This article draws on research carried out at the School of Education, University of Iceland. First year teacher students were asked to document their first memories of being girls or boys. The findings show that 82 out of 126 students’ anecdotes involved communications with school personnel in pre-, elementary, and lower secondary schools. The narratives indicate that the students went from believing that they were free to adopt any type of gender identity they chose, to accepting that the choice was limited to the type which was seen as acceptable by the dominant discourse for their gender. This process was characterized first by optimism, second by disappointment, and finally, after a long lasting struggle against gender cues and gendered messages, by resignation. The authors contend that teacher educators could benefit from exploring students’ narratives in their efforts to remediate this situation.

Höfundar: Þórdís Þórðardóttir og Steinunn Helga Lárusdóttir

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Thordis Thordardottir (thordisa@hi.is) is an assistant professor at the University of Iceland, School of Education. She finished her Ph.D. in education studies from the University of Iceland in 2012 and an M.Ed. degree in comparative education from the Iceland University of Education in 2000. She completed the teacher licence program from the University of Iceland in 1995 and a B.A. in education studies from the same university in 1993. She completed a Diploma in educational administration and leadership, from the Social Pædagogiske Højskole in Copenhagen 1990 and graduated from The Icelandic Preschool Teacher College 1974. Her main research focuses on gender education and culture, together with knowledge construction and meaning making in early childhood education. She is the Chairperson of The Centre for Research in Equality, Education and Gender.

Steinunn Helga Larusdottir (shl@hi.is) is an associate professor at the School of Education, University of Iceland. She finished an M.Ed. in educational administration from The University of Illinois in 1982 and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the Institute of Education, University of London in 2008. Her research is in the areas of school leadership and management, values, gender and equality. She is the Chairperson of The Centre for Research in Educational Leadership and Program Evaluation.

Efnisorð: gender; students memories; hegemonic masculinity; teacher education