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Transcript of Gender Equality
WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH:
What to tackle first?
TA upholding a stereotypical view of gender roles, by stating that the boy should be 'the vet' and the girl should be the 'nurse'
These are the issues we identified which need to be addressed.
Teacher's personal gender stereotype, thinking that all the angels in the play should be all girls.
Another teacher hears about casting the boy as an angel, and states that she has brought her son and daughter up in the same way as the boys father; and also states that society is to blame for the 'ideal' behaviour for girls and boys.
Year 3 teacher asks Year 6 teacher if she can borrow some of his 'big strong boys' to help put out the P.E equipment for her lesson.
The Reception class role play area has been set up as a veterinary surgery and the children have been enjoying taking their pets there to be treated for a range of animal ailments. One day you overhear two children, a boy and a girl, arguing about who is going to be the vet. The TA intervenes to say that the boy should be the vet and the girl should be the nurse because this was more likely to be the case in real life. You are tempted to say something but decide to let it go. Later that week it is time to decide on roles in the school nativity and some of the boys put their hands up to play the parts of angels. You’re not sure what to do as you had imagined that the angels would be girls but choose a boy and two girls to play the parts. Next day the boy’s father comes in to say his son is not going to play the part as he doesn’t want him growing up to be gay; the boy is clearly upset and bursts into tears. You tell another member of the teaching staff about this at lunch time and she seems surprised that you considered casting characters in this way saying ‘I’ve got two children, a boy and a girl and I’ve brought them up in exactly the same way but they choose to behave very differently – you can’t change human nature’. Shortly after you hear the Year 3 teacher, Mrs Rudd, ask Mr Bailey the Year 6 teacher if she can borrow some of his big, strong boys to put out the P.E. apparatus for her class’ lesson. You are not sure what to do.
The father of the boy who was cast as an angel in the play, confronted the teacher stating that he doesn't want his son to be an angel because he doesn't want him to grow up gay.
1. SCHOOL STAFF
THE BIGGER PICTURE
CHALLENGING GENDER STEREOTYPES: What to think about?
Is it more acceptable for girls to cry than boys?
Is there anything about your classroom organisation that might reinforce gender stereotypes – e.g. are there “boys’ toys” or “girls’ books”?
How do you line up your children?
Do you speak differently to boys and girls?
Are sanctions different for boys and girls?
Do you interact more with the boys than the girls?
Are those interactions different?
Can you think of any books (or other resources) that you have used that challenge gender stereotypes – e.g., which feature assertive girls and kind boys?
What other things could you do to make children more aware that we can all do anything and that we need never feel constrained by our gender?
(Breaking the Mould, 2013)
"A significant body of research confirms that gender stereotyping impacts negatively on young people in terms of everything from educational attainment and career choices to self-esteem and body image. Stereotypical views of what girls and boys ‘should’ like and do are established early so it is never too soon to start challenging these ideas and to talk about how we can all do whatever we like and shouldn’t feel the need to conform to the expectations of others."
Its Child's Play (2013)
"For work on challenging stereotypes to be effective, it needs to take place across the school and not just in specific, focused lessons."
(Breaking the Mould, 2013).
"Tackling gender differences that have a negative impact on educational achievement is best done at a whole school level and as part of the institution’s general ethos."
(Great Britain. Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2009, p. 3)
"Since teachers are the most effective agents of change in schools, they need support and they need to be properly resourced when taking the cold plunge into unfamiliar territory."
Tutchell (1990, p. 9-10)
"The Equality Act 2010 brought together a number of different acts, including the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act. The new act contains all of the safeguards of the previous acts, as well as new expectations. Although the 2010 Equality Act has been passed, it will take time until it is fully implemented. Also, due to the change of UK government, it is not certain that all aspects of the act will be enforced."
The Gender Equality Duty 2006 places a general and specific duty on schools to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of gender and to promote equality of opportunity between female and male pupils and between women and men and transgender people.
The Equality Act 2006 made provision for regulations to be introduced to extend protection against discrimination on grounds of religion or belief to sexual orientation.
