1 Learning area 3: There s no such thing as a boy s / girl s job Overview There s no such thing as a boy s / girl s job tackles stereotypical thinking around the world of work (and higher education), head on. Pupils are encouraged to question their own views of what constitutes a typical candidate for a range of roles, to formulate and express opinions, and to interrogate the opinions of others, as well as considering the reasons why people work. Pupils are also given a number of exciting and positive case studies of individuals overcoming stereotypes in their working lives. Supporting materials rely on elements of surprise and intrigue to bring real excitement to the mix. The short film we have produced provides the perfect support / consolidation device to the learning outcomes within this section. Learning outcomes Pupils: challenge preconceptions about who does certain jobs explore a wide range of different jobs identify stereotypes and challenge stereotypical thinking represent different jobs in pictures and words.
2 Activity 1: Quick on the draw About different jobs Be aware of different ways of looking at people s careers and how they develop. Describe the main types of employment in your area now and in the past. PPT: Learning area 3 1 Ask pupils to draw a quick sketch of one of a number of people / jobs. You could either allocate certain jobs to sets of pupils (although pupils work individually), or pupils could draw their job out of a hat. 2 Example people / jobs: Nurse Soldier Teacher Bus driver Builder Childminder Police officer Plumber 3 Highlight that pupils don t have to be able to produce amazing drawings and can use stick people if they are not confident in their drawing skills. 4 Drawings that children produce are likely to reveal some stereotypical thinking, although you will need to bear in mind that pupils are likely to draw on personal experience (i.e. my doctor is a white male therefore that is what I will draw). 5 Once pupils have completed their drawings explore them further through a discussion around what they have drawn. What do pupils believe about the people that do these jobs? Most pupils personal experience is likely to be that primary school teachers / nursery nurses are female there is opportunity for further discussion here (i.e. Why is this the case? Should this be different?) 6 You could also use this activity as an opportunity to begin introducing the idea of the diversity of jobs available. It s important that pupils understand that there are thousands of different jobs out there and that these all have different features that appeal to different people. 7 Activity could be used at both the start and end of the unit, to see how pupils opinions have changed. Alternative: Some pupils may struggle with the drawing aspect of this activity. To cater for different learning styles, you could instead ask pupils to come up with as many describing words as they can for each of these jobs.
3 Activity 2: Michael or Michaela? PPT: Learning area 3 Worksheets 1 2: Michael or Michaela? 1 Divide the class into small groups (3 4). Give half the groups the Michael worksheet and the other half the Michaela worksheet. Pupils should not know that there are two separate worksheets. 2 The worksheets are exactly the same, but with a different name attached to them: Michael / Michaela Marr is 16 years old and has just left school. He / she has a number of characteristics which are outlined on the worksheet. 3 Groups must decide the following about Michael / Michaela: What he / she is likely to be doing two years after leaving school (i.e. pupils will decide at what age they expect Michael / Michaela to have left education). What he / she is likely to be doing when 30 years old. 4 Class discussion might reveal that pupils have different expectations in terms of both education and career for a girl / boy even though they have the same characteristics. Ask the class to challenge their own thinking and explore why they came up with the answers they did. How can they challenge their own thinking? Activity 3: Guess the job Be aware of different ways of looking at people s careers and how they develop. Be aware that people feel differently about the various types of work they do. PPT: Learning area 3 Audio files 1 Play the audio recordings of people talking about their jobs. 2 The recordings give pupils a number of clues from which they must deduce what job the person does. The recordings are quite open so that it is not immediately apparent what job the person does.
