a good mark on them so that has brought my mark down alot." Trevor thought his mark in the class would be either a C or C+. He described the classroom environment as friendly. He noticed the atmosphere in SHB was different than his other classes.  Well the classroom atmosphere is different. How do I put it. The classroom atmosphere is not as rowdy. The behaviour is alot better in this class. In a class with more guys then there is more guys that are loud and stuff like that. This class is more quiet.  Trevor also felt there was a difference in the way that girls and boys thought about the class: "The girls participate harder. 86  They ask more questions and they probably get their work done more than we would." When I asked him why he thought this, he replied:  Probably because we are not as interested in it as they are. Unless the male is going to go into that kind of work then he would be interested in and he would do the work.  Trevor unlike Mao, Adam and Ryan mentioned male stereotyping and a female orientation occuring during the course. He felt this happened during certain topics.  Girls are more sensitive, they're more involved, more emotional wise, and its harder for us. Harder for the males. We are outnumbered and it is uncomfortable sometimes...It is just that sometimes some of the topics make us look bad. One time we were talking about rape and it totally focussed on guys how negative it is and stuff, and we felt like alot of us felt uncomfortable.  Thomas, a grade 11 student transferred to the high participation school part way through the year. At his first school the course was called Family Management and the class was primarily made up of girls. At this school Thomas believed he was learning "about budgeting and finding out how much it would 87  cost to have a baby and stuff like that". Thomas felt SHB was very different from the Family Management course he was taking at his previous school. "Now that I transferred over here they said I had to take this course (SHB) and this course wasn't anything like that." Thomas said he found some of the activities in SHB interesting, "listening skills" and "activities we did as a class" were ones he mentioned. Thomas reported that his teacher encouraged all students to participate by planning fun things to do. "When she makes an activity she makes it so it will be fun for everyone, not just for a certain individual." Thomas found the units on cults and mental illness boring. He felt the class would have been more enjoyable for him if the topics were more "family oriented". Thomas would have liked activities where: "they pair you up with another girl make it like you are married, so you have to work out a budget, get a job....find a place to live and stuff like that." Thomas indicated he would not take SHB 12, "because it wasn't what I was expecting. Like I had to take it because of transferring." Instead of learning about cults, Thomas would have liked to learned about,  marriage, aspect of getting married. How much it would cost, learning about how to budget your money...learn more about how to run a household. How much B.C. Hydro is going to cost, how much gas is going to cost.  Even though Thomas was disappointed with the focus of the course 88  he said "whether I pass or fail it (SHB) I still got something out of it." Thomas reported he was not doing well in the class. In fact it was doubtful whether he would pass. His attendance record was poor, and assignments and homework frequently were not done.  I usually sleep in because I am not that great at getting up and sometimes I will forget to do my homework. So I will skip that class thinking I will do it and give it to her, but then when I come back there is other homework and I lose marks on that.  Thomas said he didn't do some of the assignments because they were "not interesting." Thomas was the only other boy in block B SHB to mention male stereotyping during his interview.  When we were learning about the Montreal Massacre where this guy went around killing women at this university. It makes like I thought it was making the guys in the class look bad.  The relationship unit was a unit where other boys I interviewed indicated they felt all males were being stereotyped and put down. I asked Thomas if he felt this way during this unit, and he replied no. He then added "but in a way it makes it seem like all the guys do it but girls can do it sometimes too." He 89  described how his past girlfriend had treated him. He felt the relationship unit was "okay because I am going out with someone who had a relationship like that."  Experiences of Boys at the Low Participation School  At the low participation school there were two classes of Sociology 11 and one class of Sociology 12. Tyson, a grade 11 student was one of two boys enrolled in block E Sociology. There had been three boys enrolled for most of the year, but one boy dropped the class three weeks prior to the start of this study. Tyson signed up for Sociology because he felt the class would help him with his planned future career in social work. He thought the course was "pretty good." He enjoyed the guest speakers and groupwork. He felt that the activities he was given "were good ones". Tyson's attendance in the class was good. He rated his verbal participation as high, and his written participation as low. Tyson indicated much of what was taught in the class was common sense, "I find alot in that class is common sense...or it is covered in different classes". Later during the interview he reported the course provided more detail on topics than other classes. "It explains alot deeper into the things...They tell you exactly what it is. In Science they hide the main point of it. This class they come out and say it." Despite the easiness and common sense of course content, Tyson was not passing. He seemed to be having trouble understanding why he was doing so poorly. "I don't understand where alot of 90  the marks come from. I don't feel there is enough to get a mark on." According to the teacher, Tyson was not passing the course because he had not turned in the majority of assignments. At the front of the classroom, the teacher had a large bulletin board (10 x 6 ft) titled 'When Are My Assignments Due'. Under each block was a wipe board which listed the title of an assignment, the date it was given, the mark it was out of, and when it was due. It is difficult to understand why Tyson didn't know "where the marks come from." All possible marks for the course are listed on the wipe board. Tyson indicated, that at times he felt uncomfortable in the course: "I found it in there too a couple of times when I wanted to leave." He felt uncomfortable, because the class was predominately made up of girls. "Alot of it for me and Steve I know too because we were the only two males in that class. Which is kind of wierd because everyone looks at you." Tyson felt the girls were often surprised by the "different viewpoint of the males." He thought the girls expected the boys to have the same viewpoint as them. He was reluctant at times to voice his opinion because it might be taken the wrong way. "It is sometimes hard, you don't know what to say or if you say something you think it might be wrong or taken wrongly." Tyson also felt uncomfortable making comments during class discussions because his opinions were always 'judged'. This didn't seem to happen to opinions of girls. "When I have said something it is made a point of. When someone else says something it is not really judged or commented on." 91  Perhaps Tyson's uncomfortable feelings were the result of a female orientation and lack of male voice in the class. Tyson did not plan to take Sociology 12 next year because he felt Sociology 11 hadn't helped him. He indicated the course was different than what he expected. He thought the course description for Sociology in the course selection booklet was very different from what was taught. According to Tyson "the writeup says how to talk to people and understand people and stuff. This course covers a whole different aspect." Tyson wants to take courses that will be useful for his future career. He doesn't feel Sociology will help him in social work. Steve a grade 11 student, sat with Tyson and two other girls in Sociology. Steve enrolled in the class because he thought the course description for Sociology in the course selection booklet sounded interesting. He felt Sociology might help him with a career in the RCMP. He was also taking Psychology. He reported Sociology and Psychology were quite similar. He told me the "projects were easy" and some of the concepts taught were "common knowledge." He liked working in groups, as long as he felt comfortable with that group. Steve enjoyed the guest speakers. He indicated the class had quite a few guest speakers during the past year. He told me the guest speakers on Alcoholism made an impact on him. He reported he was the type of person who prefers to listen to what others have to say, rather than expressing his own opinion. He rated his participation in the class as low, as he had not turned in a number of assignments. He was not passing Sociology. His 92  attendence was irregular. At times, he was bored in class. He stated: "When it was more of the girl stuff, I was bored." Steve was not able to give me an example of the "girl stuff". He thought the class was much easier for the girls, because the course content was more suited to them. He said: "I think there is kind of alot more girl stuff than guy stuff." He reported the girls were more active participants in the course, and their viewponts tended to dominate. He thought males were stereotyped during the unit on date rape. At times he was very uncomfortable as: "the girls they are kind of against the guys, the males. That's what I am noticing." Even though at times Steve was uncomfortable in class, he reported enjoying the class. He had signed up to take Sociology 11 again next year because he will not pass this year. He knows he does not have to take Sociology 11 again, but has chosen to do this because he liked the course. Justin is the only male in the block G Sociology class. He said the course was interesting because of the topics covered. His favorite units were the units on alcoholism and adolescence. He liked the activities during these units, especially the nonalcoholic party, class discussions, and guest speakers. The adolescent unit was good because he said "It is interesting to see what your parents and grandparents did when they were teenagers". Justin also liked the bulletin board assignment. He was, however, not happy with all of the units. The self unit was a unit he did not like. In referring to the self unit he said "I found it kind of boring...the majority of stuff I knew". He 93  did not do the personal history assignment in the self unit. He told me he found it difficult to put together. At times during the course he was uncomfortable because some of the topics were "a bit embarassing," or "too personal." He said Sociology was different than other classes because he felt he was expected to give the male opinion. Often his opinion was on something he thought was mostly a "female topic." Other times Justin was uncomfortable with the topics, "for some of the topics I feel kind of stupid on because I can't answer. I can't answer half of the questions." Justin rated his participation in the class as low. His attendance was good, but he didn't always turn in assignments. He was not doing well in the class. He felt he had "one of the lowest grades." He blamed his poor performance on two things: his laziness and that the course was easier for girls. Justin noticed a "big difference" in the way that males and females thought about the course. He thought "girls can relate to it more." He provided the following example: "For instance how many guys do you know that talk about birth control and stuff." He told me he wouldn't be taking Sociology 12 next year: "I am not doing well this year so I don't think I would do well next year." At the end of the interview Justin said "I am surprised you didn't ask what it was like to be a disabled person in that class." Justin is physically handicapped and is in a wheelchair. He then went on to tell me that he was very intimidated during the unit on reproduction because of his disability. Justin felt there was a female orientation to the course, but he did not 94  mention male stereotyping.  