First Advisor

Anita Bright

Date of Publication

Spring 6-4-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction




Boys -- Education, Teacher-student relationships, Masculinity, Resistance (Psychoanalysis), Educational sociology



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 200 pages)


U.S. schools face a well-documented gender gap within some important educational and social indicators. In the United States, boys and young men are significantly more likely than girls and young women to be diagnosed with a learning disability, leave high school without a diploma, receive failing grades in core classes, and be suspended or expelled from school. This study uses an interpretive research framework to investigate the relationship between this gender gap in education and constructions of masculinity, social and cultural capital, agency, caring and resistance in secondary schools. Data collected through interviews with young men who engaged in acts of resistance against schooling yielded three major findings. First, some acts of resistance provided the participants with a means to ease the tedium and stress of academic work and enhance social capital among their male peers. Second, some acts of resistance provided participants with a means to regain personal agency when they felt either marginalized by an oppressive system or generally rejected, ignored, or alienated from the formal schooling environment. Finally, participants expressed an appreciation for authentic relationships with their teachers and stated that they were less likely to engage in acts of resistance with teachers who nurtured authentic caring relationships in the classroom.


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