This discussion looks at the contribution that qualitative research can make to our understanding of educational processes in the social context of primary schooling environments. The main focus is on gender related issues such as differences in behaviour, attitudes, perspectives, and learning styles and preferences between the genders.
The benefits of the use of qualitative research are also highlighted.
The key social processes in educational environments are thinking, understanding, learning, studying, teaching, and interrelating. With respect to studying gender related issues in the primary school setting, all of these can show that there exist gender differences i.e. between boys and girls expressing their gender roles warranting a closer study of these social phenomena. The justification could be to prevent gender bias, stereotypes, discrimination, and so on.
A study of these social processes especially requires a close examination of the phenomena of relationships within it. These relationships involve interactions mainly between students, teachers, the school management and parents. But the nature of these relationships is shaped by the context or environment and ethos within which they function i.e. the classroom and school atmosphere. For example, there are particular school rules that define these relationships, and children tend to behave differently at school than they do at home. In the latter, student behaviour is the phenomenon and the context is the classroom and school. ...