Integrate gender perspectives in the education

Last changed: 09 March 2021

Integrating gender and equality perspectives into the education can be about the education’s content and about how the education is carried out.

A gender equality perspective in the education’s implementation is relevant in all courses

A gender-aware pedagogy is based on gender being significant to learning, knowledge and teaching. Various notions about and expectations of men and women, respectively, may mean that the students are treated differently depending on gender. In order for everyone to have equal opportunities in the education, teachers therefore need to have an awareness of processes around gender and gender equality.

Some suggestions are presented below of how you as a teacher can work to include more people: 

  • Feel free to vary between lectures, seminars, group work and other more practical elements. In this way, you meet different students’ needs and ways of learning.
  • Be attentive to the work distribution in project and group work. For example, are tasks like minute keeping rotated or must the same person always do it?
  • Devote time to forming good and functioning groups where trust, confidence and fair treatment are self-evident grounds. An important part of creating a functioning group is that you as a teacher makes the rules of the game clear from the beginning. Discuss and agree with the student group on how the interaction and communication should take place during every part of the course. Be attentive to what the speaking space between women and men looks like and develops during the teaching situation.
  • Have the courage to make changes in your teaching method when you notice that a pattern emerges where the speaking time between people of different genders becomes unevenly distributed.
  • Examine yourself or ask a colleague to shadow you and pay attention to how you give your students affirmation.
  • Be attentive to how you catch what the students say and what significance women’s and men’s contributions have in the teaching. 
  • Also be attentive to intersectional perspectives. How does e.g. gender and ethnicity interact in terms of all students having equal opportunities in the education?
  • Remember that you and your actions are what creates confidence and trust in the group. 
  • If possible, offer alternative or varying examination formats within the same course. In this way, each student is given an opportunity to develop based on their terms and possibilities.
  • Be attentive to what notions and perceptions about people of different genders you convey in your way of speaking and the examples you use in the teaching.
  • Be attentive to how different examples are described in the literature and if they use more women or men or if they are neutral. Also include people who do not identify as a women or man.

Gender perspectives in the education content are relevant in many, but not all courses

A gender-aware pedagogy also involves, as a teacher, reflecting on/examining what gender means in the subject in question.

1) What gender and sex aspects are there in the subject?

2) What knowledge and approach do the students need during the education?

3) What knowledge and approach do the students need when they come out into working life?

Where can I as a teacher get help?

The Educational Development Unit (EPU) helps teachers and teacher teams develop a gender-aware teaching. Contact the Educational Development Unit at epu@slu.se.

Further information

Webbkurs Genusmedveten undervisning, (Linköping University)

Web-based gender awareness course for teaching assistants (Linköping University, Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Report within the EU project Baltic gender: Tools and Resources on Gender–Sensitive Teaching Methods in Higher Education. https://www.baltic-gender.eu/de/outcomes