Author: GLE Team | Published on 1 December 2023


The curriculum refers to the planned programme of objectives, content, learning experiences, resources and assessment offered by a school for example the cumulative syllabus or course of a language programme as a whole. This teaching tip offers a simple approach for reflecting on the curriculum as a whole in order to identify ways the whole curriculum can be made more gender responsive. In order to do this a curriculum should have built into its objectives and approaches opportunities to examine gender relationships in a society and ways to contribute towards building gender equality. 

Stage 1: Reflect on Gender Responsive Review Questions 

Assess whether the curriculum of your school or institute is gender-responsive using the following questions. Answer each question with Strongly, Somewhat or Not At All. Provide evidence and examples for each answer where you can. This activity would be best done collaboratively with colleagues and school leaders and those with the capacity to influence change. 

  • Does the curriculum framework explicitly state its commitment to gender equality in mission statements and learning outcomes?
  • Does the curriculum and syllabus make reference to the promotion of gender equality 
  • Do the required course materials or textbooks contain stereotypes that perpetuate gender inequalities and bias?
  • Do the required course materials or textbooks contain attitudes and values that promote gender equality?
  • Do the course materials or textbooks contain representations of a variety of socio-cultural relationships and different groups of society?

Stage 2: Identify Points of Actions and Implement Changes

Use the answers to the questions above and evidence collected to focus on identifying entry points for making the possible changes to the curriculum. For example, perhaps the questions where you have answered somewhat are entry points because there may be some relatively quick adaptations or additions that can be made in that area. Where changes are prohibited for some reason, work with colleagues to identify the opportunities and limits for making variations of the adaptions where possible. 


Gender Stereotypes:  a generalised view or preconception about attributes or characteristics, or the roles that are or ought to be possessed by, or performed by, women and men. A gender stereotype is harmful when it limits learners’ capacity to develop their personal abilities, pursue their education opportunities, professional careers and/or make choices about their lives. 

Gender Norms: ideas, standards and expectations to which women and men generally conform and how they should act within a range that defines a particular society, culture and community at that point in time. They are often internalised early in life, gender norms can establish a life cycle of gender socialisation and stereotyping. 

Gender Bias: Refers to a person receiving different treatment based on the person's real or perceived gender identity.

Want to know more about the GLE Team?

In a groundbreaking initiative, the British Council, under the English Connects programme, undertook a transformative mission to champion gender-inclusive practices in Sub-Saharan Africa with a cohort of 41 dedicated teacher educators and teachers from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Sudan. This dynamic group referred to as the GLE Team worked together to design this resource.

Read about our Creating Gender Pedagogy Resources for Teachers project: