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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 18, Number 5, March 2006

Gender equality from a global perspective

by Marian Dodds and Jane Turner

Remember the old joke: What do you get when you put 19 women together in one room? There’s a new answer: A lot of light bulbs flash on. For those of us who spent two days together developing a new workshop, Global Education and Gender Equity, the experience was enlightening, invigorating, and exciting. As one of the participants commented, "These last two days have inspired me more than any other workshop facilitation training I have ever attended."

This cadre of new facilitators met in January to prepare for the second workshop offered as part of the BCTF’s third global classroom initiative grant from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The training was truly global with the participation of two teachers from Costa Rica and the help of simultaneous Spanish/English translation. BC teachers experienced popular education activities led by Maria Trejos, a facilitator with expertise in non-sexist pedagogy, who presents very popular workshops throughout Central America. The workshop was designed in partnership with Barbara Wood from CoDevelopment who provided her expertise in gender and development, using the Women’s IDEA network in Latin America as a case study in effective development. Teachers are now invited to book the Global Education for Gender Equality workshop through the BCTF Training Department.

The other workshop, Global Education: In and Beyond the Classroom, continues for a second year and can be adapted to elementary, secondary, pre-service teacher groups, or subject specialists.

Teachers who attend either of these workshops will come away with a developing world map and links to numerous resources. Those who feel inspired to develop a lesson plan will be offered the opportunity to be published on the global education site.

To see what your colleagues have already done go to bctf.ca/social/GlobalEd/Global Classroom/. You will find 35 global education lesson plans/ units and a downloadable guide to global education plus other resources. When we teach using a global educator’s lens we bring the whole world into our classroom. That’s a wonderful gift to give to children.

For more information about the BCTF/CIDA Global Classroom Initiative, contact Marian Dodds, mdodds@bctf.ca, 604-871-1865.

Marian Dodds and Jane Turner are assistant directors in the BCTF’s Professional and Social Issues Division.

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