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Just thinking about a transitional approach to gender equality right education Kulpas, Kathleen Isobel Wilk 1994

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JUST THINKING ABOUT A TRANSITIONALAPPROACH TO GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATIONKATHLEEN ISOBEL WILK KULPASB. Ed., University of Calgary, 1973A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1994©Kathleen Isobel Wilk Kulpas, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agreethat the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agreethat permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may begranted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It isunderstood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate)/?DE-6 (2188)ABSTRACTThis paper investigates access for young people to knowledge about genderequality rights through the schools. A review of school curricula, academic research,government reports, public legal education publications, law-related symposia, genderequity conference papers, and youth projects did not produce a clear picture of howyoung people are being educated about gender equality rights. An additionalinvestigation into the informal curriculum and the school culture would be required ifwe are to find out if knowledge about gender equality rights reaches young peoplethrough the schools.A modified version of a Delphi study was used to gather some ideas about thepurpose, goals and objectives of gender equality rights education in the schools. Twentysocially representative educators, legal professionals and feminists participated in thestudy. Participants were selected for their knowledge of gender equality rights. In allcases, their job, or life experience and education, or position on a relevant task force orcommittee provided them with substantive knowledge of gender equality rights.One of the main findings of the Delphi study is that while there is no consensusamongst the participants about the details of comprehensive gender equality rightseducation, there is agreement that it cannot be left to chance occurence. More harmthan good may result from a laissez-faire approach to gender equality rights educationbecause such an approach does not allow for a full discussion of how social, political,and economic systems in society discriminate against women. Without such a context,we cannot fully understand gender equality rights, or the changes to society that havecome about because of the gender equality rights movement. Conversely, a structuredapproach through the formal and informal curriculum, and the school culture, wouldallow for views about gender equality to be raised in an informed way. Many of theideas of the participants parallel the substantive goals and objectives of law-relatededucation. There is one major exception which is discussed at length. It concerns theopenly ideological nature of gender equality rights education.Long range plans to institutionalize substantive gender equality rights educationin the schools is needed. One way to bring this about is to increase academic researchinto legal literacy and gender equality. But the greatest urgency is in the short term. Weneed a co-ordinated effort between the schools, Ministries of Education and the AttorneyGeneral, the public legal education network and gender equality rights advocates toensure that accurate information about gender equality rights is accessible to all youngpeople in a useful way.The first challenge in educating about gender equality rights in the schools is tomake a start so that young people do not leave school without some knowledge ofimportant changes for women that are going on in society. The transitional approachthat I recommend to gender equality rights education would implement strategies thatallow us time to get a clearer picture of what gender equality rights education exists inschools now; identify immediate objectives that we can attain quickly and that wouldlay the foundation for more comprehensive goals; help young people recognize theimpact of gender inequality in their own lives; and let them know that educatedpeople care about social and legal equality for women.TABLE OF CONTENTSPageABSTRACT iTABLE OF CONTENTS iiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vCHAPTER ONE 1I INTRODUCTION AND RATIONALE FOR THE RESEARCH 1II LAW-RELATED EDUCATION AS FRAMEWORK FOR RESEARCHERAND RESEARCH 10III GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATION 14CHAPTER TWO - THE RESEARCH METHODS 18INTRODUCTION 18I. A DELPHI SURVEY 19A. THE DELPHI METHOD 1913. INTERVIEW QUESTIONING 27C. ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK 30II SUPPORTIVE RESEARCH 32ANALYSIS OF DOCUMENTS, REPORTS AND OTHER PAPERS,AND INFORMAL INTERVIEWS 32SUMMARY 35CHAPTER THREE - FINDINGS 38INTRODUCTION 38I THE DELPHI STUDY 39A. GENDER EQUALITY - A GAME OF CHANCE 41B. INDIFFERENCE TO GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATIONIS GENDER BIAS 46C. DUAL ROLE OF EDUCATING ABOUT GENDER EQUALITYRIGHTS 48D. CONVINCING EDUCATORS 57II THE SUPPORTIVE RESEARCH 62A. THE PERSPECTIVE OF PUBLIC LEGAL EDUCATION ANDADVOCACY GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS 62II. THE SUPPORTIVE RESEARCH 82B. THE PERSPECTIVE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM 82SUMMARY 95I,’TABLE OF CONTENTS, Continued:Page103103107113118118121123128130132CHAPTER FOUR - CONCLUSIONSINTRODUCTIONCONCLUSIONSWHAT IS GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATIONCHAPTER FIVE - RECOMMENDATIONSI RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EDUCATION .II RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCHREFERENCESAPPENDIX AAPPENDIX BAPPENDIX CivACKNOWLEDGEMENTSTo my thesis committee — Roi, Pam, and Kelvin; andMy family committee — Paul, Catherine, Leon, Elizabeth, and Margaret— Thank you.This thesis could not have been finished without friends who believed it wouldbe, and Shelley, who provided technical support.V1CHAPTER ONEI INTRODUCTION AND RATIONALE FOR THE RESEARCHThe purpose of my research was to argue for a particular view of gender equalityrights in our schools and to promote an understanding of the educative value of such astudy within the educational system. Questions about how we do this, as well as whatwe should include, are important. Both came up in the research. But my main concernwas the principles that guide, or ought to guide, decision-making about gender equalityinitiatives. To determine what these principles are, my research examined some currentarguments for and against the study of gender equality rights in the schools and forassigning special status to that study.1I undertook research in this area for three reasons. First, I am concerned thatwomen and the social minorities protected under Section 15 of the Charter of Rights andFreedoms do not on the whole achieve and sustain the average standard of living andquality of life of the socially dominant group of middle-class, white, able, heterosexual,English-speaking males.2Second, I do not believe that it is ordained, necessary, or desirable to perpetuateideologies, policies, and institutional systems that can be shown to reinforce thehistorical social and economic disadvantages experienced by women.3And third, I think that education can play a part in actualizing the promise ofgender equality. To date judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada, have given aparticular shape to the way the Court thinks about the intent and purpose of, as well asthe process of coming to, gender equality.4 To what extent and how the culture2assimilates the principles that underlie legal decisions about gender equality should beconsidered in the domain of education, both formal and informal.One way to gain a perspective on the research was to view law and educationas social institutions. The two do not develop in isolation from each other. Anawareness of systemic discrimination in law might prove valuable in coming to termswith gender equity issues in education.5 In fact, the research questions resulted inmuch concern amongst the participants of the Delphi study that I did about the impactof systemic discrimination on how we ought to go about gender equality rightseducation in the schools and why we ought to do it.Take, for example, the evolution of access to justice as a result of gender equalitylitigation. The role of access to justice in bringing about substantive equality for womenis now considered in law to be limited as a sole response to gender inequality becauseit does not adequately address Section 1 5 Sbs.(2) of the Charter, the right to equalbenefit of the law for women.6 Judges now draw on an interpretation of justice thatqualifies the importance of access by considering: 1) that women are not on equalground with men when they arrive before the court, and 2) that the judgments in genderequality cases wherein discrimination is proven ought to facilitate action in society thatwill benefit women. The role of access to education in bringing about equality ofeducational opportunity may undergo a similar evolution if we begin to take intoconsideration what we mean by substantive equality of educational opportunity.7This development in law is a direct result of cases such as Bliss and Schacter.8According to the feminist critique of law developed by the Women’s Legal Educationand Action Fund (LEAF)9 cases that follow standards of procedure that are considered3to be intrinsically fair and just, can and do produce judgments that are unfair and unjustfor the female litigants, and by extension, all women who find themselves incircumstances where the facts are similar.10 Briefly, LEAF’s approach to gender equalitylitigation is based on the presumption that gender equality provisions are intended tohelp alleviate, not simply to identify, the historical economic and social disadvantage ofwomen, whether or not the disadvantage is intended. The purpose of gender equalitylitigation, therefore, is to make visible to the justice system the means by which societaland legal conditions create or sustain that disadvantage. This particular critique oflaw11, one that takes into account a person’s life situation before, during and afterlitigation, allowed LEAF to successfully argue the following and other gender equalitycases.In Bliss, for example, the court found that the ruling that denied Stella Blissmaternity leave benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act when she was firedbecause she was pregnant was fair because the Act treated all pregnant persons thesame. The court failed to take into consideration, as it did later in Brooks, that onlywomen get pregnant, so discrimination based on pregnancy is gender discrimination.In Schacter, a father, whose wife died during childbirth, appealed to the SupremeCourt of Canada when he was denied maternity leave that would have enabled him tostay home from work to care for his newborn child. He claimed he was discriminatedagainst on the basis of gender. If the court had found in favor of Schacter, one possibleoutcome of the judgment could have been the abolition of maternity leave on thegrounds that the policy is discriminatory.4LEAF argued against Schacter in order to protect the natural and female-specificreasons for maternity benefits, that is to provide working women some time to recoverfrom the physical trauma of childbirth, and to breast feed their infants if they so wish.LEAF asked the courts to deny Schacter maternity leave, but at the same time asked thatthe courts recommend that paternity leave provisions be instituted for all fathers whoqualify be instituted.Left unchallenged, these two judgments would have upheld in the first caseexisting systemic discrimination against women, and in the second case reinforced thatdiscrimination by setting precedents for a body of case law that would move us,collectively speaking, away from rather than closer to social equality for women andmen.What impact does this conceptualization of ‘gender equality rights’ as a social andlegal duty to address the disadvantage of women, have on our conceptualization of whatequality of educational opportunity ought to bring about?Many of the policies that address equality of educational opportunity in educationfocus on the act of getting the horse to water - all horses regardless of