Gender Respect Project 2013-2016

Aiming to help children and young people to understand, question and challenge gender inequality and violence.


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Teacher Blog: Kathryn

Gender and Work : Evaluation of project

I asked the children to re-do the questionnaire (full results can be found here )done at the beginning to see whether their ideas had changed.

Key things to note:

  • Comparing the percentages from February, the boys have stayed exactly the same.
  • There is a higher percentage of girls wanting to do non-stereotypical jobs and a higher percentage of girls wanting to do gender-neutral jobs, and therefore less wishing to do gender stereotypical jobs.
  • However, it must be remembered that February was data for 2 classes, and July was only 1 class as only 1 class has had all of the interventions. Also, the choice of whether a job is gender stereotypical is subjective.
  • Overall, I have noticed that children have got more knowledge about what types of jobs they could have, as the results in July are much more specific and there is a greater variety of job choices.

I asked them to fill in an evaluation form about the whole project. These were the questions and a summary of the results (click here for full results):

  1. How much did you enjoy the following activities?

Rate them from 1 to 5 (1 = not at all, 5 = enjoyed it a lot)

  1 2 3 4 5
Questions about graphs that showed how many men and women do certain jobs. 4 4 13 3 6
P4C using images of men and women doing non-stereotypical jobs. 5 7 5 3 9
Liz from WEST coming in 2 2 5 8 12
Research about your future careers 2 2 5 8 10

 

  1. Which is your favourite type of activity? (rate them 1 to 5 with 1 being your least favourite and 5 being your most favourite)
  1 2 3 4 5
Looking at graphs 8 6 6 6 3
P4C 10 2 5 4 8
Visitors 5 4 2 7 12
Internet research 3 5 3 6 11
Questionnaires 2 1 12 4 10
  1. What have you learned from our work about jobs and gender stereotypes?

Responses were all about how men and women can do any job that they wish too. Some children spoke about following your dreams and that the only person stopping you is yourself. My favourite quote was from one girl who said ‘I would tell my children to follow your goals and respect your dreams. I would say the future belongs in the hands of those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’ 

  1. If you were a teacher, what would you do to teach children about jobs and gender stereotypes?

This question was answered in 2 ways. Some children thought about how they would teach and some thought about what they would teach. The ‘how’ were all methods that we have used already in this project, with the addition of venn diagrams. The ‘what’ were similar to the responses for question 3.


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Teacher Blog: Kathryn

Gender and Work: P4C around gender and work stereotypes

I reminded the children of all of the activities we have done during the year related to gender and work. I asked the children to use these as stimuli and to come up with a philosophical question that they would like to discuss. These were the questions they came up with:

  1. Do you think that boys and girls should have the same responsibilities within the same job?
  2. Why do people think that there are jobs for boys and jobs for girls?
  3. Do you think that males or females prefer to work with humans or animals and why?

The chosen question was number three and these were some of the children’s responses:

‘Both could help humans or animals.’

‘It’s not fair if it’s just boys that get to do 1 job.’

‘It shouldn’t be one or another. They (males/females) should work with who they prefer to (humans/animals).’

‘I think males prefer to work with humans and females prefer to work with animals.’

‘My personal choice would be to work with animals rather than humans. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m a girl.’

‘I think women prefer to work with children and babies rather than adults. Women work with people with needs e.g. old people.’

‘Some people don’t like working with humans. Some people don’t like working with animals.’

‘I prefer to work with humans because it is easier to communicate with them. Both males and females like to communicate with people.’

This was an interesting discussion that followed on from looking at graphs of which professions are more female/male dominated. We had agreed that there are more females in caring professions but the consensus of this discussion seemed to be that it didn’t make a lot of difference if they were male or female as to whether they would chose to work with humans or animals.

 


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Teacher Blog: Kathryn

Gender and Work: Visit from WEST

We invited in Liz Kettle from WEST (Women in Engineering, Science and Technology) to share her experiences with the children.

