What are you leading?
Gabriel: Our initiative is called Elige tu Rol (Choose your Role). I’m the leader of a multidisciplinary team with vast experience in teaching, education and the study of gender. Elige tu Rol promotes gender equality in the school community by raising awareness and providing tools to achieve a classroom free of gender stereotypes. These stereotypes have effects on educational gaps, putting girls at a disadvantage in school and in society. Through our program, which targets schools and teachers, educators are supported to explore gender inequality and identify their own biases and stereotypes and trained in best practices and provided with tools to be able to create more gender-equal classrooms and schools.
We are currently piloting and developing our methodology by designing and delivering workshops with teachers during their initial teacher training. We have worked with more than 70 teachers from Santiago, Chile, and 15 of these teachers come from 10 different countries in Latin America.
How did your experiences as a fellow inspire or prepare you for what you’re doing now?
For both Javi and I, our two years as teachers with Enseña Chile showed us important differences between the way girls and boys are treated and support, especially in maths lessons. Girls tend to be more insecure and think they are not good at it. That’s when I thought that we all needed to do something about this, but also realized that we all carry unconscious gender stereotypes that reproduce in the classroom and have an impact in students self-concept, attitudes and skills. With teachers and alumni of Teach for All network in Chile, we got together to think of a new initiative on gender and education. Thanks to the financial and mentoring support that Enseña Chile Incubator gave us, the program Choose your Role could be born.
Once we have rigorously evaluated the impact of a pilot, and continued to iterate our approach, we plan to scale up our methodology by going digital. We want to create an online platform with a diverse range of resources and training for educators, which is relevant to multiple context and needs. Additionally, we want to create a learning community, where teachers can discuss the effectiveness of several practices, and share out what they are learning to catalyze innovation in this field, so that stereotypes and biases are broken down, so that all girls are supported to thrive at school, particularly in STEM subjects. We would love to share our program and learnings into other contexts in Latin America and to the broader global network.