This blog is part of the Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS) series: What works in girls’ education? As children return back to school, PEAS launched their new campaign #everygirlinschool. The original blog was published on the PEAS website on 25 August 2022.
How gender-responsive teacher training has a positive impact on teacher practice. The potential impact of changing gender mindsets on girls’ education:
Gender bias and stereotypes are a significant barrier to girls’ access and engagement in secondary education across sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda’s National Strategy for Girls’ Education highlights that cultural expectations, unequal gender division of labour, and a low value placed on educating girls constrain girls’ attendance and participation in school (MoES 2013).
Evidence suggests continuous teacher education and training can support teachers to reflect on and overcome their biases, leading them to change their classroom practices to dismantle, rather than reinforce negative gender stereotypes (GEMR 2017).
How are we supporting schools to adopt gender-inclusive mindsets?
We work closely with school leaders and teachers to support them to adopt gender-inclusive mindsets and model this mindset to students.
By building leaders and teachers’ gender awareness, they can help students to challenge stereotypes, respect each other, and contribute to closing the gender attainment gap by reducing the barriers which prevent equal engagement in learning.
We deliver school-based continuous leader and teacher training that promotes a gender-responsive approach.
We have delivered school-based continuous professional development (CPD) sessions for teachers and leaders on the differences between sex and gender, and how to embed inclusive and gender-responsive teaching methods into classroom practice.
Beyond this, our in-school teacher development is underpinned by PEAS’ Top 10 Practices for Teachers, a set of guiding principles for learner-centred and inclusive teaching. Teachers are supported to embed a positive Climate for Learning by ‘Recognising all student efforts’, including girls. Through continuous training and coaching, teachers are supported to embed inclusive practices in their classrooms.
What does our evidence show?
Our gender-responsive teaching is having a positive impact on teaching practices, according to a recent evaluation.
Evidence suggests that the teachers’ classroom practice approaches are changing as a result of teacher training and CPD sessions that teach them how to produce gender-responsive and learner-centred lessons (GEC 2021).
One teacher said: “they taught me gender pedagogy, how to mix students, making them comfortable, how to deal with low achievers by talking to them privately, encouraging them while marking them, giving them extra work” (GEC 2021).
Building on our successes
We are building on our successes, so all leaders, teachers, and students are supported to develop equitable gender attitudes.
We will be continuing to focus on changing mindsets through gender-transformative teacher training and the Top 10. These include training areas on ‘Understanding gender inequity’ and ‘Creating a gender-responsive school’. Alongside embedding gender and inclusion in our leadership standards and training approach, we are also developing network-wide gender awareness activities. This is vital to ensure network-wide change to the attitudes towards girls’ education and futures, remove gender inequalities in the classroom, and better prepare every student, especially girls, for all opportunities in life and work, post-secondary education.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our approach to gender-responsive pedagogy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to support our work to empower adolescent girls, please contact email@example.com.