race, gender,class, color, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, or ability. The premise here is thatwe can and will guarantee, to the best of our ability and resources, the right to accessto an education for everyone. This includes removing barriers to access.12 Similarly,the maxim of equal access to justice commits law-makers to equality of access to the lawfor everyone, expressed as ‘equal before the law’.13But in educational theory, educators point out that we cannot guarantee thatequal access wilt lead to equal participation of or equal results for all students. The5operating principle of equality of opportunity does not defend the right to equal results.In addition, we cannot claim that the extent of our education is a certain predictor orguarantor of success (or failure) in our adult lives. Many other factors influenceoutcomes, e.g. abilities, such as the ability to learn certain kinds of jobs; socioeconomicfactors external to the school, such as home life; personal attributes, such asdetermination, etc. - even how we define success or failure for ourselves.14A reasonable conclusion, then, might seem to be that education cannot be heldaccountable for results, in this case gender inequality, because it does not make senseto subscribe to a paradigm of simplistic cause and effect in the case of a complexinstitution such as education. But retreating from issues of treatment and outcome ineducation and favoring the more conservative focus on issues of access perpetuates,according to some, a male model of schooling that may in fact defeat its own ideals, byits structure if not by its intent, in spite of our commitment to the ideal of universaleducation, Charole Shakeshaft, for example, argues that our educational system is set upin a way that prepares students to live in a world that meets the needs of Anglo-saxon,middle-class, abled, heterosexual men first. Thus, young women effectively do not haveequality of educational opportunity.15 Let me explain this.To do so, let us return to the idea of the social construction of concepts. Forexample, in recent history we see a change in attitude about what kind of informationis relevant in coming to define “equality of opportunity”. Socioeconomic factors are nowtaken into consideration. In particular, advocacy from visible minority and nativecommunities has forced educators to confront racism in school structures, curriculumand pedagogy. Demonstrable barriers exist to equal opportunity in education for their6young people. Consequently, educators now acknowledge that the condition of thewater significantly influences whether or not a horse drinks it. In this case, the theorythat equality is reached when we have official equal access to education does not workin practice. Such access, unless attuned to differences of opportunity in addition toquestions of access, cannot be justifiable. Our model of schooling cannot assume, asit has in the past, that all students are similarly situated with regard to their educationalneeds.The next debate in education could well be about whether conceptualizations ofequality of opportunity influence equality of results. As noted, equality of results maybe considered admirable but it may also be an aim whose achievement we cannotguarantee (and for some is not desirable).16 On the face of it, this view isincompatible with the goal of gender equality law which clearly aims to bring aboutsocial justice by equalizing results for women and men in specific instances e.g.employment equity. But institutions cannot so easily escape responsibility to seek to tieaccess to results.Following from the previous example, it is conceivable that advocates for visibleminority and native groups will challenge our ‘western’ way of justifying the value of aneducation. They may insist that it be judged not on its intrinsic merit, as some may donow, but by its impact on the quality of an adult’s life; in short, on long term results.And here there is reason for concern, It seems likely that the visible minority and nativepopulation are particularly vulnerable to discrimination in adult life.Such a challenge could be modelled on the experience of those seeking genderequality in the courts. At the very least they would be assisted in their endeavors by7such ideas as the following from a factum submitted by LEAF in Keegstra, a well-knowncase about the role of freedom of expression and educatio&7Individuals cannot receive equality of opportunity when asmembers of an historically disadvantaged group, they aresurrounded by bias and group hatred. Stereotyping andstigmatizing (through hate propaganda) shapes their socialimage and reputation, often controlling their opportunities(future opportunities) more powerfully than their individualabilities do.Gender equality litigation has built up a body of judgments that holds the law, that is,the justice system, accountable for gender discrimination. One outcome is that thejudgments of the Supreme Court of Canada shifted in focus away from proceduralaccess to justice, toward substantive concern for the outcomes for women in judgmentsin gender equality cases.Under the leadership of former Chief Justice Brian Dickson, in the landmarkAndrews case,18 the court rejected the similarly situated interpretation of equality infavor of a purposive approach to interpretation. In the latter, the verdict of genderdiscrimination in any given case is showing that the way the woman has been treatedor will be treated has the effect of imposing unjust burdens, obligations, or disadvantageson her, whether intentional or not.19In Andrews, Chief Justice Dickson stated that this way of thinking about genderequality cases more adequately addresses the issue of disadvantage (of outcome), andthus, in his view, catches the intent, or purpose, of the equality provisions in theCharter!° Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, this principle is applied by takinginto consideration both direct discrimination and adverse effect discrimination, and by8testing for a rational connection between a rule or action that appears discriminatory andthe reason for the rule or action.If the educators, feminists, and legal professionals whom I consulted in the courseof my research did not take seriously a similar investigation into the effect of educationon gender equality, then by default I would have dismissed the applicability to educationof the development in law of issues about access. In that case my research should haveprovided me with arguments to support the claims that: 1) education as an institution isexempt from responsibility for gender discrimination in society; and 2) we shouldarticulate how we think about accountability in education with regard to our treatmentof issues of social justice as consistent and defensible. But I believe that this would bea serious mistake.I did not intend that my research diminish the importance of the principle ofequality of educational opportunity, in fact, I expected to come to a fresh appreciationof its pivotal role in education in a free and democratic society. But the researchshowed that, unless adequately interpreted and defended, this principle as weconceptualize it now does not go far enough in furthering gender equality rights. Itcould be that we ought to broaden our thinking about equality of results bydistinguishing two kinds of programs:1. programs which seek literal equality, and2. programs which seek to reduce inequalities by identifying and reducing, orremoving conditions that create discrimination, in this case, genderdiscrimination.9If we were to adopt programs of the latter kind then several kinds of factors could beused in efforts to eliminate discrimination. These could include, but would not belimited to:1) systemic procedural access barriers,2) systemic status-at-entry barriers, eg. where general social barriers may preventpeople from acquiring abilities to compete fairly for entry to scarce opportunities,and3) pervasive or general outcome differences between/among identifiable groups. Ifthis approach were taken then, for example, such institutions as schools could beheld accountable for pervasive outcome differences as well as for proceduralaccess fairness. I leave questions about the legal and moral responsibility ofschools to take action with regard to gender inequality to others. But I doquestion whether or not it is just for the burden of proof of inequality to be, inthe future as it has been in the past on women.21I concluded from the research that the primary justification for gender equalityrights education is, first, to make visible the dynamics of gender inequality in society,and in the schools as part of that society. And second, that the principle that ought toguide decision-making about gender equality rights education is that all young peopleshould be empowered with the means, method and opportunity to take responsibilityfor themselves and others in bringing about social and legal equality for women andmen.10II LAW-RELATED EDUCATION AS FRAMEWORK FOR RESEARCHER AND RESEARCHI conceived of my research as a study in the field of law-related education. Thepurpose, goals and objectives of law-related education are well-laid out in a book byRoland Case entitled On the Threshold: Canadian Law-related Education22 The bookis a very clear overview of various aspects of law-related education that includeacademic skills, ethics, functional knowledge that guides behavior, participation in theformation of culture, and social action. However, it is important to note that adiscussion of gender equality rights and systemic discrimination is absent. When thebook was published, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was only three years old,Section 1 5 (of the Charter) had just become law that same year, and gender equalityrights had not yet been tested in the courts.The body of work in the field of law-related education now includes some B.C.research into Charter literacy and Charter pedagogy.23 The subject of gender equalityrights has not been a particular focus of this research to date. The Charter is a hugelegal territory to cover. So far references to the specific gender equality provisions ofSection 1 5 and Section 28 that I have come across are not much more than signals aboutwhat ought to be considered in further studies and research papers.In coming to understand my own research, I was guided by several points aboutlaw that seem obvious in hindsight but took five years of study and experience toappreciate fully that laws belong to all members of a society; they are publiclyformulated and subject to social change; they are linked to fundamental theories of stateand social justice, and they make statements about social values.11I am indebted to Dennis Pavlich and Shirley Parkinson, both of whom wereinstructors in law-related education at the University of British Columbia during mygraduate work there, who critiqued my papers with good humor as I inched towardsome understanding of law and society. I am also indebted to the women of LEAF forembracing me as a worker/researcher while still in an embryonic state of woman-consciousness. Because of these twin experiences in law and gender, I felt that I couldunderstand the issues that would come up in researching gender equality rightseducation in the schools.When I began the research for this paper, I did not have a theory to explain whywe do not educate at least formally about gender equality rights in B.C. schools.Delphi is a qualitative research method that allows for a theory about a particular subjectto evolve from the material collected in a study.24 The participants are usually expertsin the subject under study, but they are not the subject of the study. The researcherpredetermines the conceptual framework of the study and controls the researchquestions, but ensures that the participants have the opportunity to express their opinionsfreely.In analyzing the research material, fact-based and opinion-based comments areconsidered to be equally important. This is because the questions posed in a Delphistudy usually have no definitive answers. Consensus of opinion about the subject is notthe goal, rather a convergence of opinion is what is hoped for. In a full-scale Delphistudy, the opinions of the participants would be circulated, usually anonymously, to allthe participants. A refinement of the ideas occurs, revisions are made by the