The education kit for eliminating gender stereotypes in the classroom arrives

Heyon the computer screen on the school desks in the classroom with girls and boys: the innovative teaching kit is officially online, with free access“Gender – Let’s break them down in the classroom” to confront and deconstruct stereotypes in the classroom. Here’s what it’s all about

Presented in the Europe Experience Room of the European Parliament’s Italian office in Rome, the kit is designed to provide primary and lower secondary teachers with a range of free tools for education and classroom work with useful activities to engage pupils and students, stimulate their participation and critical thinking.

Teaching tools, video pills, glossaries, bibliographies, self-assessment tests: the kit – entirely available on the dedicated portal – is huge and heterogeneous, with a particular focus on specific age groups and topics (occupations, colors, language, cinema, music, video games) . The goal remains common: to break down gender bias in every field.

The deconstruction of gender stereotypes, a goal supported by the European Union

The educational project “Stereotypes of – Let’s break them in the classroom” acquired it funding of the CERV call (Citizens, Equality. Rights and Values) of the European Commission which supports innovative methods able to facilitate access to the issue of gender equality.

    Europe Experience Room of the Italian office of the European Parliament in Rome
Europe Experience Room of the Italian office of the European Parliament in Rome

“Expectations based on standardized models of women and men limit personal choices and possibilities,” she explained. Elena Dalli, commissioner European Union for Equality spoke via video link during the presentation.

Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, via video link during the presentation
Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, on video link at the launch of the kit in Rome.

The Commissioner underlined that schools play a fundamental role:

the school helps build a critical consciousness that breaks down stereotypes and enables personal and professional choices free from prejudice

“Stereotypes are also the cause of socio-economic gaps across the board and fuel gender-based violence by making people believe that abusive behaviors are almost natural phenomena for which there is no cure,” she continued.

The issues linked to the urgency of deconstructing stereotypes are diverse and all interrelated: the issue of aid, for example, is “for many still only women’s work,” Dalli clarified. “With the European aid strategy we want to support quality services at a reasonable cost throughout the European Union – he added – Italy is one of the Member States with the lowest participation of women in the labor market, precisely because women are responsible for care work».

To reverse the trend, the leadership of the new generations is needed. As he pointed out Elena Grech, Deputy Director of the Delegation of the European Commission in Rome:

it is necessary for boys and girls to take home what is said at school because parents do not always have the proper training to break down stereotypes. It takes cultural radicalization to change

Elena Grech, Deputy Director of the Delegation of the European Commission in Rome
Elena Grech, Deputy Director of the Delegation of the European Commission in Rome

How the training kit is structured

The multimedia platform offers teachers various free tools to train and implement active classroom teaching dealing with issues related to stereotypes and gender equality. The request for working material had come from the world of schools, on the occasion of the numerous screenings of the short film “I like Spiderman…so what?” by Federico Micali, taken from the book of the same name by Giorgia Vezzoli produced by DNART.

As he explained Giovanni CiardulliDNART Creative Director and project leader, “The film generated a lot of interest from the world of schools and adults involved in the education of young people because they felt the need to find tools capable of talking about this topic and talking about it with the students. From its birth as a short film, this project has become something broader with the aim of becoming a tool.”

The online distribution of the brief was the opportunity to create, an innovative “virtual” space able to make a difference in the real world through various materials ranging from teaching tools (glossaries, bibliographies, self-assessment tests) to depth video pills and 50 teaching cards – divided by age group and topic – that break down the most common preconceptions about hands-on activities.

The latter consist of classroom discussions, role play and exercises to train critical thinking and identify hidden stereotypes in everyday life in order to challenge them. The short film is also accessible for viewing in class and is accompanied by further material to promote active reflection.

The multimedia training kit, available at
The multimedia training kit, available at

“We were able to see first-hand how important it can be to address this issue with boys and girls and we listened to the teachers’ request that we have access to useful tools for carrying out educational activities in direct contact with students to stimulate their active participation towards gender equality” they explained Federico Micali And Serena Manellirespectively director and screenwriter of the short film.

“The inherent characteristics of stereotyping are that of ignorance: our reality is so permeated by them as to render them invisible. Cloe, the protagonist of the short, sees reality differently and through her eyes even adults understand the prejudices they faceMannelli adds.

So an educational kit designed for boys and girls can also make a difference for the adult world.

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