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Sexual harassment at school: What can young people’s gender based activism tell us?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital20 December 2017

Jessica Ringrose and Hanna Retallack. 
To teachers, students and researchers in the field of gender and education, the findings in the recent report “Sexism in Schools: ‘It’s just everywhere’ were not surprising. The study, commissioned by the National Education Union and the campaign group UK Feminista, found that more than a third (37%) of female students had personally experienced some form of sexual harassment at school and one in three teachers (32%) witnessed sexual harassment in their school on at least a weekly basis.
The study, from Warwick University, also reported that 66% of female students and 37% of male students in mixed-sex sixth forms have experienced or witnessed the use of sexist language in school and a quarter of all secondary teachers say they witness gender stereotyping and discrimination on a daily basis. Only 14% of students who experienced sexual harassment reported it to a teacher; less than a quarter (22%) of female students at mixed-sex schools think their school takes sexism seriously enough and 78% of secondary school students are unsure or not aware of any policies and practices in their school for preventing sexism.
Last year, the government’s first Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry and Report into sexual harassment and violence in schools concluded that children and young people’s experiences of sexual harassment in British schools had reached a crisis point and said (more…)

Tackling teaching about Trump: lessons from Black feminism

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 November 2016

Jessica Ringrose and Victoria Showunmi
Many school and university teachers around the world have been asking how to discuss the 2016 USA elections with children, young people and students in the aftermath of what has been called the most divisive election in American history.
Wednesday night, in the wake of the election results, we were presented with the timely opportunity to re-tune our planned MA lecture in Sociology of Education on “Racism and Black Feminist Intersectionality” into a discussion about the global significance of Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. Since the lecture was on Black Feminism, we would naturally be addressing the issues of racism and misogyny and also the deep class divisions that became powerful focal points throughout the battle between (more…)

Feminism is everywhere, but so is sexism. Do teachers understand what this means in the classroom?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 September 2016

Holly Maguire.
When I was in Year 10, feminism was a word I vaguely associated with not wearing a bra, hating men and setting things on fire. But the world has moved on. Last term, one of my Year 10 GCSE students told the class that men taking birth control pills and exercising responsibility for their sexuality was “just basic feminism”.
Young people’s relationship to feminism has changed. Beyonce is now a feminist. ‘No More Page 3’ campaigners won the argument. #Sayhername, honouring black women and girls killed by US police, happened. Social media made my students aware of these things.
But do teachers understand this change and its implications?
This progress has been coupled with non-compulsory PSHE in schools, allowing many (more…)