Event: Gender Matters in the Classroom – Free Middlesex University Webinar, 25th Nov 2020

On Wednesday 25th November, Middlesex University a free webinar focused on what can practically be done to address gender stereotyping in the classroom.

About this Event

Gender stereotyping in the classroom limits expectations and confidence amongst children, and reinforces unhelpful ideas about what women and men can do in adult life. This webinar, co-hosted by the Middlesex University Department of Education and the Gender & Diversity Research Cluster, offers insights from recent initiatives designed to recognise the significance of gender in the classroom. Significantly, speakers consider what can practically be done to address these gender issues.

The webinar includes presentations by:

• Professor Jayne Osgood (gender and childhood expert, Middlesex University),

• Caren Gestetner (CEO of Lifting Limits),

• Catherine Fraser-Andrews (teacher and recent graduate of MA Gender & Sexualities who has altered her school policy and practice to be more gender inclusive),

and will be introduced and chaired by Professor Suzan Lewis and Dr Bianca Stumbitz (Gender & Diversity Research Cluster, Middlesex University).

More about the presentations

Based upon years of research into gender and childhood Jayne Osgood advised the production of the 2018 BAFTA nominated (BBC2) documentary ‘No More Boys & Girls: can our kids go gender free?’. She subsequently contributed to a book aimed at teachers, that built upon the success of the TV series:‘The Equal Classroom: life changing thinking about gender’ (2020). Jayne will speak about the importance of research to inform practices designed to tackle gender issues in childhood.

Teachers’ direct experiences of being involved in such initiatives will be shared; a short pre-recorded contribution from Graham Andre (the teacher featured in the BBC2 documentary) provides a sense of what it was like to become aware of the embedded nature of his stereotypical language and practices, and the difference small changes made in his classroom.

Lifting Limits shares a similar concern with gender stereotyping in childhood and is actively working with primary schools to tackle gender stereotyping through a whole school approach. Caren Gestetner will talk about Lifting Limits’ schools programme, findings from the year-long pilot in 5 London schools (in the Borough of Camden) and the impact that supporting school staff to recognise and address stereotyping can have for schools and their pupils.

This will be followed by a presentation from Catherine Fraser-Andrews, a teacher from Cambridge who recently revised her school’s policies and worked with her staff team to action change to tackle gender issues.

Participants are invited to discuss the implications in relation to gender related issues that they themselves encounter in their practice and to consider changes that could be made in their classrooms (for pupils and students of all ages).

The event is part of a broader commitment by Middlesex University to incorporate greater gender awareness into its teaching programmes with the aim of improving practice and developing approaches to gender inclusivity in education.