Cameron was a grade 12 student. He was the only boy enrolled in Sociology 12. He had not taken Sociology 11; therefore while enrolled in Sociology 12, he was receiving credit for Sociology 11. A counsellor recommended the course to him. He followed the counsellors suggestion because he felt Sociology was "easier than history." Cameron suggested that he takes the easiest courses he can in order to graduate. He identified a number of different things about the course that he liked. Working in groups was one aspect of the course he enjoyed. He liked working in groups because it "helps one do their work faster" and provided the "opportunity to practice communication skills." Class discussions were another area of enjoyment. He liked discussions because they gave each person a chance to: "practice communication skills and they allow one to hear what other people think." The career assignment was a highlight for Cameron:  We got to do our career, like you know what your career is and you get to go investigate to the library and stuff and that is what I thought was the best thing throughout the whole year. That was my favorite.  One of the things Cameron did not like about the course was the narrow focus of course content. He indicated the topic of relationships seemed to last the whole year.  95  You get tired doing the same thing over and over again. Like on relationships, we did it throughout the whole year until we did the career thing. That was the only thing different. We kept on relationships, get kind of boring after awhile.  Cameron's second criticism about the course related to a female orientation of class content. He noticed that the girls felt differently about the course than himself. "They really get into it", he reported. He felt that this was because: "The class is probably mostly about girls. ^They talk about girl stuff." An example of "girl stuff" was the unit on pregnancy. "I don't think we can get pregnant. Girls adapt to it more than guys, because some of the topics are more for a woman, for girls." Cameron thought the class would have been more enjoyable for him if there had been a wider variety of topics studied. He reported he liked being in a class that was predominately girls. He felt that he was accepted in the class: "They just accept me because I am a guy and I think different then they do." Cameron reported his participation level in the class was about medium. He did his assigned work and was achieving a passing grade.  96  Summary  Four themes emerged from boy's descriptions of their experiences. The four themes were narrow focus of course content, female orientation of course content, lack of a male voice, and stereotyping of males. These themes were present in boys' descriptions at both the high enrollment and low enrollment school, but were not mentioned by all students interviewed. A number of questions have emerged from these themes. These include: (1) Why did two of three boys interviewed view the content of Family Management 12 as having a narrow focus? (2) What might have led boys to develop this perception? (3) Do all boys agree Family Management 12 has a narrow focus? (4) What do boys mean when they say Family Management has a female orientation? There was a difference in the experiences of boys in classes with a higher enrollment of boys versus classes with a low enrollment of boys. In classes with a higher enrollment of boys, the boys in the class were more comfortable participating and thus believed a 'male voice' was present. Boys in classes on their own or with one other boy were less likely to participate for fear of having their opinions judged or taken the wrong way. Boys in all of the classes reported enjoying certain topics because these topics weren't talked about everyday. Students liked class discussions, group work, and guest speakers. There was considerable difference in the achievement of 97  boys at the two schools. The boys at the high participation school reported doing better than the boys at the low participation school. At the high participation school nine out of ten boys said they were passing the course compared to one of four boys passing at the low participation school.  Perceived Relevance of Family Management Courses  Boys who were not enrolled in Family Management were read a list of topics covered in Family Management 11 and 12 at both schools. This list was derived from course outlines. Boys were then asked to comment on the relevancy of Family Management to their present and future lives.  Non-Enrolled Boys at the High Participation School  Matthew thought that relevancy of a course depended  on how interested the student is in learning and what ever unit your're on...If the student doesn't feel that they really need something I don't think they will listen as much as they would if they felt they needed it.  When I asked Matthew what he meant by "needed it", he responded: "General knowledge, general life. If they don't need something  98  to get along, then they won't pay attention." Matthew didn't feel that he personally needed any training in Home Economics because he was self taught in that area.  I think in my case at home because my mom passed away six years ago, I had to learn how to sew, I had to learn all that myself. So I know how to do that myself. So I don't really need that Home Economics course. The boys that haven't taken Home Economics don't have or weren't in that situation I was in, I feel that once they leave home are going to find out alot of things. They are going to be living off peanut butter sandwiches and cheese for quite a while. I almost think they should make us take one year of Home Economics and one year of Industrial Education so that we have the experience of both.  Matthew selected the cult topic from a verbal list of topics studied in SHB as being very relevant. He made no comments on any of the other topics. Matthew felt that women were receiving more respect and credit for work they have traditionally done. "I think the man is realizing that its a heck of alot of work for someone to do that, bear the child, care for the child." Matthew thought it was great if his future wife wants to work outside the home because "that is just added income." Matthew sees men taking a more active role in child rearing. He told me 99  at his church he sees moms taking time off work for a while then going back to work.  There are a number of ladies who have had to take time off work and be off work for a little while. I can see them going back very soon. In alot of cases soon as the child is able to realize that Daddy does some work, and Daddy is able to care for the child as well.  Hartmeet didn't feel that taking SHB would make a "difference" to students' daily or future lives. He thought the course was "okay" but "students already know most of it from T V and all that." Hartmeet indicated a more relevant topic of study would be: "how you would take care of all the finances and that, like they do in Consumer Ed." He suggested a month or two on this topic. Hartmeet's family life was very traditional. His father worked outside the home and his mother worked in the home. Hartmeet couldn't see his future lifestyle varying much from his present family setting. He was aware that family roles have changed "a little", but in his own community he reported: "Where I live is mostly traditional....I don't see it changing much." Gino reported SHB would help students in the future because: "Studying units such as the self would be beneficial. You would have it easier with yourself. Speak better more self assured. You would know what your're talking about." Gino felt the topics covered in the course were relevant to students' 100  lives because:  We hear all about the problems in a family such as divorce, child abuse, and all that. I think if you teach them younger how to control a relationship or manage a relationship. I think that will help them in the future and not hurt them. It can only be beneficial.  Gino thought that psychology would be a good topic of study to include in SHB because: "Alot of people this age especially Grade eleven and Grade twelve they want to go into a career like psychology or criminology. Psychology would help them." Gino recognized family roles have changed. He saw women's participation in the work force increasing.  I think everyone is going to work to make their lives better, more money coming in. The environment that we live in is such a money based environment that we have to support ourselves.  Gino felt mothers should stay home the first year after giving birth. After this first year the family could arrange "babysitting or a nanny, or whatever they could afford."  James had a positive attitude toward SHB. He "definitely" thought the course was important for both girls and boys to take. He was aware of a number of the topics taught in SHB and he saw them as relevant to students' lives both now and in the future. 101  James said: "Any experience you have (such as taking SHB) will have an impact on your everyday life. It is just how you analyse the situation and use it to your advantage." James thought that in most households both parents work because: "If couples have children and they have a mortgage its almost impossible to have a single income household anymore." James felt when women began working outside the home they became independent and family roles changed. James indicated it was the responsibility of both parents to take active roles in raising the children. "It has to be both parents because there are certain things that I personally get from my Mom and certain things that I personally get from my Dad." When there are young children in a family James saw mainly the mother staying home to look after them. He thought it was possible for either parent to stay home depending on how flexible their careers were. James added that his Dad was the one he called if he gets sick at school because his work schedule is more flexible and he can leave to pick James up.  102  Non-enrolled Boys at the Low Participation School  Gary felt it was more important for girls to take Sociology  than boys. He didn't feel that boys would be using alot of the information taught. He thought the course would "probably" help students out because: "they would be more organized and have a day to day plan and maybe run by it." Gary thought the course might teach one "a good way of doing things" versus a "bad way." At times during his interview Gary's statements were contradictory. One moment he would say:  I think that...if you are planning on entering into a family you should take it to understand everything about it and know what's coming up. But otherwise I don't think I would take it.  This statement particularly the last sentence seemed to imply that the majority of students wouldn't need to take Sociology. But then a few minutes later he stated:.  It would be important because eventually most people start a family so you are going to have to learn sometime. To do it when it is under control is probably better then being forced to learn it. 103  In this statement "most people" refers to the majority of students. Yet, Gary and his friends didn't take Sociology or Home Economics courses because they felt boys wouldn't be using the information taught. Gary reported most of his friends were traditional in their thinking about family roles: "The girl should be the cook, the barefoot and pregnant style, alot of my friends think that way." When there are young children in a family, he felt one of the parents, preferably the mother, should stay home to look after them. Gary said: "I don't like the idea of a babysitter. I think you should grow up with either your Mom or Dad." Gary doesn't see himself staying home to look after his children.  My mom brought me up and my dad didn't have that much to do with it...I probably think if I was a kid I would like it better if my mom brought me up because I think girls are a little more understanding than guys and they are I guess nicer.  As the children grew older, Gary saw himself becoming more involved, especially if they were into activities.  