Gender imbalance in physics has long been an issue, and the IOP has produced a range of resources and guidance on inclusive physics teaching. But our research suggests that we need to look beyond the physics classroom if we want to make a real difference. Over the last few years, we’ve been working with schools and producing guidance for whole school gender equity programmes. We’ve found that this whole school work, combined with good practice in inclusive physics teaching, is beginning to show some impressive results in terms of the number of female students progressing to A-level physics.
Based on our research in this area and our work with schools, we have produced a set of PSHE lesson plans for KS3-4 students. These lessons aim to introduce students to the concepts of gender stereotyping and unconscious bias, and equip them with tools to overcome their effects. They can be used as part of a whole school gender equity programme, or on their own as part of the PSHE timetable.
For more information on whole school gender equity work, see the IOP’s guide to good practice in countering gender stereotyping in schools.
The lesson plans are available to download below.
Key stage 3:
Introduction to gender stereotypes
Gender stereotypes and me
Key stage 4:
Gender stereotypes and the media