participants12and the revised document is circulated again. Usually three revisions are made to aDelphi study.This study is a modified version of Delphi. I interviewed twenty individualswhom I considered to be well informed about gender equality rights by virtue of theirpositions in society. I tried to ensure that the group of participants was sociallyrepresentative25 and would provide me with a balanced perspective from educators,feminists and legal professionals. I asked them questions about gender equality rightseducation in the schools that were formulated loosely on contemporary concerns incurriculum development. It was not a requirement of the research that all twentyparticipants be intimately knowledgeable about either the BC school system in generalor curriculum development in particular. The questions were sent out in advance of theinterviews and the participants were free to prepare for the interview in any way theychose.The purpose of the interviews was to determine whether, and to what extent weought to educate about gender equality rights in the schools, the feasibility of educatingabout gender equality rights in the schools, and the characteristics of a curriculumthought to be worth implementing.Group revisions to the Delphi material are not a formal part of this study.Participants were invited to contact me if they wished to add to or revise the materialin their own interviews. To many of the participants, thinking about what we should doabout gender equality rights education in the schools was new. Further input into theDelphi study may happen after completion of this paper and could provide the basis of13further investigation into specific ideas about gender equality rights education that theparameters of this study did not allow time for.The accumulation of evidence from my background research seems to support myhypothesis that knowledge about gender equality rights is only accidentally accessiblein the schools. Furthermore, the status of gender equality rights education in the schoolsseems to be moot. I therefore decided to re-visit the whole issue, this time lookingoutside the boundaries of the educational system.I invited twenty socially representative individuals who are informed aboutgenderequality issues to:1) make a sketch of what gender equality rights education ought to look like,2) formulate a rationale for educating young people about gender equality rights;3) set some priorities for educational decision-making, and4) probe the education system for a means to inspire, implement and sustain goalsand objectives about gender equality rights education in the schools (seeAppendix A).In the process of asking these kinds of questions, I thought I might come to a clearerunderstanding of what we mean by gender equality rights education. The researchmethod resembles a hypothetical project planning session.I speculated that individuals who work closely with gender equality issues in thepublic sector, especially those with a link to or interest in education, would be in a goodposition to know what the arguments for and against gender equality rights educationin the schools are.26 If I could interview members of such a group of individuals to14answer some questions about gender equality rights education, I might accomplish fivethings:1) Gauge the significance of my inquiries to others by the degree of interest shownin participating in the research study,2) Gather data that might be perceived to have merit by education professionalsbecause of the participants’ positions in society,3) Discover a unique critical perspective on the subject by focusing informed, butnot normally consulted, opinion onto what appears on the surface to be aneducational matter,4) Gather together a body of ideas from which might emerge a direction to takeshould we decide to further education about gender equality rights in the schools,and5) In answering some questions about curriculum, pedagogy, educational leadership,etc. I might come to some idea of what gender equality rights education is.Ill GENDER EOUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATIONGender and legal equality addresses issues of procedural and substantive accessto the justice system so that we can fully benefit from our rights. In order to exerciseour rights, we need two kinds of knowledge about the law, ‘how to’ knowledge and‘knowledge about’. ‘How to’ knowledge includes coming to an understanding of thestructure of the justice system, how it governs our lives, and how to use it. ‘Knowledgeabout’ includes coming to understand the moral principles that we protect as a societythrough our laws.15Many of these issues require systematic explanation and the goals of gender andlaw-related education are likely best met, at least while the ideas are new to students,in a formal curriculum.Young people are likely to benefit at some time in their own life from theprogress we have made in bringing about reforms to social institutions as a result ofgender equality rights. Is this all that young people need to know about gender equalityrights?This paper deals with this and other related questions about the purpose, goals,and objectives of gender equality rights education.16NOTES TO CHAPTER ONE1. Bakan Constitutional interpretation and social change: you cant always get what you want(nor what you need). Canadian Bar Review, 1991, 70, 307-3282. Holme. Where B.C. Women Stand: 1990 Simon Fraser University, 19903. Wasserstrom. A defense of programs of preferential treatment. Phi Kaoia Phi National Forumjournal 1978.4. Weiler and Elliot. Litigating the Values of a Nation 19865. B.C. Ministry of Education Gender Equity Program - definition of gender equity is “freedomfrom discrimination and bias based on gender.” The program was one outcome of BarrySullivan’s Leacv for Learners report in 1988.6. Section 15(sb.1) - equal protection under the law, (sb.2) is about equal benefit of the law.7. Coombs. Equal access to education: the ideal and the issues. [UBC - forthcoming}8. MacDonald. The meaning of equity. Canadian Women Studies 1991-1992 12(3).9. Razack. Feminism and Law: the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund and the Pursuitof Equality in