Gender in Curriculum

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Gender in Curriculum

  1. 1. Gender Curriculum Challenges
  2. 2. Providing a definition of gender as it pertains to curriculum is a multi-faceted, complex and loaded issue. For our purposes, Hank Green provides a good working definition and some good advice regarding the impact of understanding.
  3. 3. Why should educators bother with social issues connected to gender? ● Gender has consistently been at the center of schooling and education (Pinar et al, 2000, p. 359) ● Democratic schooling is impossible unless educators consider and address challenging social movements that could result in cultural change (Gaskell, 2004. p. 308) ● Our codes of ethics demand that teachers treat students with respect and dignity while keeping their individual rights at the forefront ● “To ignore these concerns is to reinforce dominant exclusionary ideologies,” (Bickmore, 2002, p. 1).
  4. 4. Why …. An understanding of gender issues will promote good citizenship: ● “Most teachers teach about conflict and wars, and accept bullying on the playground, or sexual harassment in the hallways, while they think of themselves as desiring peace,” (McIntosh, 2013, p. 348) ● “Education that emphasizes the imperfect relationships among women and men, including their mutual responsibilities and the social structures of unequal power that help to shape their individual choices, is good social studies and good citizenship education,” (Bickmore, 2002, p. 8)
  5. 5. How can educators tackle these issues? ● Increase gender equality training for school administrators and school inspectors so that administrators are committed to practices which promote gender equality (CIDA, 2010, p. 20) ● Ensure that those who are creating curriculum are capable of identifying gender bias and that they integrate gender equality into documents (CIDA, 2010, p.25) ● Any change should involve the entire community because these changes are “entwined in everybody’s practice of social exclusion and citizenship” (Bickmore, 2004, p. 6)
  6. 6. Yes, but what can teachers really do? ● Recognize that “we all play a part in opening or closing the citizenship gate, defining in practice who is included in ‘us’,” and that by remaining silent on the topic of gender equality, you are in fact complicit in the perpetuation of inequality (Bickmore, 2002, p. 10). ● Become aware of the ways that you might be unwittingly contributing to student’s perceptions regarding gender. ● Recognize our responsibility to promote human dignity and that this responsibility entails truly seeing the disenfranchised and creating a space that not only tolerates but celebrates all students (Pinar et al, 2000, p. 397).
  7. 7. Teachers can... ● Understand that problems related to sexism are inextricably linked to heterosexism, racism, and all other ‘isms’ seen within our society. These all cause our students to feel dis-empowered, unsafe and unable to learn (Bickmore, 2002, p. 1) ● Understand the ways the prescribed gender system “forms and deforms us” and how this leads to determining who we are as citizens and caring people in the world (Pinar et al, 2000, p. 403) ● Bring this understanding to the classroom
  8. 8. References Bickmore, K. (2002). How might social education resist (hetero)sexism? Facing the impact of gender and sexual ideology on citizenship. Theory and Research in Social Education, 30:2, 1-15. Canadian International Development Agency. (2010). Education: Gender equality. Retrieved from http: //publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2010/acdi-cida/CD4-62-2010-eng.pdf. Gaskell, J. (2004). Educational change and the women's movement: lessons from British Columbia schools in the 1970s. Educational Policy, 18(2), 291-310. McIntosh, P. (2013). Gender Perspectives on Educating for Global Citizenship. In D. J. Flinders & S. J. Thornton (Eds.), The curriculum studies reader (4th ed., pp. 19-31). New York: RoutledgeFalmer Pinar, W. F., Reynolds, W. M., Slattery, P., & Taubman, P. M. (2004). Understanding curriculum as gender text. In Pinar, W.F. (Ed.), Understanding curriculum (pp. 358-403). New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

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