The Grade 9 Curriculum, "Forming Healthy Relationships", closes with the session, "Gender Justice in the School." In these activities, students are encouraged to put what they have learned into practice by monitoring gender relations at their own school, and by working to achieve a violence-free school. In Activity 5.1, "Pushing Back the Boundaries", students are asked to define which behaviours are acceptable, and which are unacceptable. The following questions could be used to help students probe this further...
How do we learn what is acceptable and what is not acceptable? How do our peers influence us when we are standing up for our beliefs about safety and fairness?
What have been the influences in your life that have helped you to draw the line between acceptable and not acceptable?
Do people's standards change in different situations? If so, why?
How can you take a stand about what is right and wrong without being seen as prudish, too rigid, overly judgmental, or out of step with the times?
How do the standards of acceptability change when you are with your friends, your class, your school, your community, and other groups you are involved with? If there aren't any standards, how do you feel about that?
Activity 5.2, "Gender Justice Checklist", provides a way for students to monitor violence at their school, and to keep track of the roles that boys and girls, and men and women, play in school violence. Following are some suggestions for extension activities...
Gender Justice Action Group Ideas:
Is violence decreasing at your school? If so, why? Use the Gender Justice Checklist, but extend its use to make quarterly evaluations. Note any trends.
What have you found are the most effective means for reducing violence at school? Why are some methods working? (Be sure to help students distinguish between guesses and more demonstrable proof. This is a good way to introduce the notion of social science research--see article on the Manitoba Research Centre evaluation of Healthy Relationships)
Student Research Project:
Who are the heroes of Gender Justice Work?
This could be women such as the suffragettes, or it could be the men in your community who are responsibly caring for their children, claiming their right to be men who nurture.
N E W S L E T T E R
Curriculum Selected for Three-Year Evaluation
Update February 1997
"Our research assistants are excited and challenged by what is going on in the classroom, and we are very pleased with the response we're getting from school administrators and teachers."
A Challenge for Educators
"On the basis of time alone...the entertainment industry is the first curriculum in young peoples' lives."
The Making of this Curriculum
"We began to look for proactive ways to take responsibility for male violence, and to contribute towards the evolution of a violence free society."
In Ontario, Gender Analysis is Key
"HRC looks at stereotyping of both men and women as victims of socialization. It's not one half of the population that's at fault."
Educating for Change
Recommended Materials on Violence Against Women and Children.
Gender Reactions Differ in B.C.
"From her vantage point, Hill has noticed different gender-based reactions to some of the material she's presented."
Public Health Nurse Uses Healthy Relationships Curriculum
"I'm going to start a project in junior high schools on awareness, violence, and bullying..."
Multiple Applications in Edmonton
"This material provides a way to stimulate discussion and to develop strategies for intergenerational connections."
Breaking New Ground With Youth Corrections Programming
"It's been a real plus for us to be able to go to something that's already out there, and to be able to use it as a source of strength."
Students Promote Zero Tolerance for Violence
"The $64,000 question remains: Is the curriculum actually making a difference in the students' attitudes and behaviours? MacNeil says it is."
Going to the Heart of the Matter in Dade County, Florida
"The reason your curriculum is so good is because it touches the soul. It goes to the heart of the matter. It is not superficial."
A Foundation for Other Programs
"Sometimes Healthy Relationships is not used overtly in program delivery. Instead, it's used behind the scenes."
Children's Aid Uses Healthy Relationships
"The boys have had problems in relation to sexuality...We have found (HRC) a very useful reference and resource."
Curriculum Supplement: Gender Justice
Some suggestions which expand this unit of the Grade 9 curriculum.
Organizations that have ordered Healthy Relationships
Update December 1997
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