Dane thought the topics studied in Sociology were "good", especially the self unit. He felt the course would be relevant to students' lives in the future, but was not able to describe how it would be relevant. Dane believed that today both parents 104  probably will work outside the home. He said this will require: "Alot of organization to set things up, plan everything." He thought that this could mean "alot of stress", and that it "wouldn't be easy." Dane thought a daycare could look after the children while parents were at work.  After being read a list of topics covered in Sociology,  Derek replied: "I think they are important. I think males should learn about them too." He thought the course could make a difference to students' lives, "because then they would be aware of what is happening." Derek believed that today women should have the choice of working in the home or outside the home. He believed that it was quite easy to get a nanny to look after the children, should the mother decide to work outside the home. Derek could not see himself taking time out from his career to stay home to look after young children.  Grant had never heard of Sociology before the interview. After learning about some of the topics taught, he thought that Sociology would be an important class for girls and boys to take.  I didn't take it. I never heard about it until now. But I think it would help us out in the end. I figure if you're going to be a parent you can 't get worse you can only get better. You can learn the things to do, and I feel this would help you learn what to do and what not to do. 105  Grant would like to see the topics 'responsibilities of being grown up,' and 'money management' added to the course. Grant thought the topics covered in the course were relevant to students' lives. "Alot of students have problems, like runaways and all that and I feel if there is more told about it alot more people would join the class." Grant wanted to be "well into his career", before he thinks about having a family. He said he enjoys young children. He has a younger brother that he looks after. He saw himself as an active participant in child rearing, especially when the children are old enough to do sports activitives.  Phil had a negative attitude toward Home Economics courses. This attitude carried through to Sociology. After reading a list of the topics covered in Sociology, Phil replied:  Most of that is pretty well common sense. I mean it is pretty basic. People can learn about it through everyday life, probably through experiences. They don't need to take a course on that.  Phil didn't feel it was necessary to learn about parenting because "it comes naturally" and "one can learn about it from their own parents." Phil felt in his future family that both parents would work, as parents didn't need to stay home with their young children, because: "There are places you can send 106  your kid until the parents get home from work." Phil avoided questions about his role in his future family.  Raymond didn't feel the course was useful. After having a list of topics read to him Raymond replied: "I think you can talk about them but it won't really make a difference." Most of the topics according to Raymond were "not common" or "taught in science." Raymond didn't think it was important for girls or boys to take the course. "I think people usually know about that stuff. Communication and how it breaks down. Dating alot of people date so I doubt they need to be taught how to do it." He thought that both men and women can work until they have children, then the wife should stay at home, to look after them until they have completed elementary school. After that, she could find "a little part time job or something." Raymond was very traditional in his beliefs. He seemed somewhat agitated by questions I asked him, particularly ones that pertained to male/female roles.  107  Enrolled Boys at the High Participation School  Brad was disappointed with his year in SHB 12. He felt the focus of the course was narrow, and too much time was spent on two topics, babies and marriage. Brad felt he didn't learn many new things in the course.  Last year's information was great. There was alot of good stuff. This year I don't know because we just kept covering the same topics over and over again. I mean okay I learned a few things about babies and stuff. The development of babies other than that I already knew how a marriage works and ... no one in my family has been divorced or whatever.  Brad did not see SHB 12 as being relevant to his future life or roles in a family. He did not like the family focus of SHB 12. "That's all it was just family stuff. Marriage, babies and there was other aspects of that and I kind of found that was really boring." Brad indicated the family focus of the course should have disappeared when they changed the course name from Family Management to Socialization and Human Behaviour. He reasoned: "It's not called Family Management anymore so why stick with the same material." Brad told me he liked the traditional family setting, but 108  wouldn't object if his wife wanted to work. He couldn't see himself staying home and looking after children while his wife worked outside the home. He believed others would judge him unfavourably if he did.  In a way I would kind of feel it would be damaging. I would feel kind of insecure in a way because I would be staying home and she would be going out all the time going to work. I think people would still be thinking what is wrong with him?  Lee thought SHB was very relevant to his future. He was one of a small number of students to recognize the usefulness of SHB to his future family.  That's one thing that people don't understand about SHB is that they think when we go in there we talk about all these different psycho terms. But when we go in there we talk about things like the child study, like everyone is going to have a child sooner or later. Well maybe not everyone. Most people and this is giving us a handle on what to expect. Same thing when we talked about the family like getting married and having children and all that stuff.  Lee did not dismiss the course content as common sense. He saw 109  the information taught as 'practical', something he said many other male students didn't recognize. He stated: "I don't think they really see the practical side of it." Lee thought stereotyping women as being better suited to caring for young children and organizing a household still occured. He didn't feel this was good and would like to see it changed.  Males should, I don't know how they are going to change, but they should change themselves in a way that they take a more active participation in their child's upbringing as far as actually taking care of the baby, changing it, etcetera.  Lee believed males' attitudes toward caring for young children and running a household had changed, but there was room for more change.  I think it has to start with the change in the male psyche and that I think in alot of ways, it is changing right now because ten years ago I would probably be taking Industrial Education if I was in high school, not SHB so it is changing alot. But I think it has to change more.  Filipe thought some of the topics in SHB were relevant to his present life. 110  Pretty relevant actually. Like this relationship thing right now. It might be a little more relevant with the girls than the guys but it is part of life having a boyfriend or girlfriend, so I would say that's very relevant.  Filipe said girls saw the course as being more relevant to their future lives than the boys.  I think its just a bias from the male point of view. I guess females think SHB is for families because they are going to have kids and want to learn about that and I think guys are more into the industrial section like electronics with me.  If families have young children, Filipe feels it is best for: "The mother to stay home with the kids, better than a third party like a babysitter bringing up the kids in a daycare. I think its important that your family brings up the child." Filipe said he has never thought about a father staying home and caring for his children.  I haven't really thought about that. I am not sure. I guess if they tried I guess women have that kind of, they are with kids. Alot of my friends, my girlfriend and stuff like they get the babysitting 111  jobs and they know how to take care of kids and treat them and all that. Like I haven't done much babysitting work so I wouldn't be as good. But I think if a guy could have some training, they could be just as good.  Filipe had thought about how SHB was relevant to his present life, but he hadn't thought about its relevance to his future family roles.  Ravinder thought the course was relevant to his present life. "You really figure out what type of person you are by taking a course like helps you out because then you really know what real life is like. It gives you a good idea." Ravinder's actions in class sent a different message to the teacher and students. He was one of the 'class clowns' and his behaviour in class led others to believe he was not serious about the course. Ravinder indicated he would like to 'reverse the roles' in a family, because it would be different. He felt that working fathers were losing out on attention and credit from their children.  Mom's home, mom does this, mom gives you that. But who is mom getting everything from? Dad. Dad is bringing home the money giving it to mom. Mom buys it and mom is the one getting the credit...Dad's the one who gave her the money to buy it and he seems to be losing 112  out on the credit, and that attention, so later on in life the kid could grow up and say, Dad never did anything.  Even though Ravinder claimed the course was relevant to his present life, he placed a higher value or worth on work done outside the family (the productive processes) than work done within the family (the reproductive processes).  Ryan told me that SHB was relevant.  It deals with everything that happens. Like right now we are doing relationships, and basically everything we have done throughout the year influences us now or in the future. It is like a life course. Everything you talk about could happen.  Ryan also reported that if students didn't need SHB for their careers or they weren't interested in the topics then they shouldn't take it.  I wouldn't take a course that you don't need... Well if your area of study needs it then take it but if you're going to go in to be a lawyer or doctor or janitor, then you wouldn't need it (SHB). You should take what you need now istead of just taking it because others are. 113  Despite Ryan's believing SHB was relevant, it was more important to him to have his career needs met by taking the courses he would need. SHB did not meet his career plan requirements. Brenden had a different viewpoint on the purpose of schooling. He felt school was a place for students to learn how to 'interact' and 'mature', and SHB provided opportunities for this. Brenden felt SHB was relevant because students were able to practice communication skills. He saw communication skills as very useful skills for the future. "Communication has got to be the most important thing. If you understand how to express yourself and understand other people you will be successful". Other topics Brenden indicated were not necessary because they were "common sense" or one "could learn to deal with it on your own." Brenden could not give me an example of what these other topics or areas were. He thought schools should emphasize the family aspect rather then the career aspect of life.  School should be more of a family and human aspect because its not so much as go to work, make your money and retire and die. It's more of people want to have their family. They want to get married and have kids. If they don't want to get married and have kids they still have to know how to love their parents. It is not really that it should be taught in school, but if you're going to be at school you might as well learn something. 114  Mao had difficulty answering questions about the relevancy  of SHB to his future life, which may have been due in part, to a language difficulty. One minute he told me SHB was a nice course but most of the information was not very useful to his present life. Then he told me he thought it would help him in the future with "his career" and "socializing with people." He had very traditional views on male/female roles in families. He saw childcare, meal preparation and household management as women's responsibilities. He did not perceive SHB as being relevant to his future life.  