the Eighties 199110. LEAF gives priority to test cases that will have the greatest impact on the experience of asmany women as possible.11. There is no one single feminist critique of law.12. Coombs13. Hughes. Access to Justice: A Report of the Justice Reform Committee. Ministry of theAttorney General of B.C. 198814. The Greenberg-Lake study found that for young black women the influence of home andcommunity was dominant. Shortchanging Girls. Shortchanging America AmericanAssociation of University Women, 199015. Shakeshaft A gender at risk Phi Delta Kappan 1986 67(7)16. One reason is students are not empty vessels that we fill to an equal level. The fact thateducation has “unequal” results works to the benefit of society in providing new ideas andworld views. But this paper is about artificial barriers that exist for some and not for othersthat limit choices without just reason.1 7. LEAF intervened in this case because of the broader implications for women if the courtsinterpreted “hate” propaganda in its narrowest literal sense (biased pamphlets etc.) Later,LEAF made a successful case against pornography in Butler on the Keegstra judgmentbecause the judge took a broad view of hate that included attitudes, verbal and written17language, as well as behavior, repetitive visual imaging of a category of persons (in this casewomen) that depicts subjugation, humiliation, etc.18. Andrews, a male British lawyer, sought a declaration that the requirement of Canadiancitizenship for admission to the bar of British Columbia contravened the equality provisionsof the Charter. For good descriptions of various interpretations of Supreme Court decisions,read Diana Majury’s “Equality and Discrimination according to the Supreme Court ofCanada” in the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 1990-1991 4.19. Taken from the Executive Summary of the Gender Equality in the lustice System Report LawSociety of B.C. 1992.20. Taken from an address by former Madame Justice Bertha Wilson to the National Associationof Women and Law Conference Healing the Past, Forming the Future Feb. 199321. By this I mean we mean to use other ways than concrete life experiences of women todetermine the existence of gender bias and discrimination, especially in our institutions.Litigation and advocacy can bring about social change but it does so one case at a time.Litigation is slow and costly, financially and emotionally. Litigants, members of coalitionsand advocacy groups, etc. have nearly all been women from the public.22. Case, Roland. On the Threshold: Canadian Law-related Education. 1985.23. See Daniels and Case. Charter literacy and the administration of justice in Canada, June199224. Quade, E.S. (Ed. 3rd ed. Grace M. Carter) Analysis for Public Decisions 198925. As we shall see in Chapter Two, the group had only three male participants, therefore wasnot in a statistical sense socially representative. However, men are underrepresented in thegender equality rights movement in general so in spirit the group was in fact sociallyrepresentative!26. Daniels. Diversity as an educational principle. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 1993 25(1) p.75 “ is important that those who have expertise either in the disciplines or in pedagogyshould have a major role - even if only advisory. This is hardly an unusual suggestion, butwhat appears not to have happened is routine public debate amongst experts about forexample revisions to the basic curriculum.”18CHAPTER TWO - THE RESEARCH METHODSINTRODUCTIONI have not been able to find convincing academic research in the area of gender,law, and schooling, to inform the analysis of my research material. Substantive researchwill no doubt be undertaken as topics emerge from debates now going on about genderequity in education and feminist legal theory. But information that may be relevant tointerdisciplinary research projects, of which this paper is an example, may not be inprint. Our libraries are not set up to search effectively for sub-topics that are not as yetcross-referenced in the Library of Congress indexing system. For example, because thesubject of gender equality rights education is relatively new, the most interesting ideasmay be in unpublished monographs, graduate theses, and reports of law-related projectsfrom community-based organizations. Also, it is the nature of gender studies at presentto deal with several overlapping issues at once. This makes the retrieval of field-specificinformation like gender, law and schooling very difficult.For my research, I used unconventional resources, such as reports from a varietyof community-based and school-based events, activities, and projects that focus ongender equality rights education in both a legal and sociological context. The materialcame my way as part of work I was already doing in the community and the schools asa speaker for West Coast LEAF. I literally stumbled on the fact that educating youngpeople about gender equality rights was an underdeveloped part of public legaleducation. My experiences led me to look a little further, at formal schooling. However,an increasing amount of activity over the past two years in some community-based19organizations seems to indicate a strong interest in the community to educate youngpeople about gender equality issues.1 Regrettably, the total number of young peoplereached and consulted in these initiatives, and the impact of these initiatives on youngpeople, is little known to us. The level of legal knowledge that may have been part ofthese initiatives is also unknown. And we cannot expect that the community effort,however well-intentioned, will provide what a substantive body of academic researchwould provide in the way of normative guidance for these endeavors.The background research offered very little help in coming to know how to thinkabout the development of gender equality rights education. I realized I would need aresearch method that would allow me to utilize a known theoretical framework, suchas we have for curriculum and instruction, to talk about an unknown quantity, in thisinstance gender equality rights education. The Delphi method seemed to offer thenecessary degree of