Query: educating the educators?

A friend tells me that her child’s school is doing a lot to reinforce gender roles– e.g. telling boys to observe the rule “ladies first”, and having children discuss “boys’ vs girls’ activities”. She’d like to help educate the school on why this is so problematic and was thinking about trying to prepare a pamphlet. But I thought perhaps our wonderful readers will know of some useful resources she could use. So do you? Many thanks!

4 thoughts on “Query: educating the educators?

  1. Kudos to your friend for taking action on this. I imagine you already know about this, but in case you don’t: Feminist Frequency has a couple wonderful videos about the boy/girl split in Lego. They’re videos, so it wouldn’t fit well into a pamphlet, but they’re great. They show how Lego used to be gender neutral and all about creative play, and now it’s war and violence for boys and pink beauty salons and cupcake-making for girls.

    The Lego Friends theme for girls:
    http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/01/lego-gender-part-1-lego-friends/
    The Lego Boys Club:
    http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/02/lego-gender-part-2-the-boys-club/

  2. Mumsnet has a busy feminist area and issues around schools often come up,If she doesn’t know it I’d suggest she post in the feminist ‘chat’ area rather than ‘support’ as it’s much busier; http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights I’d be interested to know what she does and the outcome, as my daughter’s school could do with a few pointers as well.

  3. She could encourage the school to make use of this new resource aimed at primary schools: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/a-free-primary-careers-education-resource/

    The advantage is that this doesn’t involve telling the teachers they’re doing anything wrong – even if you’re concerned that they might be, it’s not a message which is usually well-received – instead, it involves offering them a way to explore the ideas with the kids. Along the way, they might learn something themselves.

    It has a short video (available on youtube) with discussion questions, and five lesson activity ideas:
    1: Who am I?
    Learn that different things contribute to identity. Explore similarities and differences between classmates, as well as dreams and goals.

    2: Challenging stereotypes
    Learn how to identify stereotypes and challenge stereotypical thinking. Develop respect for difference and understand what discrimination is and how to challenge it. Begin to look at stereotypes in the world of work.

    3: There’s no such thing as a boy’s/girl’s job
    Explore a wide range of jobs, while challenging preconceptions about who does different jobs.

    4: Exploring jobs in my community
    Learn about the meaning of community, and that there are all kinds of different people in the community doing a variety of jobs. Work with the community to learn more about these jobs.

    5: Job done!
    Reflect on learning, share work with others, and acknowledge hard work and success.

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