4 3 Pupils may not expect the speaker in question to be matched to their job. Several stereotypes are broken here (see further information in support notes section). 4 Ask pupils which job they guessed for each speaker and play the clip again to remind them of the information. 5 Discuss pupil responses afterwards as a class. (E.g. Why did they think the first speaker was a nurse and not a plumber? Why did they think the third speaker was a comedian and not a teacher? Is it the case that there are more female than male nurses? Should this be the case?) 6 Emphasise again to pupils that there are thousands of different jobs out there and that these all have different features that appeal to different people. Activity 4: Thumbometer PPT: Learning area 3 1 Read out the ten controversial, stereotyped statements, about jobs and higher education, featured on the PowerPoint slides. 2 Ask pupils to indicate to what extent they agree, or disagree using their thumbometer : Thumb straight down is downright negative Straight up is maximum positive All positions in between show variations. 3 See information on each statement in the support notes section below. 4 Using the slides conduct a class discussion to investigate: What stereotypes are Why they are a problem Why it is so important not to just accept them Why pupils responded as they did to the statements Why the statements are wrong. Extension activity: Pupils can create their own posters (in pairs or groups) encouraging their peers to open their minds to jobs that they may have had preconceptions about previously (e.g. male nursery nurse, female engineer).
5 Activity 5: What do kids think? PPT: Learning area 3 Short films Worksheets 3 5: What do kids think? 1 Ask pupils to work in pairs and distribute copies of worksheets 3-5 to each pair. 2 Pupils discuss the 6 questions posed on the worksheets and write their answers in box a on the worksheets. 3 Play the short vox-pops videos which show children of the same age range as your pupils, answering questions about different professions. Some of the answers pupils give suggest that they have stereotypical ideas about certain jobs. 4 As a class discuss what the pupils in the video said. Was it the same as what pupils wrote down? Do they agree / disagree with any of the statements? If so why? Use the slides to support this discussion. 5 After the discussion, pupils write down what they now think to each question in box b on the worksheets. 6 The worksheet is in the same style as the storybook (see learning area 1) and can be added to pupils storybooks if they wish. Activity 6: An interview with About a range of different jobs and the people that do those jobs. Be aware of different ways of looking at people s careers and how they develop. Be aware that people feel differently about the various kinds of work they do. Art Worksheets 6 11: Case studies 1 Print worksheets Worksheets feature different case studies showing a number of real people s career journeys. The individuals focused on are not stereotypical candidates for the jobs in question.
6 2 Read through and discuss all or some of the interviews as a class. Talk about the diversity of jobs available and how different jobs appeal to different people. This may also be a good opportunity to talk a little bit about the pathways / life journeys that some of these candidates have taken to achieve their goal. Do pupils have any particular skills that they feel confident about that they think might help them in certain jobs in the future? 3 You might like to split pupils into groups, assign each group an interview, and get them to create an advertisement for that job to appeal to their peer group. Extension: Pupils research and create their own an interview with sheets through talking to family, friends, members of the school community, or members of the local community. Activity 7: Why do people work? About different jobs That we all work for reward but the meaning of reward can differ. Be aware that people feel differently about the various kinds of work they do. PPT slides: Learning area 3 Worksheet 12: Ranking cards 1 Using the slides, ask pupils why they think people work. Following this, give them a number of reasons. 2 Print off and cut out the cards on worksheet 12. These also feature reasons / motivating factors for working. 3 Split pupils into groups and ask them to rank the cards in order of what they think is important in terms of reward for work. You will probably need to go through each of the cards first to ensure pupils understand what they mean. 4 Discuss pupils ranking as a class. Male / female dominated groups may have come up with tellingly different responses which could be interesting to explore.
7 Activity 8: What if? poetry About the breadth of different jobs available To represent different jobs by writing creatively. Be aware of different ways of looking at people s careers and how they develop. Be aware that people feel differently about the various types of work they do. PPT slides: Learning area 3 1 The PowerPoint slides for this activity feature a number of questions which will act as the starting point / title for pupils writing their own what if? poem. 2 Either ask pupils to choose one of the questions, or allocate them yourself. 3 There may be other questions you d rather have your pupils write about. The questions on the slide are just to start you off. 4 Make sure that pupils understand that the aim of this activity is to put themselves in somebody else s shoes and to think creatively about different jobs, rather than choosing a job for themselves. 5 Pupils could write their poem using the letters in WHAT IF or their chosen job as the first letters of each line. Alternatively they could write their poem and then copy it into a template relevant to that job (e.g. a car shape for a taxi driver). 6 Afterwards, pupils can be encouraged to share their poems with each other, either in groups or with the whole class. Activity 9: Pass it On Short film: Pass it On Film support notes PPT Slides: Learning area 3 1 Play pupils the short film Pass it On. 2 Either play the film and discuss the meaning afterwards, or use the film support notes to stop the film at appropriate points and discuss throughout. 3 This can be used either at the end of the unit of learning as consolidation, or at the start, to kick off discussion.