Adam identified the "self section" and the "relationship  section" as relevant. Other sections in the course such as cults and mental disorders were not relevant. He took the course to help him with his career. He looked at relevancy in terms of one's career, not family life. He planned to take French 12 instead of SHB 12 the following year because he perceived French as being more relevant. He viewed his future life in a traditional way. He did not see marriage or children affecting his career plans. He saw his future wife taking most of the responsibility for childcare. "I think it is important for the mom to stay home for a few years with small children. I think that is the role of the parent." Adam did not think about what his responsibilities in his future family might be, and therefore had not considered whether SHB 12 would be relevant to his future family life. 115  Trevor thought SHB was quite relevant. "I have had experiences that we have dealt with in class that have happened in real life, and sometimes it has helped." Even though he saw the class as relevant, he wouldn't be taking the class in the following year. He reported that he wasn't as interested in the course because he wouldn't be going into Psychology. (Trevor had initially signed up because he had thoughts about going into the field of Psychology). Trevor felt it was more important to take classes which would help him with his future career. He saw SHB as relevant to his present life. He had not thought about how the course could help him in his future family. Trevor had difficulty imagining himself in family roles. He viewed the primary purpose of an education as preparing students for careers and employment once they leave school.  Thomas was disappointed with the lack of family focus in SHB. He thought his Family Management class at his previous school was more relevant to his future life than SHB. Thomas was one of a few students who felt it was important for girls and boys to learn about families. He said:  In my opinion you should learn about families. That should be like a basic, you have to...Have you ever seen Mr. Mom (Thomas starts laughing). You saw what he did to that house in one day. So they know what they are doing. 116  Thomas felt the economic aspect of running the household was very important for boys and girls to learn. He made no mention of other topics he believed should be included in the study of families.  Enrolled Boys at the Low Participation School.  When I asked Cameron if he thought Sociology was an important class for girls and boys to take he replied: "I think so...It probably allows the male to learn more about relationships with their girlfriend and stuff." Cameron said he didn't know if the course would be relevant to his future life. He thought some of the topics could be relevant to students' lives now, and other topics he said may not be relevant because, "you think it would never happen." Cameron had difficulty answering questions regarding his future family because he had never thought about it.  When I asked Justin if he thought Sociology was relevant to his daily life he replied: "Not to me personally because in the alcoholism I don't drink yet." Later on in the interview Justin said that some of the topics, such as alcohol, and family life could be relevant to boys' future lives. Justin thought other courses were more relevant to boys' lives than Sociology. Justin felt the most relevant courses were ones which prepared students for future careers and jobs. 117  Steve thought Sociology was relevant to his present life. He  said: "there is some stuff in the course that guys and girls should know like contraception and stuff." Steve reported that some of the information taught had impacted on his behaviour. The unit on alcoholism was an example Steve gave. He reported the presentation by MADD (Mothers Against Drinking Drivers) had changed his attitude on drinking and driving. "Actually I was out the other day and I had my drinks and I was driving. It just sort of popped in my brain so I got someone to drive me home." Steve told me his household was traditional with his father working outside the home and his mother working at home. Steve would like to see his wife working outside the home because that would mean more money coming in. However, Steve felt child rearing was mainly the responsibility of mothers, with fathers having a limited role.  I think they would see her everyday and the husband wouldn't have time because he would be working and all that. When he comes home he is not going to want to play with them... he would be tired, he would just want to lie down and relax.  118  Summary  Questions relating to the relevance of SHB or Sociology to one's future life were difficult for students to answer. Most boys thought about their future in terms of careers (productive processes) but not in terms of their future family life (reproductive processes). Boys talked freely about their future educational or career plans, and were reluctant or not able to talk about their perceived roles in future families. Thomas told me most boys don't think about marriage and babies: "They just think they will wait till they get out of school... because the guys might think if they like it (learning about marriage and babies) they are kind of sissy." Another student Steve, told me: "I don't like to talk about that kind of thing." When boys were asked questions about their future family roles, a number of boys began telling me about their present families. It was a challenge to encourage them to think about their own future families. Most boys saw SHB and Sociology as being relevant to their present life, but indicated courses that were relevant to their careers were more important. I believe the majority of boys had not thought about education for future family life.  119  Chapter 5 Conclusions  Summary  Many argue that girls/women will not achieve equity in the productive processes of society until they have equity in the reproductive processes. Eagalt & Steffen (1984) state:  Gender stereotypes... will not disappear until child care, and household responsibilities are shared equally by women and men and the responsibilities to be employed outside the home is borne equally (in MacKie 1991, p. 273)  Family Management is a course which focuses on the reproductive processes of society, however, boys participate less than girls in this school subject. This study began with a desire to understand why boys participate less in Family Management than girls. This question was broken down into three specific parts: (a) What perceptions do non-enrolling boys have of Family Management? (b) What are boys experiences in Family Management courses? (c) How relevant do boys see the topics studied in Family Management to their lives and future participation in families? The study was conducted in a large suburban school district 120  during the months of May through June 1991. Two schools were selected as sites for the study: Ultra Secondary and Aldila Secondary. At Ultra Secondary, the low participation school, the participation rate of boys was seven percent. Aldila was the high participation school with a participation rate of thirty six percent. At the high participation school I interviewed ten boys who were taking Family Management and four boys who were not. At the low participation school, I interviewed four boys who were taking Family Management and six boys who weren't. I also interviewed the Family Management teachers and observed two classes at each school. All boys interviewed in the study were selected randomly. At Aldila and Ultra boys selected courses they believed would help them with a future career or college entrance. Boys believed it was more important to prepare for one's future career than prepare for one's future family life. The most important factor influencing boys' enrollment at the high participation school was recommendation from friends to take the class. At the high enrollment school SHB was perceived by the boys as a social science. SHB had lost all ties with the Home Economics Department. At the low participation school four of six non-enrolling boys had never heard of Sociology. At Ultra, Sociology was identified with the Home Economics Department and hence was thought of by many boys as a girls' course. The gender composition of the class had an impact on boys' experiences in the course. Boys who were isolated or with one 121  or two others, reported feeling more alienated and uncomfortable than boys in classes where there was a higher number of boys. From boys' descriptions of their experiences, four themes emerged that accounted for their lack of comfort.: (1) the narrow focus of course content, (2) the female orientation of course content, (3) the lack of a male voice, and (4) the stereotyping of males. The majority of enrolled and non-enrolled boys in the study reported the concepts taught were relevant to their daily lives. While most boys were able to see the relevancy of Family Management (SHB and Sociology) to their present lives, they were not able to visualize its effect on their future lives. The majority of boys interviewed had not thought about their future family roles. Boys viewed the work done in families as common sense. They recognized they may lack parenting skills, but they didn't seek the opportunity to gain practice and knowledge in this area.  Conclusions  What are boys' views regarding the purpose of an education? Do they see an education as preparation for the productive processes only? A number of boys in this study had not thought about their future roles in the reproductive processes of society. Have these boys accepted the dominant ideology and taken their future family roles for granted? I sensed that a number of boys felt it was okay for girls to talk about their 122  future families, but it appeared the topic was not acceptable for boys. Boys often answered questions about their future family roles by telling me about their present family life. Lee, a student at the high participation school believed there had been changes in male attitudes toward gender division of roles, but he also believed that men's/boy's attitudes needed to change more. He was unsure of how this change "in the male psyche" would come about. Most boys' views on the division of roles in the reproductive and productive process tended to be more traditional than Lee's. Boys, however, perceived their views to be rather 'liberal' as they believed their future wives could work outside the home as long as there were no children. Many of the boys thought mothers were better suited to looking after preschool children than fathers, as girls had the experience. Do boys see themselves as incompetent in the area of child care? Why have boys resisted gaining expertise? How active were these boys' fathers in their sons' up-bringing? Gary told me during his interview, even though his parents were together, his mother was mainly responsible for his care. Is this the norm? Course enrollment is affected by (a) course construction, (b) peer pressure, and (c) the attitudes of school staff. Course construction had an impact on the boys' enrollment. Factors such as the name of the course, the type of classroom in which the course was taught, and the department in which the course was offered, all affected how the course was constructed in each school. When the course was seen as a "girls" course or a 'Home Economics course', boys were less likely to participate. 