Implementation of ‘Labour Market and Women through Centuries’ (SoI-GR-199)

Women in Europe have come a long way since courses for learning how to sew were one of the few job opportunities they got a hand on; but what about gender parity at work today?

When and Where

We implemented the LS “Labour Market and Women through Centuries” in a Modern Greek Language Course with 14-year-old students. Two lessons, each lasting 80 min, took place online (due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown) during December 2020. Students did their tasks from home, alone or working in groups, using their own devices. The original LS taught English as a foreign language, whereas the implementation addressed mother-tongue users. Therefore we made changes in order to address their needs and skills.

Introducing the topic and Europeana Collections

After reminding my students the characteristics and structure of Europeana, Ι presented the topic that we would be working on and asked them to go through the “Women at Work” Europeana Collection.

Task #1: Using a Europeana Collection as a starting point to delve into work and gender

After answering on a Mentimeter the question “Which jobs do you trace in the photos?”, students recorded their answers. The annotating tool proved very handy and allowed them to co-write on the e-whiteboard.

The variety of jobs was depicted in students’ answers in the “Women at Work” collection.

Students “read into” the pictures and gathered their remarks on the e-whiteboard.

Students then compared the Pixabay Women at Work collection with the previous ones. We focused on one photo in particular and the discussion that followed was very interesting. In the end, all agreed that in Europe, whereas many steps were made towards gender equality, there is still a lot to be done.

Students were divided over whether the picture above must be read as a depiction of gender equality at work or not.

Students were then assigned to groups of two in the Webex break-out rooms and wrote a first-person narrative based on a photo from the Europeana collection. They posted their work on Padlet and feedback was given to them in the comments section.

Various periods and jobs inspired students to create their fictional narratives.

As homework, students added text balloons to the photo discussed earlier.

Students expressed in a creative way their opinions on the gender dynamic depicted in this photo.

Task #3: Studying European policies on gender equality and producing multimodal texts

During our next session, students expressed their views on the gender dynamic in Greece today. Once we gathered their answers on Mentimeter, we discussed the views recorded.

Students seem to agree that there is a lot to be done in order to achieve gender equality in the work field.

Afterwards, students, divided into groups of three in the break-out rooms, studied online EU material about the action taken to promote gender equality (here and here). They created a leaflet brochure that was addressed to children of their own age group (12-15 yo). You can see examples of the students’ work here.

Outcomes and evaluation

One of my initial concerns was whether all students would respond to the ICT requirements of the LS. It turns out that one of the positive outcomes of online distance learning was that most, if not all, students have honed their ICT skills. Cloud-based learning was a great way to overcome problems related to the particular conditions of the lockdown.

We had a heated conversation concerning the existence or not of gender inequality in workplaces today and all were eager to express their opinion on the subject. The conversation honed their visual literacy and enhanced their ability to critically read visual texts.

Overall, students showed genuine interest in studying the material provided and great engagement in the tasks assigned to them. They enhanced their communication and collaboration skills working in teams throughout the implementation. Moreover, reframing what they studied in a different text boosted their creativity.


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Labour Marker and Women Through Centuries by Anita Lasic

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Public Domain: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

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