Teacher as an Agent of Change
Major influences on gender role socialisation includes the family. Parents have an impact on their children’s gender role identity in many ways. The process of identity formation that begins within the home gets re-established and consolidated within the school. Therefore, teacher acquires significance in building the child’s specific location in the world. The teacher plays an important role in maintaining, modifying and re-shaping the understanding the students’ location in terms of their class-class, gender-religion, sexuality and region.
As gender issues are prevailing in society in all areas of life, to minimise these gender issues, education is must. In the educational sector, teacher is the foundation stone. Teacher can act only as an agent of change in bringing gender equality. Thus, in the process of gender sensitisation, teacher as an ‘agent of change’ plays the significant role in-
1. Changing the mindset of the younger generation of the society.
2. Changing the ideas, beliefs of the students regarding their gender role.
3. Changing the mindset to shape a child’s gender roles.
4. Changing the pedagogical and curricula to bring equality in education.
5. Changing the school environment to a more gender sensitive one.
6.Changing the stereotypical perception of the students as well as the parents.
A teacher must therefore constantly be aware of the fact that his/her action, attitude, approaches, manner will help to shape the child’s gender role. For the teacher to bring about change in the society, they should be given pre-hand knowledge over the issue of gender bias. In the process of promoting gender equality, teachers role is multi-folded. By playing varied roles in the process of ‘school education’ teachers can bring ‘changes’ in the perception of the students. These roles or activities or approaches are the means of redressing gender inequalities in education or in the school.
Role of Teacher in Redressing the Gender Inequalities in School
Teachers are central to promoting gender equalities in education. Being gender neutral, teachers can build a gender friendly classroom as well as school environment, where gender equality can easily be promoted and achieved. The destiny of the nation is being shaped in the classroom. So from and through the classroom, teachers can cultivate the sense of gender equality. In redressing gender inequalities-
a. Language:- A teacher can and should use inclusive and gender neutral language in the classroom.
b. Curriculum:– Teacher should emphasis upon the inclusive nature of the curriculum.
c. Participation:- To breakdown stereotypes, teacher should monitor and ensure that everyone is encouraged to participate in the classroom activities.
Socialisation:- School is not only a place where students acquire
academic knowledge, but a place where students become socialised and
learn to assume particular roles in society. Therefore, teachers
should encourage the same positive behaviour from girls and boys,
avoiding assigning task that involve stereotyped gender roles.
e. ‘Gender bias’ as topic of discussion:- Teachers can redress the gender bias or gender stereotypes by discussing gender bias and gender equity with the students, which will help to increase students’ awareness towards their gender roles.
f. Gender sensitive pedagogy:– Teachers should apply those
teaching methodology which give girls and boys equal participation to
participate. Teacher must opt for innovative pedagogical approaches
which include role plays, group discussions, case studies,
demonstration etc. which are necessarily gender sensitive.
g. Recognition of differences:- Teachers can play the most significant role in mitigating the gender biases in the school by recognising the differences not marked by status but by diversity. To facilitate the real participation of all students in school activities, it is essential to work with the principles of recognising differences.
h. Gender responsive lesson planning:- Teacher should develop the skill to develop gender responsive lesson plans that take into consideration the specific needs of both girls and boys in all the teaching material, and other classroom activities and arrangements.
On account of the discussion, we can rightly say that teacher can play the most significant role and he/she can act as the key factor in bringing gender equality in the school. Teachers bear the responsibility of shaping the child. Therefore, by applying the principles of ‘gender equality’ in the academic process, teachers can eradicate ‘gender bias’ in the field of education.