Boys and girls at the school stand in a dialectical relationship within the context of the school, as well as in the context of each particular classroom. This context will be simulated by means of action groups, consisting of a number of girls and boys, and led by the teacher in each classroom being studied. Teachers chosen for the action research will also be a mix of male and female in order to minimize the emergence of bias.
In the wider context, male and female relationship in Western society has always had certain problematic elements. At the beginning of the 20th century, for example, very specific roles were assigned to males and females, with the latter working in the home and kitchen while raising children and their male counterparts generally working outside the home at companies. Much of this cultural context remains today, not only in terms of prejudice perpetrated by males against females, but also among members of the same gender.
Females may for example frown upon other females who choose their careers over marriage and children. Any remaining bias of such a kind will be considered by means of the action research groups.
Gender issues are by no means a simple phenomenon, particularly in 21st century Western society. While women are free to pursue their careers, the general cultural conviction is still that they are at their best when raising children and caring for their homes. Those who do this well tend to see themselves and others like them as models of perfect womanhood, whereas males who occupy leadership positions in businesses tend to be regarded as the ideal of manly success. These views will be tested not only in the children involved, but also in the teachers who lead them, and within the context of the home situation. It could for example be hypothesized that children will model the behavior of their parents in terms of gender.