Implementation of “Labour Market and Women Through Centuries” (SOI-HR-299)

Author: Beata Šikloši, English teacher

School/Organization: Zmajevac Elementary School

We implemented the learning scenario ’Labour Market and Women Through Centuries’ by Anita Lasić (LS-HR-352) on International Women’s Day (IWD). Even though equality among genders is promoted as a core value of the today’s society in practice there are still numerous instances of inequality. Also, the history behind the IWD is forgotten and it is celebrated by giving a flower to the women members of the family or wider community. It was necessary to talk about women’s rights and position in the society over the history and today due to the fact that the students from rural areas are brought up in a relatively closed, conservative and traditional mindset and mentality. Women are expected to raise children, do the housework and perhaps get a lower paid job. In the family patriarchal structure where the father is the one providing for the other family members. Furthermore, the male members of the family very often show little respect to the female members. The students’ awareness needs to be raised about gender inequality in order to lower it in the future. This learning scenario was chosen because it was the most appropriate for my learners’ age. Also, it offers a wide variety of activities which will make the students examine the discussed issue from different perspectives.

French women ironing, Wasastjerna Torsten – Finnish National Gallery, Ateneum, Finland – Public Domain

The implementation context

A small community

The learning scenario was implemented during two face to face English classes. Four 14-year-old students participated in it in Zmajevac Elementary School, Croatia. This class is made up of only male students, which also gave a specific context to the lessons. All of them live in traditional rural areas. There it is typical that women stay at home and are responsible for the household therefore not achieving full economic independence. They are very often not valued enough, which made this topic especially important for those students. The aim of the lessons was to sensitise young male members of the community about the topic. The students were not familiar with Europeana, this was the first time they used it.

The narrative


At the beginning of the lesson a voting activity was carried out to raise students’ interest and motivate them for the topic. Students discussed how many days per week they should go to school. After all of them gave their opinion, they voted on the given question. To be more precise, half of the students voted, the others were not given the opportunity to vote. Some students immediately recognized that they were discriminated as women throughout the history. Through this activity students could feel on their own skin the inequality which later became the topic of the lesson.

Introducing and using Europeana

In the next step the Europeana Women at work resources were used. Students examined the photos and compared them to the photos found on Pixabay, as it is suggested in the learning scenario (LS). The comparison and discussion about the materials took somewhat more time than it is anticipated in the LS. Mentimeter was not used since the class was face to face. Instead, there was a long debate where students also explained their personal experience about women’s position at the labour market today.

Next, students worked in pairs. One pair discussed a woman’s typical day based on a picture from Europeana, while the other pair did the same using a photo from Pixabay. After a brief discussion they wrote down their ideas.

Violence against women

Students examining shocking facts about women, Beata Šikloši

In the next stage students looked at some facts concerning women. The European Commission’s website was used as a source. They also received a dozen of shocking facts about violence against women. They described them shocking and upsetting. This activity was introduced instead of the Mini saga suggested in the LS. At the end of the lesson, they listened to Pink’s song Irrelevant. Finally, they did the 3-2-1 activity as suggested in the LS.

Learning outcomes

Active and constructive engagement 

Students enjoyed the class a lot. They found the lesson engaging and they also verbalized that at the end of it. Even students who are usually hard to motivate in class participated eagerly in these two lessons. They told some stories from their environment, which shows that they personalized the topic and gave a deeper thought to it. It turned out that they actually knew a lot about women’s position at the labour market. Students were able to use all their language skills during the lesson through the above-mentioned activities. However, the most precious and valuable benefit is that students were engaged in a lot of speaking about the topic and that they discovered alarming facts about the inequality between men and women. They explained the development of women’s rights through time. They recognized cases of discrimination and stereotypes in everyday life. As our students are the future generation it is crucial to raise their awareness about problems hoping that they will start a positive change. After this lesson students will hopefully promote gender equality and stand up for women.

Outcomes for the educator

Different activities and topics result in motivated teachers

Implementing a learning scenario from Europeana means using a wide range of activities, methods and resources. Both for the teacher and the class using Europeana ensures a completely different lesson than usual. This already motivates the students and arouses their interest in the topic from the first moment. Europeana is a fantastic example of the fact that one does not have to be an art teacher to be able to use art in their class. Thanks to the learning scenarios the teachers have a ready-to-use material ready to be implemented with or without any adaptation. Europeana learning scenarios cover a variety of topics, therefore it is always a promising idea to check their resources first when a teacher plans to move out of their comfort zone. Using these learning scenarios also gives us, teachers an opportunity to have an insight into how other teachers build up their lessons and maybe pick up some new ideas for our own lessons.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Labour Market and Women Through Centuries created by Anita Lasić

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Slovak National Gallery.

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