Exploring gender enactment in the classroom practices of public and private elementary schools in Chitral

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Dilshad Ashraf


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Gender equality is a basic human right and it is recognized as a guiding principle linked to the realization of the right to education and declaring that women and girls should be equally empowered in and through education. Gender-based treatment with students is very common in schools and it is practiced in Chitral as well. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the role of teaching-learning practices in promoting gender enactment within the classroom of public and private elementary schools in Chitral. This study was conducted in a co-education setting (a private school) and a single-sex setting (two single-sex public schools (one each for girls and boys). Under the qualitative paradigm, a multiple case study method was applied. Data was collected through class observations, interviews with teachers, and focus group discussions with students. The data were analyzed through constant comparative analysis, and themes were developed. The findings revealed that gender was subtly enacted in teaching-learning practices inside classrooms regardless of the classroom setting. The classroom served as a venue for students to put their societal beliefs into reality. The pattern of students' formal and informal gatherings in both single-sex and co-educational school settings demonstrated socially accepted gendered notions and acceptance of societal norms. Teachers play an important role in reviving the gender norms set by society. They provide gender messages and encourage students to follow the set norms. Students carried to the schools the gendered messages they received from home and the broader culture. Thus, this study suggests that there is a need to organize a professional development programme for teachers to learn the skills and knowledge to recognize and address gender issues inside and outside classrooms to transform schools as sites for practicing positive and inclusive gender relationships.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library