123  Particularly at the low enrollment school, boys viewed Home Economics classes as girls' courses, and in the boys' minds these courses were not relevant. Are recommendations from friends to take a certain class a form of peer pressure? Recommendations from friends were strong influences on boys' enrolling. Such recommendations were one of the reasons for boys' higher participation at Aldila Secondary. A third factor influencing boys enrollment was recommendations from counsellors. Counsellors influenced course enrollment by telling boys to take Family Management as it would help them with their career. Do counsellors view the purpose of an education as preparation for the productive processes but not the reproductive processes? None of the boys reported that counsellors had recommended the course because it would help them prepare for their future family roles. Did counsellors recommend the class to girls? If counsellors recommended the class to girls, what message was sent? What were girls' reasons for taking the class? Boys' experiences in Family Management classes were varied. The classroom environment for boys was influenced by the boy/girl composition of the class. In classes which had a larger number of boys, boys participated or were heard more often than girls. A group of dominant boys silenced the girls and other boys in the class. The reverse occured in classes where the ratio of girls to boys was higher. Boys' presence in Family Management affected the classroom environment, the pace of the class, the student and teacher interaction, and the way 124  the teacher taught the class. Has encouraging boys into the class contributed to gender inequity for the girls?  Discussion  Factors Influencing Boys' Participation in Family Management Classes  The majority of boys in this study reported that the most important factor in determining their course selection was career and/or college preparation. This finding agrees with the findings of other researchers. Pleshek (1988) found career and college preparation were significant factors influencing high school boys' course selection. Malone (1989) found "for most teenagers planning for the future tends to focus on which school subjects lead to good jobs" (p. 5). The young men in Gaskell's (1992) study (she interviewed high school seniors in 1977) indicated when they were planning for the future, "paid work was their primary focus" (p. 84). Three out of four non-enrolled boys at the high participation school indicated career and college requirements had left no room for Family Management in their timetable. Pleshek (1988) also found that career and college requirements had similar effects on student timetables:  Students who signed up for classes for career/ college preparation usually reported that they felt frustrated that their schedule did not allow 125  enough flexibility for them to enroll in classes for personal enjoyment. In their opinion, the list of required courses was too long.... (p. 76)  Are Home Economics classes seen as courses one takes for personal enjoyment, and not because they might prove useful in the future? Geen (1989) identified three factors which influenced male enrollment in Home Economics courses: (1) Parental attitudes, (2) Peer group pressure, and (3) Attitudes of members of the school staff (p. 143).  Parental Attitude  Geen (1989) reported that parents would permit their sons to enroll in Home Economics courses: "provided that the choice of Home Economics did not prevent their sons from taking other subjects necessary for entry to their intended career" (p. 146). In the same study, Geen (1989) distributed a questionnaire to parents to determine their attitudes toward the participation of their sons in senior Home Economics classes. She reported that one quarter of the parents stated: "They would not approve their sons' involvement in classes which concentrated upon the home, the family, child development or textiles" (p. 143). Many of the boys in this study reported discussing course selection with parents, but they also claimed they alone made decisions on course enrollment. Are boys not recognizing the influence of their parents? Perhaps parents are sending their sons 126  subliminal messages on the value of high school subjects. What are the boys' parents' attitudes toward gender roles in the reproductive processes? Are domestic tasks shared equally in their families? MacKie (1991) reported that parental attitudes toward gender role division varied according to one's social class. She stated that "working class parents hold more traditional views of gender than do middle class families," and "male and female roles are less sharply differentiated in middle class homes than in working class homes" (p.122). Brenden expressed a similar viewpoint during his interview. He felt male enrollment in SHB was higher at his school than other schools in the district because he believed the majority of students at his school came from middle class families. Brenden felt students from schools largely made up of working class families would be less likely to select SHB. While the boys at Brenden's school selected SHB, they did not participate in other Home Economics courses. Even these middle class boys were traditional in their course selection. Brenden was one exception in that he was currently taking a senior Foods and Nutrition course.  Peer Pressure  Geen (1989) stated that peer pressure influenced course selection decisions. Students in her study indicated they discussed course selection with their peers and older siblings. She believed peer pressure (pressure to take the same class as 127  their friends) influenced boys' course selection. In this study boys reported the most frequent reason for selecting Family Management at the high participation school was a recommendation to take the course from a friend. Boys at Aldila and Ultra Secondaries insisted peer pressure did not influence their course selection decision. It appeared, however, that peer pressure in the form of approval or recommendation did exist, but boys failed to recognize it. Pleshek (1988) reports: "students stressed that their decisions regarding course selection were made independently even though they admit that they ask others for advice" (p. 77).  Attitudes of Members of the School Staff  The teacher at the high participation school credited members of the school staff for helping to build a successful program in which boys participated. She spoke favourably of the role the school counsellors played in promoting the course to all students. Geen (1989) reported that the attitudes of curiculum planners and counsellors affected boys' enrollment in Home Economics courses at two of the schools in her study. She cites examples where boys were discouraged from taking Home Economics classes by school counsellors.  128  Non-enrolled Boys' Perceptions of Home Economics Courses  The non-enrolled boys' perceptions of Home Economics classes were similar to the boys' perceptions of Home Economics in studies by Geen (1989) and Pleshek (1988). Half of the boys interviewed at the low enrollment school reported they and their friends didn't take Home Economics courses because they were for girls. This group of boys believed their future wives would take care of the reproductive work of families, while they worked in the traditional productive activities of society. Geen (1989) reports ninety percent of the boys she interviewed indicated a reluctance to participate in Home Economics in the upper school, as they believed "certain fields of knowledge were more appropriate to the education of one and maintenance of the home was manifestly the concern of women" (p.141). At the high enrollment school, all but three boys reported that Home Economics classes as girls' classes no longer existed. These boys indicated that course selection was based on individual interest rather than gender stereotypes. Sixty percent of the boys interviewed at Aldila Secondary had no Home Economics experience in junior high school. Despite expressing a less traditional view, only 3 of 14 boys had taken a senior Home Economics class. Two of the three boys were taking a Cafeteria course, which they considered not to be Home Economics. At Aldila, boys' actions and behaviour were not congruent with their more 'liberal' verbal accounts. Why were boys not 129  interested in taking Home Economics classes? Did these boys dismiss the relevance of Home Economics to their lives? Why did these boys continue to make traditional course choices such as Mechanics and Electronics? Have these boy's succumbed to the dominant ideology, even though they perceive such an ideology as beginning to breakdown? Were Filipe's perceptions accurate when he told me boys didn't take Home Economics because they were afraid of what their friends and others might say? Davies et. al (1986) found boys were more likely to enroll in textile courses, if they were offered through the Art Department and taught by men. In her 1984-1985 study, she reported that courses in textiles such as Needlework or Needlecraft taught by women had 5 out of 1112 boys participating. However, when the Art department offered, Embroidery, Weaving and Batik with a male teacher, the number of boys participating rose to 229. Has the offering of Family Management by the Social Studies Department had a similar effect on boys' enrollment as the textile offering by the Art Department in Davies (1986)? Boys' perceptions of Home Economics classes influenced their enrollment decision. The perceptions of Home Economics at Ultra Secondary were similar to boys' perceptions of Home Economics in Pleshek's (1988) study. Despite enjoying their junior high Home Economics experiences, Pleshek's boy subjects stated they did not select Home Economics in senior high school because: (a) they already knew the basics of cooking and sewing 130  (b) it was common sense, boring, basic knowledge (c) boy's felt they could learn more in other courses (d) Home Economics classes in senior high contained the same information as Home Economics in junior high.  Boys' Experiences in Family Management.  There are a number of similarities between the findings of this study and the findings of other researchers. Similarities are found in the following areas:  - boys' domination of the classroom - boy's reporting some activities as too personal - female orientation of curriculum -materials and class discussions  Boys' Domination  In this study the block A class at Aldila, with ten boys and twenty girls, had the highest occurence of male domination. This finding was drawn after an examination of interview data and a classroom observation. A group of boys in Susan's block A SHB11 class dominated student-teacher interaction, and class discussions. The opposite was found in SHB 12 where there were only two boys in each class. Boys in SHB 12 reported girls dominated class discussions, student teacher interaction and set 131  the pace for the course. It appears the number of males enrolled in the class and their individual personalities have a bearing on the degree of male domination. The larger number of boys in block A affected girls' willingness to participate verbally in class discussions. They became reluctant to participate after boys in the class "gunned them down" when they did express their viewpoint. Eyre (1992) found a similar phenomenon occuring during her observations of a Home Economics 8 class. In a study entitled 'The Social Construction of Gender in the Practical Arts,' Eyre (1992) observed a co-educational Home Economics classroom during a school year, as a group of twenty-four students proceeded through units in Foods and Nutrition, Clothing and Textiles and Family Management. Eyre, reported "girls and most boys were silenced" and when girls did speak out, "those who spoke out .... were corrected, interrupted, made fun of, or drowned out by the dominant boys" (p. 139). Girls in both studies were silenced by the boys. What strategies can a teacher use to minimize or discourage male domination?  Personal Nature of Class Activities  Three boys in this study, and some boys in Eyre (1992) reported some of the class activities they were given, were too personal. In this study, Rajinder, Justin and Steve reported some of the activities they were given, particularly during the self and sexuality unit were too personal, and they did not complete them. Eyre (1992) stated during the Family Management 132  component of Home Economics 8, students were "expected to share their personal experiences in the classroom" (p. 135). She reported some of the boys expressed a dislike toward this approach as "the activities were too private" (p. 135). Eyre (1992) noted none of the girls in her study appeared to object to these expectations. Are most boys uncomfortable sharing information about their personal lives? Can expectations that all students verbalize and communicate feelings and experiences earlier in their schooling contribute to boys' becoming more comfortable with personal and emotional communications?  