Concept by: Marcus Sheehan
As teachers, our job is not only to facilitate learning but also to create a safe space in which students feel nurtured and encouraged to grow. Gender education is fundamental in creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment. Gender roles and stereotypes can limit students’ growth and lead to learning obstacles such as stress, emotional and body issues, anxiety or depression. In order to create a more inclusive classroom, we need to confront gender stereotypes, but this can be a difficult topic to approach as teachers. Using Finnish pedagogy, which promotes critical thinking, deep learning and reflection, we will analyze various methods for helping students to recognize and overcome these stereotypes, for more inclusive classrooms.
In this course, we will consider:
- How students are already heavily influenced by gender stereotypes once they enter the school system;
- How gender stereotypes affect boys and girls in school and later on;
- How we as teachers can heavily influence how students see gender.
We will also consider practical tools for:
- Facilitating discussions on the topic of gender stereotypes;
- Teaching gender equity in the classroom, with tips for designing lessons on this topic.
We will also dedicate time to designing lessons to use later in your own classroom.
The course will help the participants to:
- Recognize how students have been affected by gender stereotypes;
- Discover how we teachers can push gender stereotypes on students without realizing;
- Construct methods to deal with negative gender stereotypes in the classroom;
- Design well thought-out lessons that deal with gender stereotypes, using Finnish pedagogy.
Day 1 – Introduction to the course
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Icebreaker activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
Day 2 – Gender in society and the effects it has on us
We will briefly look at how gender stereotypes have been pushed on our students from an early age, to show how important it is that we deal with these stereotypes in the classroom. As we now understand how gender identity is forced on us through society, we will look at the detrimental effects it can have on our students.
Day 3 – Gender stereotypes in school
For many students, school is a formative experience and a place where they begin to create their own identity. We will look at how a student’s sense of self can be affected by classmates or the school environment. We as teachers may not realize how we sometimes deal differently with boys and girls, and the effects this can have on our students. In this class, we will examine our unconscious bias and brainstorm ways to create a healthier learning environment for our students.
Day 4 – How to create meaningful lessons that deal with gender
As teachers we are often don’t know how to approach issues dealing with gender. We will look at how to discuss these issues and also how to create meaningful lessons that will allow students to reflect and understand their own behaviour.
Day 5 – Sharing our lesson plan ideas
The most important step is to share our ideas. Each lesson created on Thursday will be reviewed. It will be taught with the rest of the class acting as the students. By sharing our ideas, we can create stronger lessons.
Day 6 – Excursion & Course closure
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.
- Teachers & school staff: pre-school level;
- Teachers & school staff: primary level;
- Teachers & school staff: special needs.