Since ancient times, fairy tales have inspired those who listened or read to act ‘with honor’. Yet, the meaning of ‘acting with honor’ depended on social habits and conventions as fairy tales mirrored the values of their society and time.
Classic fairy tales – yes, the very same ones we still tell to our children today! – standardize individual values as beauty and physical strength to social standards, and assign these qualities presupposing gender stereotypes (“girls should be pretty and kind, while boys should be strong and not express their emotions.”)
Thus, even contemporary storytelling influences children’s perceptions of gender roles in real life and reinforces harmful and outdated gender norms. Isn’t it time to take action against this outdated stereotyped gender-based logic?
The course will help school teachers (and educators) guide their pupils in rewriting fairy tales through the lens of gender equality and social justice.
Participants will gain practical ideas to have their learners analyze the plot, characters, and themes of fairy tales to identify instances of gender bias and discuss alternatives in their classes.
Furthermore, participants will explore several techniques for collaborative and creative storytelling to encourage their pupils and students to work together to elaborate fairy tales that challenge gender stereotypes.
Thus, they will learn to facilitate the creation of alternative versions of classic fairy tales where gender stereotypes are challenged or gender roles are reversed, therefore deconstructing them from their essential core.
Finally, the course will suggest important educational resources, digital tools, and practical ideas that allow teachers (and educators) to engage and motivate their learners while working on the prevention of discriminatory attitudes and the promotion of gender equality.
By the end of the course, participants will feel confident in supporting their learners in rewriting fairy tales to reflect their true values.
They will be able to foster in their pupils and students the capacities of critical thinking necessary to fight a system of distorted conceptions. The same system that still nowadays causes many girls and boys to suppress the discovery and expression of their identity and personality, narrowing their potential in building their future and shaping their communities.
The course will help the participants to:
- Understand the impact that fairy tales have on gender roles perception;
- Break misleading ideas about gender to prevent discrimination and inequality;
- Implement activities of collaborative and creative storytelling in their classes;
- Foster critical thinking in their pupils and students;
- Apply engaging approaches to effectively promote social justice in their classroom;
- Get practical knowledge about creative Storytelling and Writing;
- Discover useful resources and tools for gender equality-based lessons.
Day 1 – Fairytales in education
- Welcome and icebreaking activities;
- Introduction to the course and the week’s activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
- Fairy Tales and their Educational potential: a short introduction.
Day 2 – Identifying stereotypes behind traditional fairytales
- Deconstructing what we have grown up with: Who needs to be rescued? And does it really take a prince?
- Practical activity: classic fairy tales analysis;
- Self-esteem and the stereotyped concepts of Beauty and Heroism;
- Gender roles and society: other fairy tales from around the world.
Day 3 – Challenging traditional gender roles with your students
- Guiding students in recognizing fairy tales’ gender stereotypes;
- Educational projects about rewriting fairy tales: some interesting examples;
- Getting inspiration from contemporary children’s literature: Interstellar Cinderella & Co;
- Practical ideas to facilitate students’ work in rewriting fairy tales.
Day 4 – Creative storytelling and writing activities, tools, and resources
- Exploring creative tools and resources to enhance collaborative storytelling among children and tweens;
- Bringing in Art: promoting gender equality with Illustrations, comics, and graphic novels;
- Practicing with some engaging digital tools to help your students rewrite “another end of story”.
Day 5 – What’s your idea?
- More practical activities to promote social justice in your class;
- Designing a project or workshop for your school;
- Presenting your project.
Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other cultural activities.