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Education students present at Gender conference in London

21 Jul, 2017

From left: Ms Shaaista Moosa and Ms Nicci Carboni.
Postgraduate students in Education Ms Shaaista Moosa (PhD) and Ms Nicci Carboni (Masters) recently presented their research papers at the International Gender and Education Association Conference in London. They attended the event with their supervisor Professor Deevia Bhana.

This was Moosa’s first time attending an international conference and traveling overseas. ‘Interacting and engaging with other scholars from around the world has inspired me in so many ways and it will definitely assist me in completing my PhD soon. I have become more confident in my work knowing that my research output is most definitely reaching an international audience.’

She believes that providing opportunities for students to attend conferences will assist them in becoming fully-fledged researchers who she says are confident about their research and inspired to always push themselves beyond their limits. ‘This conference has definitely shown me that through hard work and determination, one’s possibilities become endless.’

Her ongoing joint research with her supervisor explores how primary school teachers at five schools in KwaZulu-Natal construct men as teachers of young children in the Foundation Phase of schooling. The findings showed how primary school teacher participants positioned men as unsuitable teachers of young children whilst endorsing specific ideals of hegemonic masculinity.

They also positioned men and women within strict gendered roles. ‘This gave us insight into how primary school teachers contribute to reproducing Foundation Phase teaching as a feminised profession as well as the maintenance of counter feminist masculine ideals,’ said Moosa.

Carboni’s research topic was titled, Learning Sex: how young people consume online sexually-explicit materials and give meaning to gender and sexualities. For this conference, she presented on a segment of the data, which focused on young girls' sexual agency and cyber-subjectivity via online sexually-explicit materials. 

During the conference, Carboni attended ground-breaking talks, workshops and performances in the field of gender and sexualities presented by leading academics in the field. ‘I had the privilege of personally interacting with many dynamic academics and fellow students, and have already found myself benefiting from the networking opportunities and the sharing of ideas. The knowledge gained is invaluable and will certainly assist me as I continue my post-graduate studies. I would recommend more opportunities be provided for South African students to attend such conferences,’ she said.

Both students expressed gratitude to their supervisor. ‘Professor Deevia Bhana has been an absolute pillar of strength and encouragement for me, and she has always believed in my abilities. Her professionalism and extensive experience in the field of gender and sexuality has also inspired me to excel, and to work with determination,’ said Carboni.

Melissa Mungroo mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

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