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EduGen Dialogues

Session 6
Jennifer Orr, Michael Doyle — Lynbrook Elementary, Bloomfield High School

We know, both through our own personal experiences as well as through educational research, that gender impacts the educational environment. This is true for students in the ways that girls speak up less frequently in classrooms, girls are less likely to hold leadership positions, and boys and girls in school are often recognized positively for very different traits and skills. LGBTQI+ students also face challenges in school related to gender. As educators it is critical that we interrogate our own beliefs, conscious or not, as well as our actions in regards to our students in light of their gender.

Gender is also an issue for educational professionals personally. Education is a heavily female-dominated profession that is overwhelmingly led by men. What does this mean for those in the profession? What does it mean for students? What issues are faced by LGBTQI+ educators?

Discussions of intersectionality are likely (hopefully) to arise and will be encouraged. No issue stands alone and issues surrounding gender are impacted by race, class, language, and more.

Conversational Practice

The conversation will begin with the role playing described above. That will be followed by discussion of the role playing and its impact on the group. Special notice will be taken of ways in which members of the group respond with different thoughts and feelings to the same ideas/experiences and the discussion will be linked to larger gender issues in education. From there small groups will tackle gender issues noted during the conversation. Each group will tackle several ‘whats’ around issues interesting to them, defining the issues and then why they believe these issues are important. Finally, the groups will come back together to share their thinking and to brainstorm some possible actions individuals, groups, schools, or districts could take.

Conversation Links

Presenter Profiles

Jennifer Orr
Jennifer Orr
Lynbrook Elementary School

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