Scrutinise current policy and practice;
Identify key problems and highlight areas for improvement;
Create an action plan;
Draw up a revised copy of the school's gender equality policy.
• Told why there is a need for a re-think;
• Given a chance to voice their opinions and experiences on the subject;
• Presented with the updated policy and asked for any additional input
• Informed of further plans and activities that will begin to take place in the future.
In this meeting, the teachers will be:-
“Roland Meighan (1981) argues that the classroom is a ‘haunted’ place, pervaded by the messages of the ‘hidden curriculum.’…involves such things as: teachers’ attitudes; how much time they give to boys or girls…”
Knowles (2011, p. 49)
“Skelton (1989), also refered to the fact that a belief child-centred methods cause ‘gender blindness’…Other teachers and teacher educators in Thompson’s research were found to be hostile to the idea that the issue of gender should have anything to do with the training of primary school teachers, as its not an appropriate issue.”
Knowles (2011, p. 50)
"Teachers often used calling on students as a management tool, as a result boys were more often called upon then girls. By using lolly sticks, a teacher will pick children at random and as a result less gender divisions will arise."
"Studies show that when responding to boys, teachers are more likely to prompt, encourage them to go further and clarify thinking than they are with girls."
EARLY GENDER DIFFERENCES...
"Gender differences in teacher-student interaction begin extremely early. In observations of a preschool classroom, Cherry (1975) found that teachers engaged in more verbal interaction with 4-year-old boys than with 4-year-old girls."
Golombok and Fivush (1994, P. 169)
Activity 1.2. 2 - Expectations for boys and girls
1.2. 4 - Gender Equality: What needs to be achieved?
1.2. 5 - Gender Biases: Card Play
"...traditional gender stereotypes are both the most persuasive and least acknowledged."
Challenging Stereotypes Through Primary Education (2013)
"Margaret Morrissey, of the Parents Outloud campaign group said: "The Government should stop interfering with parents bringing up their children and focus on teaching children to read, write and all those things they need to get a career."
"School is a place of change: Education is a significant social area where gender segregation and the reproduction of gender stereotypes are generated, and without a doubt, much can be done in this area."
"Parents play the largest and most important role in shaping their children's sense of themselves and supporting them through the barrage of cultural and peer pressures that do so much to distract them from what is truly important: the kinds of people they are and the contributions they can make to family, friends and the world."
Brody (1997, p. 7)
"Many staff commented on how they were much more likely to challenge stereotypical comments from children – as well as from each other – and that they had become much more conscious of how so many films, books and other resources aimed at children perpetuate stereotypes."
Challenging Gender Stereotypes Through Primary Education (2013, p. 10)
“Parents tend to worry more about gender-variant behaviour in little boys because it presents more of a challenge to our assumptions about gender.”
“Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it's okay to be a boy; for girls it's like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.”
Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden (Good Reads, 2013)
"Many of the teachers who come to these courses are enthusiastic about what they hear, and start to develop similar strategies at their own schools, and thus the cycle begins again."
Tutchell (1990, p. 11)
Amazing Grace, Hoffman (1991)
“Children under five have little awareness that certain preferences are associated with one gender or other. If a three-year-old boy enjoys dressing in his sister's clothes, this probably means nothing in terms of how the child feels about his gender.”
Gender tends to arouse strong feelings, relating to the nature nurture debate. One may believe that gender is based on the biological differences and if therefore nature which is unchangeable. On the other hand many believe that gender identity can be socially constructed and is likely to change over time.
Paraphrased from Knowles (2011, p. 53)
"...females were greatly under-represented in the titles, central roles, and illustrations of popular children’s stories."
Weitzman et al. (1972, pp. 1125-1150)
"Many children’s books also tend to confirm these stereotypes and it is useful to routinely question them when they occur. The use of affirmative and gender neutral language (fire fighter instead of fireman, partner instead of husband or wife) is another small but significant step towards confronting the many examples of gender stereotyping that children are subjected to every day. Other simple things such as involving all children in construction or sewing activities – and not lining them up in single sex lines – help to stress similarities rather than differences between genders and to challenge the notion that girls and boys can’t do things together."
