Category: Project

Area: Gender inequality

Place/Country: Portugal

Date: 2008 – 2020

Institutions involved: CIG (Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality)

Target group: It is aimed at education professionals from all cycles of non-higher education – pre-school education, basic education and secondary education – from the Continent and the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and Azores.

Goals / Objectives /Aims:

The Project aims at the effective, continued and sustained mainstreaming of gender equality, i.e. equality between men/boys and women/girls in school education and in the non-higher education curriculum. To this end, the Project aims at:

  • Integration of the gender equality perspective in teaching practice and in the organisational culture of the school
  • Incorporation of the theme of gender relations in the knowledge of the different subject areas.

In order to achieve this double aim, the Project has 4 priority objectives:

  • Integrate the gender equality perspective in the individual and collective pedagogical practices of teachers
  • To incorporate the relations between women and men and the contributions of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies in the curriculum
  • To place equality between women and men at the centre of Citizenship Education
  • To introduce gender equality issues in decision-making and in the organisational and communicational dynamics of the school.

Content / Structure / Description including strengthening action competence

The Project “Education Guides on Gender and Citizenship: a strategy for gender mainstreaming in the education system” focuses on the integration of equality between women and men in teaching practice and in school organisation and culture. It is coordinated by CIG and has been implemented with the collaboration of more than 40 experts in Gender and Education, belonging to about 20 higher education, university and polytechnic institutions, from north to south of the country.

The Project has been developed in three phases with similar activities but with different emphases: The first phase focuses on the production of the Guides; the second on teacher training; the third on the curriculum and school organisation. This allows teachers of primary and secondary education to use these materials in their professional activity, either in disciplinary matters or in education for citizenship, health education and, in particular, in sexual education, compulsory in the 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education.

Gradually the Guides are used in the initial training of education professionals, starting with the institutions to which the authors of the Guides belong and extending to Initial Teacher Training Colleges, Psychology and Education Science Colleges and in Higher Education Schools. In the Guides for the pre-school and primary school, the practical suggestions consist of examples of pedagogical situations to be created in the framework of the curricular guidelines for the pre-school and primary school curriculum.

In the 2nd and 3rd cycle Guides, the proposed activities are organised around cross-curricular themes which can be worked on in any subject. The themes are:

  • Leisure Time Playful-Motive Activities
  • Characters of Children’s and Young Adult Literature
  • History and Heritage
  • Body
  • Health
  • Leadership
  • ICT
  • Vocational Choices

The Guide for Secondary Schools focuses on a critical reading, from a gender perspective, of the syllabus of some subjects, introducing examples of contributions of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies from each scientific area in the respective subjects of the curriculum. The subjects are:

  • Portuguese
  • English
  • Philosophy
  • Biology
  • Physical Education
  • History of Culture and Art
  • History
  • Economics
  • Integration Area

Results / Responses → Resulting Competences:

The four printed Guides have been distributed preferably to school group libraries and to non-grouped schools. Higher education institutions with initial teacher training and accredited organisations for in-service teacher training have also received these materials for their libraries and document collections. The four Guides have already been reissued or reprinted. The teacher training, carried out until the end of 2020, was mostly face-to-face, having privileged, but not exclusively, the modality of training workshop. Only Universidade Aberta provided distance training, in e-learning, in the form of a course, covering teachers in the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores. As of March 2020, training will be exclusively distance learning, using digital platforms.

By the end of 2020, 134 accredited training courses were held, totalling about 5,000 hours of training.

Most of the teacher training was ensured with the participation of members of the teams who authored the Guidelines and promoted by higher education institutions. To this end, the IGC established a partnership with 10 institutions which have ensured about half of the training carried out so far (most of it in the 2nd phase): Higher Schools of Education of Santarém, Setúbal, Portalegre and Lisbon; Faculty of Sport of the University of Porto and Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Coimbra; Aberta, Évora, Minho and Beira Interior Universities.

By the end of 2020, the training carried out covered 2,708 teachers of all non-higher education cycles, from pre-school to the 12th grade, being around 84% female and 16% male. With a higher incidence of women in the first phase (91%), this ratio has remained relatively constant in the two following phases of the Project (83% and 84% of women respectively).

Teacher training covered around 50% of the School Groupings in mainland Portugal, covering 60% of the municipalities and all the districts in the country.

Feedback / Evaluation of the practice:

It is remarkable which country invests in Projects involving gender equality in the education system.

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