flexibility. Delphi is a method that allows a theory to evolve fromthe research material rather than testing a preconceived theory against the material.I. A DELPHI SURVEYA. THE DELPHI METHODThe Delphi method is a qualitative research methodology that requires that agroup of experts be willing to share their expertise and work toward a consensusresolution of important matters in a particular subject or field of study. The interviewquestions and interview process are organized in such a way as to encourage input ofthe participant into the content, scope, depth, and creativity of the interview. Theresearcher usually follows up each interview with a summary. Participants are free to20check that their views are reported accurately. The researcher then re-interviews orrevises the initial interview material at the request of the subject. The material issummarized an re-circulated amongst the participants, who are the only constant in thestudy. It usually takes three revisions for a convergence of views to occur.2In this case, the research was limited to the former requirement, the sharing ofexpertise with the researcher. There were two main reasons for this. First, my desire tohave a socially representative group of participants meant that I involved a large numberof individuals (20). At a practical level, it takes a great deal of time to co-ordinatehuman subjects for a single study. A full-scale Delphi study in reality involves aminimum of three consecutive research projects. Given the confines of a master’s thesis,I chose to initiate rather than implement a full-scale Delphi study. Second, at presentthe issues we are faced with in gender equality rights initiatives are so expansive that,as we shall see, even the language we use to investigate the issues becomes part of thestudy. Nevertheless, it was possible to set some goals to frame the Delphi study in away that would make a continuation of the study possible at a later date. They are:1) to identify some beliefs, assumptions and expectations some leading educators,feminists and legal professionals have about educating young people aboutgender equality rights;2) to analyze these beliefs, assumptions and expectations to see whether there isagreement about what young people should learn about gender equality rightsand how they should learn it, and whether that agreement conforms to existingtheory and practice in law-related education i.e. curriculum, pedagogy,21evaluation, implementation, development of learning resources, and leadership;and3) to formulate a statement of purpose, goals and objectives for undertaking genderequality rights initiatives in B.C. schools.The value of the Delphi method is that it is based on the principle that the viewsof individuals who are considered to be leaders in the field in question have intrinsicmerit.3 The researcher predetermines the conceptual framework of the research, decideshow to collect material from the participants, and controls the research setting. Butwithin these parameters, the format that is selected by the researcher ought to give firstpriority to allowing the participants to express freely their views about the subject.1. THE INTERVIEWSI chose to interview twenty people. The interview format entailed personalinteraction between myself and the participants. Personal interaction can sometimesreduce the authenticity of research material. Therefore there were several complicationsthat I knew that I ought to take into consideration in advance.4 They can occur atdifferent stages of the process: the approach to and preparation of the preliminarypaperwork; the selection of participants; the set-up of the interviews; what happensduring the interviews; the follow-up to the interviews; and the treatment and analysis ofthe material. These complications include:1) hearing a false consensus (or wholism) in the material that is in fact imposed onthe material by the researcher;222) distortion in the material due to an over-investment in the results of the researchon the part of the participants (eg. they might not “open up” to the researcher orthey might overstate their views) or on the part of the researcher (eg. selectivememory, asking leading questions, arguing with views expressed, or embellishingthe material, that is allowing the material to answer questions that were notactually asked);3) pontificating by the participants (using the interview to push a world view ratherthan addressing the topic or questions at hand) or by the researcher(monopolizing the interview, doing more talking than listening)54) uncritical listening by the researcher due to over-identification with theparticipants (negative or positive reactions to personality, charisma, etc.);5) allowing results or comments from previous interviews to leak into subsequentinterviews and asking leading questions in the guise of clarifying a point; and6) in the case of research that relates to the schools, there is the possibility that thematerial will not be relevant to the diverse experience of young people in B.C.due to the relatively privileged societal position of the participants.Marshall and Rossman6 point out some adjustments that can be made in theresearch process that may balance out some of the circumstances that can complicatethe results of the research. But to my mind, producing authentic results from theinterviews largely depends on the discipline of the researcher and the co-operation ofthe participants. Some care in the preliminary planning stages such as how participantsare selected, the way the interviews are conducted, the treatment of research material,23and follow-up procedures, etc., can make an important difference. The point is how tomake those adjustments without sacrificing the positive aspects of establishing apersonal connection between researcher and participant. Consequently, I tried toincorporate the recommendations of Miles and Huberman and of Marshall and Rossman,while at the same time I took precautions that I thought might strengthen discipline andco-operation during the research process.a. Preparing the groundFirst of all, I wanted to be as clear as I could be about my role as researcher andmy expectations of the interview process. In