WEEA Equity Resource Center
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Resources to Infuse Equity

Raising the Grade: A Title IX Curriculum

Raising the Grade is a collection of fun and interesting activities that will strengthen kindergartner through twelfth grader's abilities to work together effectively across the diversity of gender, race, national origin, and disability. Designed to be used throughout the learning period, on its own, as part of a thematic unit, or across the curriculum, Raising the Grade will help students recognize that they can take action to make gender equity a reality in all areas of their lives.

NOTE: The following are excepts and exercises from Raising the Grade, a curriculum about Title IX available from WEEA. To order call 800-793-5076 or you can order online. Code #2810, $17.00.

Despite gains . . . since the enactment of Title IX, today males and females are still limited in their educational choices by their gender. Boys are much more likely to be awarded national, state, and college scholarships, while girls are still severely under-represented in most scientific and technical fields.

Research shows that many of the so-called "innate" differences between females and males are the result of adult interaction with infants, children, and youth. Often unconsciously, sexist attitudes and behaviors perpetuate stereotypes about what girls and boys can do, and create systems that do not equitably serve girls and boys.

Books, toys, comics, television, peers, and well-meaning adults spell out gender stereotypes that encourage boys to act one way and girls to act another. Students need to discover early in their school years--and have the knowledge reinforced frequently--that there is no such thing as "masculine" knowledge or "feminine" knowledge. Gender bias has a negative impact, limiting our expectations about abilities, interests, skills, and temperament for each gender. Girls lose out in terms of physical development, self-determination, and developing independence. Boys are stifled in developing their communication and relationship skills. It prevents our young people from determining what is possible for them.
Is it likely that children entering kindergarten now can expect to receive an education that will encourage them to explore their interests and talents freely regardless of gender? In middle school, will he be able to explain why both males and females must acquire skills in math, science, computers, technology, reading, and writing? In high school, when thinking about the future, will her expectations about the kinds of jobs she could choose not be restricted by gender?

Goals of Raising the Grade Curriculum

Every child must recognize what gender stereotyping is, what causes it, and how it affects people in their perceptions about their life options. Raising the Grade is designed to help students learn how to do the following:

  • Develop a positive self-concept.
  • Maintain a positive attitude about their abilities to pursue academic, athletic, career and other endeavors that interest them, without gender limitations.
  • Exhibit positive attitudes about the abilities of both genders.
  • Associate freely with individuals of both genders in the classroom.
  • Identify and analyze personal, family, and societal attitudes about men and women, gender-role stereotypes and bias, and forms of sex discrimination.
  • Define and identify strategies to overcome role stereotyping, bias and discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, and disability.
  • Identify various types of jobs as possibilities for themselves and others regardless of gender.
  • Identify and analyze the subtle and not-so-subtle roles television and other media play in life and career planning.

(Adapted from Gender Equity Competencies for Ohio and the Wisconsin Model for Sex Equity in Career and Vocational Education.)

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