Female Orientation of Family Management Curriculum  One of the themes reccurring in this study from interviews with boys was the belief that the curriculum, course materials and class discussions were oriented toward the females in the class. This female orientation was present in all classes, but was more frequently reported in classes with a smaller enrollment of boys. Brad complained that discussions in SHB 12 were one sided, and dominated by the girls. He felt resources, handouts and assignments were girl centered. Brad withdrew his participation, after he made several unsuccessful attempts to change this girl centered focus. Thomas (1990) in her study of Family Life Education in British Columbia reported that a female orientation existed in the six classrooms she observed.  Although there were males present in five of 133  the six classrooms observed, the conversation and concerns of females predominated. In observations this was evident in student teacher interaction and dialogue, in specific references to the female experience and in some instances of gender bias. (p. 222)  Specific examples of female orientation found in this study, which were also mentioned in Thomas (1990) are: female discourse, the absence of a male voice, and the stereotyping of boys.  Female Discourse  Brad objected to the length of class time spent doing assignments and class discussions on topics such as marriage and pregnancy. He felt these topics were one sided. He frequently felt left out of class discussions: "Alot of times I found I couldn't get into the conversation because they were talking mostly about husbands and this and that". Thomas (1990) reported in the classes she observed, discussions were often one sided with much of the content presented from the female point of view.  Absence of a male voice  In this study a number of boys reported they were reluctant 134  to express their opinions for fear of being "jumped on" or "chewed out". These boys believed the girls would not like the male point of view. Thomas (1990) also observed that boys were sometimes "uncomfortable and hesitant to engage in dialogue about the male perspective" (p.225). She (1990) described how she observed a girl trying to encourage a boy in the class to express his point of view. The boy was reluctant, and responded to the girl's efforts by saying "we'll just get killed if we say anything." Thomas believed this lack of a male voice lead to male stereotyping. What can the Family Management teacher do to encourage or incorporate the mens'/boys' viewpoint?  Stereotyping of boys  Examples of male stereotyping can be found in both this study, and Thomas' (1990). Brad described how during class discussions girls frequently provided examples of their boyfriend's behaviour, which then became generalized to all boys. Thomas (1990) reported girls made generalizing statements about boys' behaviour. Male stereotyping occurred in this study and Thomas (1990) when teachers referred to the abuser in sexual assault as he and the victim as she. Filipe, Brendon, Lee and Trevor felt references such as this made all guys look bad. Can topics such as sexual assault be presented from both a girls' and boys' point of view? How can teachers reduce the stereotyping of boys and girls in Family Management courses and foster appreciations of the diversity of girls and boys? 135  Relevancy of Family Management to Boys' Present and Future Family Roles  Fourteen of twenty-four boys saw Family Management as relevant to their present lives. But, only four of fourteen boys said the course was relevant to their future lives. The boys who saw it as relevant to their present lives, reported they hadn't thought about what their future family roles might be, and therefore they didn't know if Family Management would be relevant. Gaskell (1992) discovered from her interviews with young men, that many had not given much thought to their future roles in families and these boys assumed their future roles would be similar to the roles they saw played in their own families. Gaskell (1992) reports:  It became apparent in the interviews that the young men had not spent a lot of time worrying about the division of family labour...their own households ran along these lines, and they took these patterns for granted. (p. 85)  Eyre (1992) found that grade eight boys also held traditional viewpoints. They believed their future wives would take care of such things as "meal preparation and maintenance of clothing" (p. 10). Perhaps the boys in this study have also taken the division of gender roles "for granted" and therefore assume their roles 136  will be the same as their fathers/step fathers. Eyre (1992) believes the power of daily living/experience is greater than experiences students have in the classroom. Gaskell (1992) suggested that boys don't spend as much time thinking about their future roles, because they don't plan to take much responsibility for domestic tasks, which allows them to focus on their career. I asked boys in this study if they thought having young children would affect their careers. Eleven out of twentyfour boys reported children would not affect their career, six boys said they didn't know, and five boys reported children would affect their career. A sample of boy's answers follows:  Ray^No, because while you're at work, they are at home  Justin No, I probably wouldn't have that much time for the kids.  Lee^Probably not my own particular career. It might affect some people's career who are really struggling to get up there and they can't really take the time out from work to help raise a child, or if they do, expect to get the same position they were in before.  Adam^I don't think it would. I see more of it being the other way where your career might affect your children and family. 137  Trevor It might, but hopefully you could work your job around it.  Dane^There would be alot of stress, especially if both parents were working. You would need alot of organization to set things up, plan everything.  Phil^Definitely. Sooner or later I want my own business and a kid costs alot of money.  Twenty-one boys in this study thought their wives would work outside the home, and liked the idea because it meant there would be extra money coming in. MacKie (1991) reported the idea of a second pay cheque was welcomed by a number of boys. This viewpoint is different than the one expressed by the boys in Gaskell's study. Boys in Gaskell (1992) reported they would like their wives to stay home and take care of the house. These boys felt they were the major bread winner. Most boys at Aldila and Ultra thought the idea of a wife working only in the home was outdated.^However their attitudes changed if children were born. Sixteen boys believed mothers of preschool children should stay home.  Adam  ^  I think it is important for the mom to stay home  for a few years with small children. I think that is the role of a parent. 138  Filipe:  ^  For awhile until they are at the school stage, it is good for the mother to stay home with the kids, better than a third party like a  babysitter bringing up the kids in a daycare.  Gaskell (1992) and Herzog and Bachman (1982) found similar sex role attitudes regarding preschool children and working mothers. Gaskell (1992) reported boys' believed wives should stay home with young children. Herzog and Bachman (1982) state:  When thinking about being married with no children most seniors (both male and female) consider it desirable or acceptable for the wife to work half-time or full-time outside the home. But if they imagine having one or more pre-school children, their preferences for outside work by the wife shift substantially: the most frequently preferred alternative is that the wife not work at all outside the home. (p. 5)  Herzog and Bachman (1982) reported that boys dismissed the idea of having the husband/father staying home and caring for the children while the wife worked. Only four of twenty four boys in this study considered the possibility of role reversal. Brad felt if he and his wife reversed roles others would interpret it as if there was something wrong with him. Boys in Gaskell (1992) 139  said husbands/fathers who stayed home to look after their children while their wife worked were "a little wierd" and "strange". Most boys at Ultra and Aldila did not view daycare or babysitters as alternatives. Only three of twenty-four students mentioned daycare as a source of care for children while fathers and mothers worked. When boys in this study talked about their involvement in child care, it was most often described as a helping role. Boys' descriptions of their involvement included playing games, sports or coaching a team their child played on. None of the boys described the role in terms of feeding, comforting, disciplining, or diapering their children. Lee was the only boy who recognized that child care was not shared equally between the parents. Lee felt fathers should take a more active role:  Males should, I don't know how they are going to change but they should change themselves in a way that they take more active participation in their child upbringing as far a actually taking care of the baby, changing it.  Other boys in the study reported their careers would leave them limited time to spend with their children. In these boys' opinion, the mother was the primary care giver. Losh and Hesselbart (1987) report that fathers take a more active role in child care as the child grows older. This seemed to be the attitude of many of the boys in this study. 140  Implications  A number of questions arise from this study which have implications for Home Economics curriculum development, teacher education, and future research directions.  Implications for Home Economics Curriculum Development.  Home Economics curriculum in British Columbia is currently under revision. The proposed educational changes state that all students in the intermediate program (grades 4-10) will have experiences in Home Economics. For the first time, Home Economics will be a required component for both boys and girls. Curriculum developers and teachers should ask: How might this new Home Economics curricula address the perceptions, needs, interests and experiences of boys?  Perceptions  Boys' perceptions of Family Management and other Home Economics courses must be addressed, during curriculum development.^Boys' image of Home Economics will ultimately affect how they act in the course, and their future participation in other Home Economics courses in the graduation program where Home Economics is optional. If boys view Home 141  Economics courses as irrelevant, this will impact on their performance and behaviour in the classroom. In this study a common perception of boys emerging from the interviews was that Home Economics courses were "boring, common sense, and easy". Boys believed the skills taught in Home Economics could be learned from one's family, or as Hartmeet said "picked up by watching T.V.". Yet as Martin (1985) points out, statistics on family violence indicate that effective parenting, communication and interpersonal skills are not found in many of today's families. She believes that the educational system needs to incorporate these (reproductive processes) into the curriculum. Good communication doesn't just happen in all families, it must be modelled and practiced. Other reproductive skills such as meal preparation and household maintenance require practice as well. Mark found himself having to learn food preparation and clothing skills after his mother died. He had relied on her to perform these tasks for him. He pointed out that males should learn these skills because there may not always be someone around to perform these for them. He stated some boys will be in for a big shock when they move out on their own. Mark questioned the perception that reproductive skills are common sense, and don't need to be taught. A second perception boys verbalized in their interviews was that women/girls were better suited to look after young preschool children. Some boys rationalized "young children prefer to be with their mother rather than their father" and that "small children need to be in their mother's care". 