Heroes and gender: Children Reading and Writing.
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Educators who are concerned about reading and writing practices within schools, and their constructions and representations of gender, are inevitably confronted with troublesome complexities and contradictions. Contradiction however can be understood not as a failure of critics to `get it right', but as an inevitable consequence of the competing discourses within which we (as educators, as women, as readers and writers) are positioned. Exploring sites of contradiction can be a fruitful way of increasing our understanding of these discourses, in order perhaps to better resist or negotiate our positions within them. Feminist poststructuralist theory offers one useful tool for such an analysis. Equally useful and important is an explicit recognition of the ethical implications of any interaction between people (specifically, between teachers and children, and amongst children) in a classroom situation. Here I want to explore some of the contradictions and complexities that girls and boys might find in taking up the position of hero in the stories that they read, write, imagine – and live.