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Project description

An overview of research on promising gender-aware/sensitive and gender-inclusive/inclusive practices within primary and secondary education –generally and specifically in relation to STEM subjects and initiatives.

The ambition with this project is to systematise and add nuance to the existing body of knowledge about educational and instructional practices that are gender-aware/sensitive and gender-inclusive/responsive, focusing on the period 2000–2021 but with a horizon stretching back to 1970.

Basic assumptions concerning the nature and meaning of gender have changed significantly over the last 50 years: from an understanding of gender as biologically determined, across understandings of gender as a social construction and (binary) differences between girls and boys, to gender as a mode of differentiation and to theories of intersectionality.

These changes in concepts of gender are in line with developments in educational and instructional practices, shifting from (the idea of) a school appropriate for boys to an ambition of ‘gender-neutral’ educational practices in the 1970s. During the 1980s and until the early 200s, this was followed by the development of so-called pedagogies for boys and pedagogies for girls. The start of the new millennium saw the rise of ‘gender aware/sensitive’, ‘gender-inclusive’ and ‘norm-critical’ approaches to education and instruction, with the focus of interventions shifting from the child/adolescent to the performative effects of the norms and organisational forms of school, education and instruction.

The majority of the existing research literature focuses on the identification and critical discussion of either gender-blind and gender-exclusive practices and/or educational and instructional practices that are founded on binary gender distinctions.

This project seeks to offer an alternative perspective, partly by presenting promising gender-aware/sensitive and gender-inclusive practices through a study of the research literature, and partly by developing and applying a broader, intersectional understanding of gender.