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A Free Guide for Educators: Creating Supportive Learning Environments for Girls and Boys

Creating Supportive Learning Environments for Girls and Boys helps teachers, administrators, and communities make classrooms and schools more gender inclusive. This resource is designed to help young people succeed. The guide offers a flexible approach for evaluating, building, and implementing gender-inclusive teaching in instructional materials, classrooms, schools, and communities. Each section provides an opportunity for teachers to observe current teaching practices, reflect on the gender inclusiveness of those practices, and take action toward a more gender-inclusive classroom.

What Is Gender?
Around the world, the term gender suggests a variety of different meanings, opinions, and ideas. For the purposes of this teaching guide, gender is defined as the behavioral, social, and cultural expectations associated with being a male or female.

What Is Gender-Inclusive Teaching?
A high-quality education supports the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities that lead to improved health outcomes, increased individual earning potential, and a more engaged citizenry. While large gains have been made in improving girls’ and boys’ access to education, multiple
forms of inequality persist between girls and boys that present challenges to advancing girls’ education globally. Given the critical importance of education to individuals and communities, how do we ensure that girls and boys are succeeding at equal levels around the world?

Gender-Inclusive Teaching is teaching with content and pedagogy that acknowledges and overcomes gender based constraints so that both girls and boys can be successful learners. Gender-based barriers to education may be socioeconomic, cultural, or institutional; they change over time and vary from place to place.

This guide includes a pathway for teachers to evaluate and put into practice gender-inclusive teaching in their classrooms, schools, and communities so that all their students have a chance to thrive.

Why Is Gender-Inclusive Teaching Important?
Teachers have the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives every day. They have a powerful influence on students’ success in and outside of the classroom, through the content they teach as well as the expectations they set. When teachers make the decision to learn about and practice gender-inclusive teaching, they are making a commitment to value and nurture the potential of every student, helping to create more prosperous and sustainable communities. Gender-inclusive teaching proactively addresses challenges that both girls and boys may face in receiving an excellent education.

This teaching guide provides practical, hands-on activities, suitable for large classrooms with varying levels of resources, for advancing on the journey of gender-inclusive teaching. Each classroom, school, and community has its own specific gender-based challenges and opportunities, and we
encourage teachers to adapt these activities to best suit their journey toward gender-friendly teaching. A gender- inclusive classroom is friendly to all students; therefore, for the purposes of this teaching guide, the terms gender- inclusive and gender-friendly will be used interchangeably.

You can download this guide for free here.

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