Gender-Inclusive Classrooms: Empowering Educators for Equity and Respect

Course overview

This comprehensive 5-day course is designed to equip educators with the knowledge, tools, and strategies necessary to create safe and gender-inclusive classroom environments. Participants will gain a broader understanding of gender and sexuality themes, enabling them to confront gender stereotypes, prevent gender-based discrimination, promote inclusiveness, and support students in expressing their unique identities.

The course will delve into the fundamental concepts of sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender-based discrimination. Participants will explore the mechanisms behind gender stereotypes and learn how to model discussions about gender and sexual orientation in the classroom effectively.

Emphasis will be placed on improving self-awareness and emotional intelligence, both for educators and students. Participants will learn techniques to foster empathy, respect, active listening, and non-violent conflict resolution among students, promoting healthy interpersonal relationships and a positive learning environment.

The course will introduce participants to various tools and strategies for shaping a safe and gender-inclusive classroom environment. Participants will learn how to model inclusive language and behavior, promote non-discrimination and anti-harassment practices, and maintain an open-minded approach to supporting students’ diverse identities.

To enhance the learning experience and provide a cultural context, the course will incorporate a guided visit to a local museum, heritage site, or community-based initiative. This visit will allow participants to explore the cultural richness of the area, draw inspiration from inclusive practices, and gain insights into incorporating green and sustainable dimensions into their teaching methodologies.

Tentative schedule:

Day 1: Understanding gender and sexuality in educational contexts

  • Icebreakers and networking activities
  • Introduction to the course and participants
  • Overview of the course methodology and expectations
  • Defining sex, gender, and sexual orientation
  • Exploring the impact of gender-related norms and behaviors in the learning environment
  • Group discussions: Sharing experiences and challenges in addressing gender and sexuality topics

Day 2: Gender identity and self-awareness

  • Understanding the complexities of gender identity and the gender spectrum
  • Accounts from the LGBTQIA+ community: Real-life stories and inspirations
  • Practical activities to discuss gender identity in the classroom and support students’ self-awareness
  • Fostering emotional intelligence and self-awareness among educators

Day 3: Confronting gender stereotypes and discrimination

  • Gender stereotypes: Discussing gender roles and cultural/generational perspectives
  • Discrimination linked to sex, gender, and sexual orientation: Sexism, homophobia, and transphobia
  • Group work: Finding and reviewing media stories about sexism, homophobia, and transphobia
  • Cultural visit (e.g. museum, heritage site) guided in English to explore local heritage and sustainability / inclusivity practices

Day 4: Promoting empathy, respect, and conflict resolution

  • Preventing gender-based discrimination through emotional and affective education
  • Fostering empathy, respect, active listening, and non-violent conflict resolution among students
  • Practical activities to model healthy interpersonal relationships

Day 5: Creating gender-inclusive classroom environments

  • Modeling inclusive language and behavior in the classroom
  • Promoting non-discrimination and anti-harassment practices for all students
  • Practical activities to foster inclusion and maintain open minds in the classroom
  • Course evaluation and feedback
  • Certification ceremony

The classes typically run from 9 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon, with the afternoon and evening reserved for self-reflection and individual study. However, the course schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the preferences of the participants and the availability of instructors or external learning locations. Participants will receive the finalized schedule well in advance, allowing ample time for preparation and planning.

Learning outcomes:

The participants will be able to:

  • Analyze the fundamental concepts of sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender-based discrimination.
  • Confront and deconstruct gender stereotypes, recognizing their underlying mechanisms and harmful impacts.
  • Model discussions about gender and sexual orientation in the classroom, promoting open and respectful dialogue.
  • Develop strategies to improve self-awareness and emotional intelligence, both for themselves and their students.
  • Implement tools and strategies for shaping a safe and gender-inclusive classroom environment.
  • Foster empathy, respect, active listening, and non-violent conflict resolution among students, promoting healthy interpersonal relationships.
  • Promote inclusive language and behavior, non-discrimination practices, and an open-minded approach to supporting students’ diverse identities.
  • Collaborate with fellow educators to share best practices, strategies, and resources for creating gender-inclusive and equitable learning environments.
  • Incorporate cultural elements, inclusive practices, and sustainable dimensions from local heritage and community initiatives into their teaching methodologies.
  • Develop a comprehensive action plan for fostering gender-inclusive classrooms, addressing gender-based discrimination, and promoting equity and respect for all students.

Course fee:

  • 400 euro per participant (covered entirely by the Erasmus grant)

Course fee includes:

  • At least 25 hours of course content;
  • Course materials;
  • Certificate of participation;
  • Europass, on request;
  • Learning / Mobility Agreement;
  • Visits to local institutions, if available;
  • Personalized support;
  • Free high-speed WIFI internet at the POU Čakovec premises;
  • Refreshments;
  • Administration costs;
  • Dissemination materials.
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