WESTvisit

We showed this Newsround clip about WEST http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/29443373 to get the children thinking about their future jobs.

We chose some children to dress up as fire fighters, police officers, red cross volunteers, builders, formula one drivers and doctors and asked the children to stand on a continuum line as to whether they thought the job was just for boys, girls or somewhere in the middle. The children mostly stood in the middle for all jobs, recognising that anyone can do any job.

WEST visit1 WESTvisit2

We looked at http://www.westskills.org.uk/stories where there are real life stories of females working in trade jobs. We discussed if children had experience of female builders/plumbers etc and quite a few said they had. We talked about what job the children would like to do.

WESTvisit3

The children really enjoyed the WEST: We can booklet. http://www.westskills.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/YES-WE-CAN-free-activity-book-by-WEST-westskills-org-uk.pdf

I had thought it would be too young for them (they are Y3s), so had planned for them to design their own page for a similar booklet for Y1s. However, they enjoyed the games, activities and especially the stickers!

We carried a follow up activity from WEST in the computing suite:

Children did a quiz to find out which job they could be suitable for in the future: http://www.futuremorph.org/wp-content/uploads/games/interactive/index.html

Children then researched what they would need to do to get that job and what the job is like:

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobfamily/Pages/default.aspx

Evaluation of WEST (carried out a few weeks later)

I asked them three questions about the visit from WEST. Children stood on a continuum line to show how they felt about the question. The questions were:

  1. Did you enjoy the activity?

Untitled

 

2.  Are you more aware of jobs and gender stereotypes?

Untitled2

3. What have you learned?

‘If you have a dream, follow it.’

‘Don’t care what other people say.’

‘Go where your mind takes you.’

‘You can do any job without anyone stopping you.’

‘The only person stopping you is yourself.’

‘If you want to do something, go for it.’


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Teacher Blog: Rebecca

Year 7 lesson on ‘men’s jobs and women’s jobs’

As part of our Year 7 careers topic I trialled a very simple activity where students were asked to sort a set of different jobs into a Venn diagram of ‘jobs for women’, ‘jobs for men’ or ‘both’. Initially there was a bit of confusion and most students said that it was a bit silly because it was obvious that people could do whichever job they wanted to now. Whilst I appreciated their awareness of anti-discrimination laws I wanted to scratch below the surface of their response so I asked them to think about stereotypes in careers (it might be an idea to cover in a previous lesson what a stereotype is- my students are great at spotting them now, ‘Miss, that’s a stereotype, that is!’) and traditionally which jobs were more suited to men and women.

And then the stereotypes came out; in abundance.

‘Women can’t work in construction, they aren’t any good at screwing things’

‘It’s too hard for them, they aren’t strong enough’

‘Men just aren’t any good with children, it’s a bit weird for them to be a nursery teacher’

‘Women are more caring and nurturing’

‘Women can’t fight in the army’

‘Male nurses are all gay’

‘There’s no way I’d let a man cut my hair (boy)’

Then we had a discussion to break down some of these stereotypes. Where did these ideas come from? Could they think of any exceptions to these ideas? I think this is crucial in breaking down stereotypes, if they can think of examples from their own lives that go against the assumptions. We talked about the skills and qualities needed to do each job and the type of person you’d have to be to be a good nurse, childcare worker, builder etc and, to some extent, they agreed that anyone from any gender could have those qualities. They still weren’t very convinced that men could be caring and nurturing though. We discussed why it was ok to have a male barber but not a male hairdresser (what’s the difference?!) and how from an early age the toys children play with prepare them for gendered careers and they started saying things like this:

‘We just don’t see many male nurses or women in construction’

‘It’s not normal because it’s really weird to see it’

‘Well, maybe it should be shown more on TV or something’

and then, my hero moment:

‘Miss, my uncle’s a nurse and he’s not gay’

Which is probably the statement that had the most impact all lesson.