How much thinking have you done about gender?
What does it feel like to be gay, trans or non-binary at school?
How unbiased, safe and inclusive are our teachers, our schools and our systems, and what can we do about it?
The time is ripe for a re-think, and the issues are pressing. Our pupils are grappling with challenges around gender and sexuality, and they need our well-informed support. Providing evidence, prompts and the space to explore the implications, restrictions and constructs of gender, this book is here to help every teacher reflect on issues around gender roles and expectations in their class.
In this challenging and potent book, experts, academics and campaigners join forces to contribute important perspectives to complement Rycroft-Smith’s own accessible and often provocative explanations of many facets of gender and sexuality, including media, literature, toys, clothing, sexism, expectations, sexuality, gender roles, harassment and consent. Humour and anecdotes are thoughtfully intertwined with fascinating insights into biological and cultural perspectives and societal norms, highlighting why it’s so vital to teach pupils about gender issues, as well as modelling consent, good quality relationships and tolerance to children at all ages and stages of their school career.
Providing clear, practical policy recommendations in an accessible and engaging way, The Equal Classroom is an essential read for any teacher or education professional who wants to ensure their school is a place where all pupils feel truly welcome and able to flourish, comfortable and safe in their emerging identities.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
Chapter 1 Gender identities: social and cultural
Chapter 2 Expert view: teaching gender
Chapter 3 Gender identities: brains and biology
Chapter 4 Expert view: gender from an early age
Chapter 5 Gendered expectations
Chapter 6 Toys
Chapter 7 Expert view: let toys be toys
Chapter 8 Sexism and sexual harassment
Chapter 9 Clothing and uniform
Chapter 10 Expert view: gendered clothing
Francesca Cambridge Mallen
Chapter 11 Language and the media
Chapter 12 Trans people, trans issues
Chapter 13 Expert view: trans pupils and the early years
Chapter 14 Sexuality and sexualities
Chapter 15 Relationships and PSHE education
Chapter 16 Sports and physical education
Chapter 17 Sex, touch and consent
Chapter 18 Books, games and literature
Chapter 19 Expert view: gender in classroom texts
Roussel de Carvalho
Chapter 20 Conclusion
Lucy Rycroft-Smith is an education researcher and writer working at Cambridge University. Lucy is co-editor of Flip the System UK: A Teachers’ Manifesto (Routledge, 2017).
Graham Andre is a primary school teacher and was involved with the BBC2 BAFTA nominated documentary No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?
"The Equal Classroom shines a timely light on current behaviour and attitudes about gender – gender identities, gender roles, gender expectations. It is a thought-provoking text on the role of schools in exposing the limitations imposed by existing gender stereotypes, offering an intriguing and accessible mix of personal narrative, of statistics for the curious, of exercises for the diligent and of expert opinion for the help-seekers. With musings from teachers working on the front line, from academic researchers and education specialists, there are clear and practical recommendations on how to shine a challenging light on gendered practices and, importantly, how to change them." - Gina Rippon, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive NeuroImaging, Aston Brain Centre, Aston University, Birmingham, and author of The Gendered Brain
"The subtitle, ‘Life-changing thinking about gender’, undersells the scope of the book. This is not just about gender but about so much more... Rycroft-Smith strengthens her points with quantitative and qualitative research throughout to great effect, without ever presenting dry academic text." - Claire Nicholls, Schools Week
"This is a challenging book which, while geared to a school audience, covers many relevant aspects of the issue such as identities, expectations, media and toys. Humour and anecdotes are mixed with insights into biological and cultural perspectives and societal norms." – Nursery World