142  Daycare centres and babysitters were not suitable substitutions for mother's care. Boys' perceptions about child care were most likely drawn from their own experiences, as boys often talked about what happened in their families. In many boys' families women performed child care tasks. This dominant ideology was not questioned. When alterations to this dominant ideology were suggested, Filipe for example, thought perhaps boys could be as competent as girls in childcare, with training, but he couldn't see himself getting this training as he preferred to take Electronic courses rather than Home Economics. For a moment, Brad visualized staying home looking after his young children while his wife worked. But he questioned the validity of this life style for him because he was worried what others might think of this arrangement. What would others be saying? Would his ruputation as a male be damaged? ^Home Economics curriculum must go beyond the teaching of domestic tasks to boys and address boys' role perceptions which develop from their everyday experiences.  Needs  Filipe felt girls were better trained to look after young children, but that with training boys could do the job as well as girls. Does this mean that boys are deficient in some skills that girls possess? Do boys require compensatory education? If compensatory education is required, what form(s) should it take? How does one decide which boys are deficient? 143  Interests  The majority of boys who had participated in the Life Skills eight program reported enjoying their experiences in Foods and Nutrition, but not Clothing and Textiles. The boys were not interested in learning how to sew a seam, hem, or mend clothing. Phil reported he would find someone who could do this work for him, or pay someone to do it for him. Boys stated they would like to see the economic side of running a household included in the grade 12 course. This concept was missing from the curriculum at both schools. Planning a marriage or a wedding was not something two of the three boys enrolled in Family Management 12 were interested in. Can a curriculum that is developed by women meet the interests of boys? Perhaps including men in the writing and development of Home Economics can make the curriculum more interesting for boys.  Experiences  Four themes emerged from the interviews. Two of these themes impact on curriculum development. The first theme, narrow focus of course content, was reported by two out of three boys. Brad felt the topics studied in Family Management 12 were too narrow as they all fell under two categories, babies and marriage. Cameron said the units dragged on too long. Both  144  boys would have liked to have seen many more topics covered in Family Management 12. These boys reported the narrow focus of the class made them lose interest in the course. The teacher at the high enrollment school recognized boys didn't like to spend as long on one activity as the girls. She reported teaching her block A class which had 10 boys enrolled differently then her block C class which had only one boy enrolled. The second theme identified by boys in the study was female orientation to course content, resources, handouts and course materials. Boys reported this orientation was unique to the Family Management class. This orientation resulted in boys being uncomfortable during certain units. Would men teachers involved in the writing and development of Home Economics curriculum reduce or balance the female orientation? If men and women worked together writing Home Economics curriculum, perhaps "handouts for the boys" as Filipe requested could be a solution. A men's/ boy's perspective or point of view could also be added to units on marriage, pregnancy, parenting, and family violence. Can a curriculum written by women only be gender sensitive and gender balanced? Another question arising from this study which has implications for curriculum development is: In what ways might curriculum revision toward the year 2000 accommodate a revaluing of the reproductive processes of schooling. Boys in this study viewed preparing for one's future career more important than preparing for their future lives in the reproductive processes. With the prospect of having all students having  145  experiences in Home Economics curriculum, how can young women and men be convinced that preparing for one's future roles in families is as important as preparing for one's career. How can we encourage a valuing of the work done in families, work which has traditionally been unrecognized and performed by women? How can Home Economics teachers work with parents to change the subjects image? If parents were involved in Home Economics curriculum development would their perceptions of the discipline change?  I plications for Teacher Education  Boys' presence in Family Management, affected the classroom environment. When the ratio of boys to girls in the class increased, so did boys' domination of the classroom. Boys also recognized their Family Management classroom was less "rowdy " than their other classes. The teacher at the high participation school reported classroom teaching and management became more challenging as the number of boys increased. In classes with a high enrollment of boys, a group of boys tended to dominate the class. How might teacher education programs address the issue of boys' domination in the classroom? What strategies or techniques can teachers use to ensure a balanced and comfortable classroom for all students? How can teachers effectively monitor class discussions for equal participation? Home Economics programs are predominately taught by women and perhaps this is a contributing factor to its low status as a school 146  subject. The image of Home Economics in boys' minds might be enhanced if more men were involved in teaching Home Economics. If men are involved in the teaching of Home Economics, then boys may feel it is okay for them to take Home Economics classes and involvement in the reproductive processes of society may not be seen as a threat to ones male-ness. How can Home Economics teacher education programs attract males into their programs? Lastly, boys interviewed reported their achievement was lower than girls. Boys stated they were less likely than girls to hand in assignments or complete homework. Reasons given by the boys for not turning in assignments were laziness or lack of interest in the assignment. How can teachers encourage boys to perform as well as the girls?  Implications for Future Research  When I first initiated this study, my goal was to find strategies to increase boys' participation in Family Management. After completing the study, I recognize that boys' presence in Family Management changes the nature of the class for girls. Perhaps Home Economics classes are unique for girls, and girls enjoy being in a class predominately made up of other girls. Future Home Economics research might address these questions: Are there other courses in the school that offer girls similar experiences? What are girls experiences in Family Management? How do the experiences of girls in low boy:girl ratio classes compare to the experiences of girls in a higher boy:girl ratio 147  class? This study only looked at boys' participation in Family Management classes at two school sites in the province of B.C. Perhaps there is a need to replicate this kind of study in Foods and Nutrition and Clothing and Textiles in another part of the province? Would boys' experiences in Home Economics or Family Management be very different in a rural setting? Future research should look at the development of alternate teaching strategies. Eyre (1992) pointed out that teaching boys and girls the same did not result in gender equity. By treating Justin (the physically disabled student at Ultra Secondary) the same as able bodied students during the sexuality unit, the teacher failed to recognize that the experiences of disabled people may be different. We must develop teaching strategies which take into account individual differences, strategies which are gender sensitive and gender balanced.  148  References  British Columbia Department of Education (n.d.). Equal treatment of the sexes: Guidelines for educational_m aterials. Victoria: Author. British Columbia Ministry of Education (1978). School Department circular No.75. Victoria: Author. British Columbia Ministry of Education (1989). Report 2069 Course Enrollment Data. Victoria: Author. Bovy, Barbara (1985). A feminist perspective in higher education: Implications for Home Economics Education. Journal of Home Economics Education. 2A(2), 4-11. Davies I., Eynon, E., Geen, A., Hall, G., & Hurst, D. (1986). Textiles and art in the secondary school curriculum: Some issues of integration Journal of Art and Design Education, a, 239-252. DeZwart, Mary leah (1990). Home economics education in British Columbia 1903-1939. Unpublished master's thesis, University of British Columbia. DuBois, P.A., & Schubert, J.G. (1986). Do your school policies provide equal access to computers? Are you sure? Educational Leadership. Aa(16), 41-44. Evans, Terry (1988). A gender agenda: A sociological study of teachers, parents and pupils in their primary schools. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. Eyre, Linda, (1991). Gender relations in the classroom. In J. Gaskell & A. McLaren (Eds.), Women and education: A Canadian perspective (pp.193-219). Calgary: Detselig. Eyre, Linda, (1992). Gender equity: Coeducation revisited. In L. Peterat & E. Vaines (Eds.), Lives and plans: Signs for transforming practice (pp.125-150). Peoria IL: Glencoe. Gaskell, James; McLaren, Arlene; Oberg, Antoinette & Eyre Linda (1993). The 1990 British Columbia Mathematics Assessment, Gender issues in student choices in Mathematics and Science. Victoria: B.C. Ministry of Education. Gaskell, Jane & McLaren, Arlene (Eds.) (1987). Women and education: A Canadian Perspecitve. Calgary: Detselig. Gaskell, Jane; McLaren, Arlene & Novogrodsky, Myra (1989). Claiming an education: Feminism and Canadian Schools. Toronto: Our School/ourselves Education foundation. 149  Gaskell, Jane & McLaren, Arlene (Eds.) (1991). Women and education (2nd. ed.). Calgary: Detselig. Gaskell, Jane (1992). Gender matters from school to work. Toronto: OISE Press. Geen, A. G. (1989). Equal opportunities in curriculum: The case of home economics. Gender & Education 1(2), 139-153. Harvey, Glen (1986, March). Finding reality among the myths: Why what you thought about sex equity in education isn't so. Phi Delta Kappan. L2(7), 509-515. Hayibor, Bernice (1990). Analysis of gender bias in home economics textbooks. Unpublished master's thesis. Herzog, Regula & Bachman, Jerald (1982). Sex role attitudes among high school seniors: Views about work and family roles. University of Michigan. Hyman J.B & Schaaf J..M (1981). Educational equity: Conceptual problems and prospects for theory. Washington D.C.: National Institute of Education. Press. MacKie, Marlene (1991). Gender relations in Canada: Further explorations. Toronto: Butterworths. Malone, Mary (1989 August 26). Where the boy's aren't. The London Free Press. pp 3-5, 16. Martin, Jane, Roland (1969). The disciplines and the curriculum. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 1, 23-40. Martin, Jane, Roland (1981). The ideal of the educated person. Educational Theory, 2(2), 97-109. Martin, Jane, Roland (1985). Reclaiming a conversation: The ideal of the educated woman. New Haven: Yale University Press. Martin, Jane, Roland (1986). Bringing women into educational thought. Educational Theory, 34(4), 341-353. Picone, Maureen (1982). Assessment of the need for co-ed Clothing and Textile courses in British Columbia. Unpublished master's thesis, University of Victoria. Pleshek, Phyllis, (1988). Using focus groups in educational research. Unpublished master's paper, University of Minnesota. Sadker, Myra & Sadker, David (1982). Sex equity handbook for schools. New York: Longman.  150  Sadker, Myra & Sadker, David (1986). Sexism in the classrooms From grade school to graduate school. Phi Delta Kappan L2(7), 512-515. Treault, Mary Kay (1986). The journey from male-defined to genderbalanced eduation. Theory into Practice, 2L(4), 227-233. Thomas, Jane (1986). Forces influencing home ecomomics curriculum change in British Columbia secondary schools, (1912-1985). Unpublished master's thesis, University of British Columbia. Thomas, Jane (1990). Conceptions of curriculum and classroom practice: An ethnographic study of family life education teachers. