Pembina Hills open to input: Talking to U of A Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Updated March 23, 2017 - Comments, questions and requests for interviews and information about Eleanor Hall’s new Women’s Studies elective have been coming in.

“We’re very open to the input we’ve been receiving,” said David Garbutt, Acting Superintendent. “People are rightly concerned that our students not feel stereotyped. We agree. We’re collecting the constructive criticism and it will become part of the evaluation of the course along with input from the teacher and the students."  

"Members of the University of Alberta Department of Women's and Gender Studies have reached out and offered to work with us, including an invitation to the girls to visit the campus and attend a class at the university," said Garbutt. "I'm also in discussions with Dr. Christina Stasia who provides Gender Studies workshops in junior high and high schools. She's offered to meet with the teacher and the students and work with us. I don't know yet what can be arranged, but these are wonderful opportunities that we're definitely going to explore."

“We want to ensure that the girls who are enrolled — and indeed all students regardless of gender expression — understand gender stereotyping.”

“These are issues that the girls are talking about in class. We will be reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it doesn’t reinforce stereotypes in the process of encouraging positive self-image and self-esteem.”

Garbutt added that the attention has also given the region an opportunity to talk about steps being taken to build a curriculum at the junior high level that connects with the Career and Technology Foundations programs youth will be taking in high school.

“This course is a work in progress. It also has become a case study on communications and social media. That’s a world our students need to navigate and in fact is part of the course’s curriculum.” 

For more information contact David Garbutt, Acting Superintendent at 780.674.8507.


New course at Eleanor Hall School - March 20, 2017

On March 15, Pembina Hills published a story about a new program being piloted at Eleanor Hall School. It's attracted a wide range of perspectives on the course content. 

No doubt some changes will be made as we learn from the experience of offering this program.

The optional course is open to all students. It builds on the Health and Career content in the school curriculum and aims to help students navigate adolescence with their self-image and self-esteem intact. As educators, like parents, we know first hand this can be a difficult path.

The young teens enrolled are discussing the expectations and media influences teens face. They are also being introduced to career planning and the range of options available in public schools.

In building a course like this, the course needs to be engaging to young teens and some of the content reflects that. The programs on offer in our school system are wide-ranging. The intention is to build awareness of all futures and break down gender stereotypes. This will be an important part of the in-class discussion. 

For more information contact David Garbutt, Acting Superintendent at 780.674.8507.

Published March 20, 2017