Lecturerers and participants in the Roundtable
The Roundtable for representatives of the educators’ community was organised in the Municipality of Sofia within the framework of the initiative “Equal at School – Equal in Life” of the CWSP in partnership with Sofia Municipality. The roundtable was attended by more than 40 teachers, principals and specialists, working in the sphere of education in Bulgaria.
The lecturers from the Center of Women's Studies and Policies (Tatyana Kmetova, Roza Dimova and Magdanela Delinesheva) and from the Regional Inspectorate of the Ministry of Education and Science, Veliko Turnovo (Kina Kotlarska), presented information about the EU policy on gender equality in education, successful practices from other countries, as well as the status of the Bulgarian education system with regards to mainstreaming gender. The participants were introduced with the educational module “Equal at School – Equal in Life”, developed by the experts of CWSP and designed for students from 5-7 class. The module can be used either online for classwork, or for independent work at home. All materials will be accessible at the website of CWSP in pdf format as well in order to facilitate the teachers. It is envisaged that the module will be accessible online at the end of May 2007.
Of special interest for the participants was the presentation of Kina Kotlarska, Inspector in History at the Regional Inspectorate of the Ministry of Education and Science, Veliko Turnovo, who presented the recent experience of the European Information Centre in developing teaching aids and materials and teaching gender issues to high school students. A number of practical ideas were presented how this could be achieved within the Cultural and educational field of Social Sciences, Civic education and Religion or in the so called the Hour of the Class. Different teaching aids and information materials for teachers and students were presented.
The roundtable ended with a discussion on the necessities of the Bulgarian education systems regarding gender issues like: the needs of the teachers for additional training in this topic and their introduction to educational practices, methods and techniques for promoting gender equality at school as well as the funding opportunities for educational projects in the field of gender equality.
All presentations in Bulgarian are available at the Bulgarian version of the website - click the button at the top to switch the languages. The event attracted media interest and was reflected in:
News Agencies: Bulgarian News Agency, Focus, News.bg Newspapers: Telegraph
Radios: Horizont, Darik
TV Channels: Evropa, Evrokom, VTK, BBT, Diema 2
Pilot trial lesson, 14 June 2007
The pilot trial lesson for a group of students from the 6th grade in the 112 Sofia Basic School "Stoyan Zaimov" was organised with the kind assistance of their teacher. Most of the students have already discussed the topic of human and women's rights during the Optional Instruction Subject of History and Civic Education and the teacher has shared that there is a need of training materials on gender equality which makes it difficult to include the topic in the programme.
|Participants in the pilot lesson|
CWSP's experts chose gender stereotypes as a topic for the trial lesson using the cartoons' superheroes and superheroines to demonstrate in a friendly way to students how stereotypical images of women and men are reproduced in programmes for children. An amusing test for comparison between male and female superheroes' outlook, behavior and characteristics was held with the students to open a discussion about the ways for portraying male and female characters in TV programs and the influence of the television on kids' perception about men and women in society and their choices of professions and personal development.
The CWSP's message to students was that they should think and raise questions about everything around them, because in real life right answers are more than one. There is no recipe for being a true man or a true woman and students should choose freely and enjoy the diversity of people, with different characteristics, skills and interests and genders.
During the trial lesson the children shared that they have never read information about the topics in their textbooks and found it very interesting. They shared that they will be challenged to access the module as it is online and that is more convenient. However, most of them emphasised that they would do it, if the teachers ask them to prepare such topics. This fact once again highlights the importance of the help, collaboration and commitment of teachers to the topic in order to reach the school students.
Training of Trainers (TOT), 28 June 2007
The TOT workshop was attended by 22 teachers, pedagogical advisors and CWSP's volunteers. This follow-up activity was organized in order to widely distribute the information about the available programme and prepare a pilot group of teachers and volunteers to start work with children from the next school year (2007-2008).The CWSP's experts presented to the participants in TOT the Council of Europe All Equal - All Different Campaign and the aims of the "Equal at Scholl - Equal in Life" project and its results.
The main part of the workshop was focused on practical training for teachers and volunteers to use the module. The organizers demonstrated online two interactive lessons from the module focusing on gender stereotypes and human rights. The participants were shown two possibilities to organize the lessons in class. The first possibility is to use the online training approach if possible in their schools as a modern and attractive way of learning and provoking more interest on the part of the students. The second possibility is to use the training materials, included in the Teacher's Book - a training manual for the teacher and/or volunteer with lesson plans, additional information and references for other sources.
The workshop ended with a discussion on the quality and appropriateness of the suggested materaials.The teachers shared their opinions and experiences from their work with students at that age. The majority of them were on the opinion that the module's topics and lessons are applicable and suitable for that age group and were willing to try the module. They were happy to learn that educational methods and techniques for promoting gender equality and human rights at school are already online and could be used in class. Some of the participants expressed their willingness to start using the module from the next school year ando also to provide CWSP with feedback information about the lessons held and newly emerged ideas for improvement of the online module or the Teacher's Book.