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia. Thompson, Patricia, J. (1984). Home Economics: A knowledge system not a gender system. In P. J. Thompson (Ed.). Borne Edonomics teacher education: Knowledge, technology and family change (pp. 317-341). Bloomington, IL: Bennett and McKnight. Thompson, Patricia, J. (1986a). Home Economics and the Hestian Mode. Illinois Teacher 29(3), 87-91. Thompson, Patricia, J. (1986b). Beyond gender equity. Theory into Practice, 25, 276-283. Thompson, Patricia, J. (1988). Home economics and feminism: The Nestian synthesis. Charlottetown: Home Economics Publishing Collective. Weinekamp, H. (1987). Does unconscious behaviour of teachers cause chemistry lessons to be unpopular with girls? International Journal of Science Education. 2(3), 281-286. Weiner, Gaby (1985). Equal opportunities, feminism and girls' education. In G. Weiner (Ed.) Just a bunch of girls: Feminist approaches to schooling. Philadelphia: Open University Press. Weiner, Gaby (1989). Feminism, equal opportunities and vocationalism: The changing context. In M. Bruchell & V. Millman (Eds.). Changing perspectives on gender: New initiatives in secondary education Philadelphia: Open University Press. Wilson, Susan (1985). Changing conceptions of practice in home economics education. Unpublished master's thesis, University of British columbia. Wolfe, Leslie (1986). O'Brave new curriculum: Feminism and the future of the liberal arts. Theory into Practice 25(4), 284-289.  151  Appendix A. Teacher Consent Form Dear Teacher: Part of the requirements for a masters degree at the University of B.C. is to undertake a research project and to write a thesis. To fulfill these requirements I am planning to conduct a study titled "An Investigation of the Participation of Boys in Family Management Courses". The purpose of this research is to investigate why boys' participate less in family management courses than girls. If you agree to participate in this research your involvement will include (1) a 40 minute interview and (2)permitting me to observe you teaching two family management class. All information gathered in the study is for research purposes only. Your identity and school setting will be kept confidential. The information gathered will not be used to harm or misrepresent you. Should you agree to participate in this research project, you may withdraw at any time, without any consequences. Your withdrawal from the study will in no way affect your employment status. My university advisor for this project is Dr. Linda Peterat. She is a professor in the Math and Science Department in the Faculty of Education at UBC. If you have any questions regarding this study, or your involvement, please feel free to contact me at 590-1311, or Dr. Peterat at 822-4808. Sincerely, Ellen Hall  I have received and read a copy of the teacher consent form for the research project titled "An Investigation of the Participation of Boys' in Family Management Courses". I agree to participate in this study. Teacher signature Date  152  Appendix B. Interview Protocol for Family Management Teachers 1. Biography What university degrees do you hold? Any professional certificates, diplomas (e.g. certified Family Life Educator ) Can you tell me about your professional preparation for teaching family management? (courses, workshops, Thesa conference etc.) How long have you been teaching Family Management? 2. Teaching Experiences Can you tell me about your experiences teaching family management? (types of students academic/non academic, male/female) Do you enjoy teaching family management? (why/why not) How well has the family management course been accepted into the school ? (funding, administrative/counsellor support, reactions of other departments) Can you tell me about the performance of males and females in family management? (tests, assignments, discussions, group work) 3. Teacher perceptions of the value of family management to their students. In what ways do you perceive family management to be of value to the lives of girls and boys in your class (es)? What things would you like to see your students come away from family management with? What perceptions do you think your students have of family management? (future value in their lives, easy credit, course for girls) Do your students perceive family management to be a course which is equally important for males and females? Why do you think students enroll in family management?  153  4. Gender Equity issues in Family Management Is the enrollment ratio of female to male in family management a concern to you? Have you implemented any strategies to increase the enrollment of males in family management? (changed the name, posters, displays, newsletter writeups) Has the Home Economics department addressed gender equity issues relating to males? (reviewed curriculum, resources, dominant female discourse) What reasons do you perceive boys have for not enrolling in family management? Can you think of any strategies for increasing the enrollment of males in family management?  154  Appendix C Interview Protocol for Students  Interview questions for boys not taking Family Management sections A, C, D, E Interview questions for boys taking Family Management section A,B,C,E A. Course Selection 1. Did you know that SHB falls under the Home Economics umbrella? 2. Which of the following Home Economics courses are you currently enrolled in or have previously taken? Cafeteria Life skills 8^ Foods and Nutrition 9/10, 11,12 ^Tourism 11,12 Clothing and Textiles 9/10 11,12 Textiles Arts & Crafts Family Studies 10/Family Mang 11/12 Are there any other Home Economics courses you have taken that I have not listed? 3 Can you tell me about the Home Economics courses you have taken? What did you like/ not like about them? 4 How did you decide which courses to enroll in? What were your reasons for making the decision not to enroll in certain courses? Probe (eg. interesting/ uninteresting, relevant/ irrelevant) What, in your opinion, makes a course interesting? relevant? 5 Can you identify people who have influenced your course selections? (eg. mother, father, siblings, peers, friends, counsellors, teachers, other relatives. Describe how each of these people has been influential. (What have they done or said about a particular course) to influence your selection or avoidance? 6. Why have you not elected to take senior Home Economics classes?  155  B. Experiences in Family Management Courses 1. Why did you elect Family Management? 2.  Thinking back on this year in Family Management, what did you like about the course? Probe (content, teachers, classroom activities, useful, relevant)  3. What did you dislike about Family Management? (teacher, not useful, irrelevant) Do you feel that your thoughts on this course are similar to the thoughts of other students? Do you think there is any difference in the way boys or girls feel about the course? How could the Family Management class be made more enjoyable? more relevant? (eg. methods of teaching, activities, content) 4. How do the experiences you have had in other elective courses compare with the experiences you have had in Family Management? (a) Can you tell me about some positive experiences you have had in Family Management? (b) What negative experiences have you had? (c) What kinds of activities have you liked/disliked in Family Management large group discussions ^guest speakers worksheets/readings^projects oral presentations^film/video group work^ simulations role plays Why do you like (name of activity) Why do you dislike (d) How would you rate your participation in family management? (eg high/active, medium, low/passive) ? In what ways have you participated in the class? *offered opinion in discussions 156  *answered questions *asked questions *completed assigned work *active and a contributing member in group work  (e) In what ways has your teacher encouraged or/ discouraged participation ? (marks, positive coments ) (f) What is the level of participation of other students in the class? (g) Is there any difference in the participation of boys' or girls' in the class? (h) How would you describe the classroom environment (friendly, supportive, cooperative, competitive) Do you feel that girls would describe the classroom environment in the same way? (i) How do you feel being in a class that is mostly made up of female students? 5. What kind of mark are you receiving in family management? In order to receive a good mark in Family Management, what kinds of things are required? Is there any difference in the achievement of boys or girls in Family Management? 6. Do you think that Family Management is a course that male students and female students should take? Why? Why not? 7. How relevant do you think the topics studied in Family Management are to students' daily and future lives? 8. Have you signed up to take Family Management 12 ? C. School Climate 1. Does your school actively encourage/ discourage boys to enroll in Family Management courses? (posters, teachers suggesting the course)  157  2. Why do you think there are so few boys taking Family Management? 3.  Can you suggest things teacher could do to encourge boys to select Family Management?  QUESTIONS FOR BOYS NOT ENROLLED IN FAMILY MANAGEMENT D.  Perception of Family Management  1. What do you think people do/learn in Family Management? (topics) 2.  Do you think that Family Management is an important class for male students and female students to enroll in? Why?  3.  If you were designing a Family Management course, what kinds of things would you include?  4. Do you think the concepts taught in Family Management are relevant to students daily lives now or in the future? 5. What kind of images do Home Economics classes in your school have? E. Future Plans 1. What do you see happening in your life five or ten years in the future? 2.  Do you think having children would affect your career?  3. Imagine you are married and have one or more preschool children. How would you feel about each of the following? a) husband works full time wife doesn't work outside the home b) both work full time outside the home c) husband doesn't work outside the home, wife works full time outside the home  158  Appendix D Student Consent Form Dear Student: Part of the requirements for a masters degree at the University of B.C. is to undertake a research project and write a thesis. To fulfill these requirements I am proposing to conduct a study titled "An Investigation of the Participation of Boys in Family Management Courses". The purpose of this research is to determine why boys participate less in family management courses than girls. If you agree to participate in this research your involvement will consist of an interview, approximately 45 minutes in length during school time. All information gathered in the study is for research purposes only. Your identity and school setting will be kept confidential. The information gathered will not be used to harm or misrepresent you. Should you agree to participate in this research project, you may withdraw at any time, without any consequences. Your withdrawal from the study will in no way affect your standing in the course or other school subjects. My faculty advisor for this project is Dr. Linda Peterat. She is a professor in the Math and Science Department in the Faculty of Education at UBC. If you have any questions regarding this study, or your involvement, please feel free to contact me at 590-1311 or Dr. Peterat at 822-4808. Sincerely,  Ellen Hall  I have received and read a copy of the teacher consent form for the research project titled "An Investigation of the Participation of Boys in Family Management Courses". I agree to participate in this study. Student signature Date  159  ^  Appendix E. Student Sample by Name  Low Enrollment^High Enrollment School Ultra^School Aldila BOYS ENROLLED Family Management 11^Steve^ Ravinder Tyson^ Ryan Justin^Trevor Thomas Adam Brenden Filipe Mao  Family Management 12^Cameron^Brad Lee  NON-ENROLLED BOYS Grade 11 boys  Totals^  Grant^ Mathew Raymond^James Gary^ Gino Steve^ Hartmeet Phil Derek 10^  160  14  


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