8 Learning area 3: Support notes Prior learning Learning area 2 Challenging stereotypes will be good preparation for these activities. Understanding career words use the pupil glossary if required. Preparation and planning Review the PowerPoint slides and tailor them to suit your teaching and class ability. One set of slides is provided for all activities within the learning area. Decide whether you will use the main activity or the alternative suggested for activity 1. Photocopy enough copies of all worksheets for pupils. You ll need to cut out the ranking cards for activity 7. You will need to download the supporting audio files and arrange audio visual facilities to deliver activity 3. You will need access to Youtube in order to play the videos supporting activities 5 and 9. You might like to set up visits for pupils to local employers or have non-stereotypical workforce ambassadors come in as guest speakers. Have a look at the visits section of the website. There are some great ideas, tips and case studies on employer engagement there which may prove very helpful. Support notes for activity 3: Guess the Job There are a number of audio recordings which you will play the class during this activity. Here are some notes on each of the recordings why these examples have been selected / the barriers associated with each job. 1 Recording 1: Plumber (female). Plumbing tends to be viewed by children as an exclusively male trade, with girls finding it difficult to countenance taking up this kind of role because it is so messy and boys like mess. Vocational choices at school are heavily gendered, with plumbing more than 90% male. 2 Recording 2: Nurse (male). Boys show strong antipathy towards careers in nursing, viewing it as a girl s job. 3 Recording 3: teacher (male with cockney accent). 45% of secondary teachers are male (not the case at primary level where men are significantly under-represented). However, men tend to teach Science and Maths orientated subjects and women and Modern Languages. It is also possible that pupils will not expect somebody with a strong regional accent to be teaching. 4 Recording 4: Professional footballer (female). Women s football leagues, while growing in popularity are still not as well regarded or attended as their male counterparts. Only four of 113 year 6 girls surveyed by Ofsted referred to sport in future plans, and these sports were horse-riding and gymnastics.
9 5 Recording 5: TV journalist (blind male). Disabled young people are less likely to achieve their potent ial and more likely to have considered dropping out of learning. However, there are some great examples of individuals in the public eye who have overcome their disability to great success (e.g. Gary O Donohue / Peter White). 6 Recording 6: Nursery nurse (male). Both boys and girls surveyed during Ofsted research had considerable difficulty coping with the concept of a boy being a nursery nurse. 7 Recording 7: Dentist (male with a family history of leaving education early). There is a significant gap in aspiration to continue in higher education between those whose parents are in routine occupations, as compared to children whose parents are from higher professional backgrounds. 8 Recording 8: Truck driver (female). In 2007, only 1.3% of the UK s lorry drivers were female. Support notes for activity 4: Thumbometer This acitivity requires you to read a number of controversial statements, and pupils to consider whether they agree or disagree with them. This activity is likely to generate some lively debate. Notes below give background on each of the statements, and suggest how you might tease out meaning with pupils. 1 Statement 1: Being a hairdresser is not a job for a man. False. Research with primary school pupils find girls more interested in careers such as hairdressing and this is reflected in vocational choices later on. However, this reveals a trend rather than a reality that hairdressing is for girls. Actually, many top stylists are male. Question pupils that think it is not a job for a man. Why not? 2 Statement 2: Women can t be car mechanics. False. Regardless of socioeconomic group, boys are more likely at secondary school age to expect to work in trades such as mechanics. However, girls should be encouraged to consider skilled manual trades such as this as an option. 3 Statement 3: Being Black makes it harder to find a job you like. False. In accordance with the Equality Act, employers are legally bound not to discriminate against people according to their race or any other protected characteristic such as faith, age or disability. Whilst there may still be some institutional barriers that can have a bearing on people s abilities to find a job they like, these are reducing all the time. 4 Statement 4: If none of your family has been to university, you can t go either. False. There s a big gap in aspiration to higher education between children whose families are from higher professional backgrounds and those whose parents are unemployed or in routine occupations. The important thing is that children understand that they don t have to follow the same path as their parents, and that university is open to all. 5 Statement 5: If you are blind or deaf you can t work. False. While evidence has shown that in the past, disabled people are less likely to achieve their potential and more likely to have considered dropping out of learning, now education and employment opportunities are much more equal. There are some great examples of disabled people, some in the public eye, who are in successful careers. (Eg Gary O Donoghue/Peter White). Pupils need to understand that disabled people are entitled to the same work opportunities as everyone else and that the law requires the removal of barriers and support from schools and employers to achieve this.
