Professional development sessions are available to teaching staff at schools. These sessions, held by Bec Kavanagh, Stella Schools Program Coordinator, in Victoria; and Emily Maguire, Stella Schools Ambassador, in New South Wales, will introduce and expand on the ideas and activities encompassed in the education kit, and suggest ways to incorporate them into the classroom.
- 57% of children’s books published each year have male protagonists; 31% have female protagonists
- Over its 59-year history, the Miles Franklin Literary Award has been won only 17 times by a woman
- 61% of the Victorian Year 12 English Prescribed Texts for 2016 are by male authors
We often discuss literature as a mirror in which readers can see their lives reflected back at them, or as a window through which we can glimpse and start to understand the lives of others. But what happens when you can’t see yourself at all in the reflection? Or, as is often the case for boys, all you see out the window are others just like you?
Unconscious gender bias is at work when women, who make up half of our society, are under-represented in our major literary prizes, in the pages of our literary journals and on school book lists.
In Stella Schools Program professional development sessions, we discuss the importance of addressing gender bias at a school level, and look at ways that teachers and library staff can incorporate the Stella Schools Program into their teaching.
The sessions incorporate detailed discussion on gender bias and gendered reading patterns – exploring statistics, anecdotal evidence and the experiences of the Stella Schools Program representative in developing and delivering the program. Additionally, during the session several videos will be shown that address issues around gendered thinking and marketing (links for these will be provided to teachers following the session for use in the classroom).
Based on discussions with teachers on their specific requirements, we will offer ideas on how the Stella Schools Program can be incorporated into individual classrooms or curriculum, and make specific text recommendations.
Teachers will be encouraged to think about changes they could make to address gender bias (such as discussing issues with students, changing the layout of libraries, introducing new classroom texts) and should expect to leave the session feeling inspired to make changes in their classroom and school.
The information in this session is relevant to teachers of both boys and girls, as both are affected by gendered reading (a point that will be discussed in the session). The session can be tailored to particular student levels, if desired.
- unconscious bias
- gendered marketing of books
- the effects of gendered reading on our writing, attitudes & sense of self
- critical reading/thinking
- text suggestions
- impact on both boys and girls of gendered reading and marketing
- why readers need to see people like themselves and unlike themselves in books
- the gender bias in YA as well as adult literature
- text suggestions
- ways to change in-school marketing
- questions to help evaluate reading
- how to incorporate discussion of gender into the classroom in a way that is meaningful and relevant to both teachers and students.
SPSP professional development sessions are currently available in Victoria and New South Wales. For more information, and to book your PD session, email Bec Kavanagh: email@example.com
“I really enjoyed this session, and see it as the beginning of a meaningful conversation among the teachers as we consider the texts we list at each year level, and also look at the literary journey from 7-12 for all of our students … [Bec] packed a lot of great stuff into 30 minutes, and raised awareness regarding the kinds of latent and overt sexism that exist in literature as well as in the publishing industry. Very worthwhile.” – Methodist Ladies’ College, Melbourne