Gender and Schooling

Sue Sharpe’s classic study ‘Just Like A Girl’ can be used to introduce the notion of gender role socialisation and career choice. In this study, Sharpe compared the attitudes of girls from working-class backgrounds in the 1970s and then the 1990s. She found that attitudes had changed over time ‰ÛÒ 1990s girls were more assertive and committed to gender equality. Girls were also increasingly wary of marriage and wanted to be able to stand on their own two feet.

A link to an overview of Sharpe’s study can be found here:

Discover More Girls and Education

After looking at the detail of Sharpe’s study and the methodology used, students could be asked to write an evaluation based on the material presented in this article:

Discover More Getting in early to avoid gender stereotyping careers

Following on from this could be a wider discussion about how schools contribute towards gender role socialisation and the extent to which students feel it has changed (perhaps asking parents and grandparents about their own experiences of schooling). The following article can provide a useful starting point:

Discover More 'Ladettes' lose out

The website link below provides a range of very useful materials on gender and educational achievement which can be used for independent study outside of lessons:

Discover More New AS and Advanced Level Sociology Specifications

Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) works to ‘promote equal opportunities to quality learning, free from gender-based or other forms of discrimination’. Their website contains a useful infographic which highlights why girls’ education matters:

Discover More Infographic-gender.pdf

This World Bank article covers a range of reasons for the differences in access to education across the world, which could be summarised into a table. It also has some suggested solutions which could be used as research topics for groups:

Discover More Girls Education

The United Nations also have an initiative to promote girls’ education across the world:

Discover More United Nations Girls Education Initiative

Students could be directed to these resources as a ‘flipped learning’ opportunity prior to the lesson.

Students could then be assigned a country to investigate and report back to the rest of the class on with regards to educational opportunities for girls and women. The bottom 10 countries for female education provides a useful starting point for countries to choose from -

Discover More The bottom ten countries for female education

Feminist Majority Foundation ‰ÛÒ Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls:

Discover More Campaign for Afghan Women & Girls

Unesco: Gender Inequality in Education:

Discover More UNESCO and Gender Equality in Education

Guardian article on girls’ education in Malawi:

Discover More Girls' education: 'Policymakers are hardwired to look for low-hanging fruit

Gender classes in India:

Discover More Thousands Of Indian Schools Implement Gender Classes To Fight Inequality

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