To what extent can the gender gap within Year 7 Design and Technology be addressed by creating gender neutral worksheets?
This question came about through examination of data from the class of 2019 in their first academic year within a large rural secondary school in Cambridgeshire. The lesson study group involved 4 female Design and Technology teachers from across the Faculty. The group chosen for the study was from the current year 7 (2020 year group), and held a mixed demographic. The sample participants, aged between 11 and 12 at the time of the study, included 3 EAL, 7 PP and 6 SEN students, including one with a full statement of educational need. The groups’ gender make up was 12 male and 12 female. The sample group was indicative of other groups within Year 7 and was considered to be representative (Creswell, 2002). The group was taught over the course of the year by 2 members of staﬀ within the lesson study group and a female ITT student. The subjects covered (Food, Textiles and Resistant Materials) are traditionally seen to have a gender bias. Actions taken with rationale The lesson study group used an action research methodology to enable them to study the gender issues within the identified group. Action Research as described by Elliot (1991) and Taber (2007) should be seen as a form of practitioner research. This idea was taken further by Springer (2008) when he suggested that action research is a part of everyday life in a classroom. He suggested teachers engage in a process of systemic inquiry with many of our classes when we decide what works well with our groups and what does not. This evaluative process of changing and development of our practices was at the heart of our lesson study group.
E Harrison (L Howliston) J Knight C Simon A-M Warren
The idea of practitioner research oﬀered by Stringer gave the lesson study group four questions within which to plan out our research. The example prompts below show the questions proposed by Springer and the subsequent questions raised and discussed throughout meetings over the planning stages. Q1. What is to be taught (to these children, at this level)? Answer: student are required to write a production plan