10 6 Statement 6: If you are white you will earn more money. False. While at present two-fifths of ethnic minority people live in low-income households, twice the rate for white people, this is a changing picture. Poverty rates are falling for all ethnic groups. As a white person you will not automatically earn more. Poor white families represent a significant proportion of those considered to be living in poverty as well. Explore this with pupils. Did anybody agree with this statement? Why? Is it to do with personal experience? 7 Statement 7: Men who stay at home to look after children are weird. False. It s statistically far less likely for the father to be the stay-at-home parent. Many men want to care for their children, but are held back by systems that focus on men as breadwinners and women as carers. This is a changing picture though, with laws concerning paternity leave meaning that parents may be entitled to share more time off work to care for young children. Question children in your class that feel that fathers can t be the primary carer why not? Does it make you any less of a man? What makes women better qualified for the job? 8 Statement 8: People who believe in God can t be scientists. False. Some young people (particularly from ethnic minority backgrounds) feel they can t apply for certain jobs because of their faith. Many scientists are strong proponents of atheism. However, the two need not be mutually exclusive and it is quite possible for a person of faith to work in a science-based profession. The important thing is that pupils understand that science-orientated careers are open to all. 9 Statement 9: Women can t be vicars. False. In the early 1990s, the Church of England decided that women would be allowed to become vicars. The issue divided the church and even today remains controversial. However, the church continues to evolve towards a more equal state, with women likely to soon be able to become bishops as well. Do any pupils think that women can t or shouldn t be vicars? Why do they think this? 10 Statement 10: Women who wear hijabs can t be hairdressers. False. Wearing a headscarf for religious reasons is irrelevant to a person s skills. There have been cases such as Noah Vs Desroisiers, where a young woman was turned down as a junior stylist at a salon because her headscarf covered her hair, (and the hairdresser wanted her stylists haircuts to be showcased to the public) where the claimant was paid 4,000 for damages. Useful links / further information Visit the useful information section of Equal Choices, Equal Chances to access the following information: equalchoices/furtherinformation Why teach careers and equality at Key Stage 2? - supporting research to substantiate teaching these topics and statistics illustrating the national context Pupil glossary Other useful links Hundreds of video career stories grouped both by sector and by theme E-Skills case studies for IT professionals STEM case studies for STEM professionals / STEMNET ambassadors Construction Youth Trust construction industry case studies EHRC s report on equality and diversity in careers education careers_information.pdf Ofsted report on girls career aspirations Additional ideas Higher ability / older pupils only: Ask pupils to think about how many jobs go into making a cup of tea / building a house / making a pizza (you can use any item which you are able to source to kick off the activity). For example, with tea you could have a cup of tea to hand to start the discussion; jobs that go into making the cup of tea include: tea farmers, tea pickers, tea packers, lorry driver, cargo ship captain and crew, marketing team to design packaging, factory workers to pack and box, dairy farmers to produce milk etc.
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