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New online course will develop the gender equality work in schools and preschools

Now school staff will be able to discuss gender equality issues with colleagues in other Nordic countries. A new online course will help spread knowledge and good examples from schools and preschools across the Nordic region.


NIKK spade symbol

School staff in the Nordic countries can learn a lot from each other, according to José Cardona López and Mervi Heikkinen, who are leading the development of the online course at the University of Oulu.


Why do school and preschool staff need training on gender and diversity issues?

‘These perspectives are often included in national curricula for schools and preschools but are not addressed well enough in the teacher training programmes. That’s a big problem. Many teachers don’t have sufficient competence to deal with these issues, and that’s something we want to change. We see it as particularly important to reach out to head teachers, since they have good opportunities to make a difference by emphasising the importance of gender-competent staff.’


What are the advantages of a web-based course?

‘It offers the participants great flexibility. They can access the information when it’s convenient. It also enables us to cover a large geographic area and reach people who would otherwise be difficult to reach. There’s a chat function where the participants can share their thoughts and experiences with each other.’


What does the course cover?

Photo: Minna Viinikka
 Photo: Minna Viinikka

‘It consists of informational texts and assignments categorised into six themes, such as gender mainstreaming and gender equality in the staff group. The participants get to learn for example how to establish a gender equality plan and discuss the need for gender educators. The material used is based on a previous NIKK project.’

Why is Nordic cooperation a good idea in this case?
‘The Nordic countries have similar educational systems and it’s beneficial to learn from each other. It’s not enough to work only within national boundaries. We need to gather experiences from different countries in order to more clearly see the challenges and what methods work.’

How do I register for the course?
‘The first round is underway as we speak, so all you need to do is contact us. There are 29 participants and we’re planning on starting a second round in June.’

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This is an article about one of the projects granted funding through the Nordic Gender Equality Fund.

Updated 2 October 2020