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The past in the present: historicising contemporary debates about gender and education

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2014
JournalGender and Education
Number of pages17
Early online date28/01/14
Original languageEnglish


History is often embedded, explicitly or implicitly, in discourses on contemporary
aspects of gender and education, but relatively few scholars engage critically with
history as they grapple with current issues. This article posits ‘historical sensibility’
as a means of engaging constructively with the past when scrutinising and working
on current issues in gender and education. Four features of historical sensibility are
mapped out and compared with established ways of approaching the relationship
between the present and past. The utility of historical sensibility is demonstrated
with reference to ongoing debates about the feminisation of schooling, the
sexualisation of children and the leisure pursuits of young women.