Child's Play (2013)
"Using role models within the classroom can help break the stereotypes that are seen within the media."
“There is great awareness in the classroom of the breaking down of barriers, about what is a traditional girl’s job or boy’s job. Actually, if you ask the question, they will see no problem with girls wanting to be bricklayers or whatever. Whether that actually affects what happens in reality…”
Arnot et al. (1999, p. 24)
"Constructions of gender difference by teachers and pupils produce different behaviours which impact on achievement. The ‘gender gap in achievement’ can be removed by challenging notions of gender itself..."
DCSF (2009, p. 2)
It was found that the teachers often taught in a ‘male’ friendly way in order to keep the male pupils engaged.
Paraphrased from Skelton et al. (2009)
"Girls must not receive a lesser education than boys and vice versa if they are taught in single-sex classes."
The Gender Equality Duty and Schools (2007, p. 16)
"Girls are learning that their success is due to effort and hard work, whereas boys are learning that their success is due to talent and ability."
Golombok and Fivush (1994, p. 181)
"It is interesting that few men who choose to work with young children in a preschool or early years context. It could argued that this is a result of a combination of reasons, such as; fear of being cast as effeminate and not ‘butch’; fear of their interest in the care of young children being miscast or misconstrued; and still prevalent reason that they ‘didn’t think it was a man’s job’, which encapsulates the ever present belief in society that men are not expected to ‘care’ for young children."
Knowles and Lander (2001)
"Children construct the taking up of these relational gendered positions as vital for social competence and identity. The depiction of gender identity is a public achievement: therefore, Davies argues, children take up aspects of gender- stereotypical behaviour in order to publicly delineate their gender identification. A child who does not conform to gender norms of behaviour may be marginalised and viewed as ‘not a real person.’ … In order to protect their identities children participate in ‘gender category maintenance work’ : this involves the taking up of gender position with outward shows od stereotypical masculinity or femininity and coercing their peers to do the same, in an attempt to create a firmer gender identity.. Thus gender is collectively constructed and maintained."
"Peer groups ‘police’ the ‘gendered behaviours of their peers’ (Skelton et al 2007) thereby reinforcing gender norms and expectations. These norms and expectations are defined by parameters which constitute masculinity and femininity."
Cited from Knowles and Lander (2001)
"Sexual bullying and bullying in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity remain widespread and are closely linked to ideas of how women and men – and boys and girls – are expected to look and behave."
Challenging Stereotypes Through Primary Education (2013, p. 3)
"Many men and women feel constrained by the narrow roles assigned to them by societal pressures, and girls and boys are expected to conform to narrow ideals of masculinity and femininity from a very early age."
Its Child's Play (2013)
"...boys and girls produce constructions of gender (masculinity and femininity) that ‘fit’ social norms in the peer group and in wider society. These include giving preference and more time to particular behaviours, interests, and school subjects whilst shunning or avoiding others. These gendered behaviours ‘are deep-seated, and children enact these without being unconsciously aware of them.’ (Skelton, Francis and Valkanova 2007) but they vary depending on the child’s social class and ethnicity."
Department for Children, Schools and Families (2009, p. 2)
"One way to bring about this change is to educate children for a world in which such stereotypes need not govern our behaviour and people are free to pursue the lives they want without feeling that certain things are expected of them – or opportunities denied them – because of either their biological sex or gender expression."
Challenging Stereotypes Through Primary Education (2013, p. 4)
Carla, Olivia, Jack & Yasmin
"Teachers played a part in continuing the gender stereotypes by saying ‘boys play football and girls skip.’ A child is told in the role pay area that he cannot play the part of the chef because men can’t be chefs."
"80% of girls and 60% of boys claimed that they has observed sexism in the primary school. Two thirds of girls has claimed to experience sexism at the hands of boys in school. So according to pupils gender is commonly a source of discrimination and this discrimination is mainly practised against girls."