particular, it was important that theparticipants understand that I would be passive about the content of the interviews. Itwas not my role to judge, rebut or interpret their comments. Rather, my role was tofacilitate open and frank comments from them in response to the interview questions.I communicated in writing with the participants before the interviews andincluded a draft of the questions that would commit me in advance to a standardizedframework for each of the interviews (see Appendix A). I anticipated that theparticipants would have varying “comfort zones” with regard to myself as theresearcher7,the interview process, and the interview questions. I was as flexible aspractical considerations allowed me to be about the time, location and length ofinterviews. The participants were free to prepare for the interview in any way theychose, and to address the questions during the interview in any order they chose. In thisway, I hoped to circumvent the problem of setting the priorities for the session byordering the questions myself.24b. Interview setting and proceduresEach participant was interviewed separately and confidentially at a location anda time of their choosing. Each interview lasted, on average, fifty minutes.With the written consent of the participants, I taped the interviews so that laterI could recover accurate wording if I was in doubt and so that I would be free to takedown main points in my notes and listen reflectively duringthe interview sessions. Withthis technique, the listener “reflects back” the words of the speaker without analysis ordebate.c. Follow-up to the interviewsParticipants were invited to add to or discuss with me their own interview anytime following the formal interview. A thank-you letter was sent to every participantwhich also included a confirmation of the Consent Form that each participant had signedbefore their interview took place.2. THE PARTICIPANTS (Appendix B)a. Selection of participantsIt was not a requirement of the research that the twenty participants all beintimately knowledgeable about either the B.C. school system in general or curriculumdevelopment in particular. In a Delphi study, participants need be selected solely ontheir professional qualifications and/or experience in the area of gender equality rights.At first, I wanted to avoid the personal bias that might result if I handpicked theparticipants. However, I decided that my wish to have a socially representative groupof participants was a positive bias and that it could be justified for many reasons, not theleast of which would be the enrichment of the study by the diversity of ideas I might25encounter. I cannot escape from my historical time. What I mean is that I had a strongsense of what a socially representative group would include; mainly women whoidentified themselves with the interest of minority groups such as women of color,lesbians, native and disabled women. This may sound like “formula” thinking aboutunderrepresented social groups. But more to the point, I sensed that I would feel on apersonal level that my research was incomplete without such a group. Choosing toinclude as many as twenty people to interview gave me a better chance of meeting myown criteria.Therefore, in seeking out participants, my first priority was to identify womenand men who have first-hand experience thinking through and making decisions aboutgender equality rights issues, by virtue of their jobs or their positions on publiccommittees. My second priority was to select a mix of educators, feminists and legalprofessionals. And my third priority was to produce a socially representative group.When forced to choose between equally qualified individuals, I factored in the personallife experiences of each candidate. But I also favored individuals who were parents. Ihoped for but did not plan for a range of ages amongst the participants, which in factI managed to achieve.8 Also, it was difficult to include men as participants in the study,given the criteria. Kim Campbell, who was the federal Minister of Justice at the time,reported the same problem in her address to the National Symposium of Women andthe Law, June 1991, p. 16This is not a meeting to learn about gender equality ingeneral. We did experience difficulty, however, in findingmen who either would consider themselves knowledgeableon this subject or are recognized as experts on these topics;26and I think this poses another challenge to Canadian societyto ensure that this fundamental issue of gender equality isnot isolated as a women’s issue.The group of participants was self-selecting in the sense that:1) a finite number of jobs, task forces, etc. relating to gender equality rights exist,2) I had to choose from that finite pool of individuals because of my criteria,93) the interviews had to be conducted within a definite time period, and4) I did not offer an incentive, such as an honorarium, in order to encourageparticipation.Interestingly enough, it was hard to come up with interview candidates who wereknowledgeable but not proactive in or supportive of the gender equality rightsmovement. Judges who may be called upon to hear gender equality rights cases are apossible exception. However, access to that pool of resource people is limited for avariety of reasons, a major reason being the desire of many members of the judiciary torestrict their contact with the public outside their judicial duties.b. Profile of the participantsSeven participants based their comments about gender equality rights educationon direct experience workingwith the educational system [Avril, Rapin, Bruneau, Brown,Thomas, Caidwell, Fulton]. The opinions of five participants were partly the result ofreflections on their experience of the impact of the educational system on their ownchildren, in addition to their professional work [Bruce, Jaffer, Brown, Bain, Chuly] Manyparticipants referred to their knowledge of the legal system to draw parallels between27law and education as institutions [Bain, Bakan, Boyle, Boyd, Bruce, findlay, George,Harvey, Jaffer, Maloney, Sheehy-Culhane].1°B. INTERVIEW QUESTIONING1. THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONSThe questions I hoped to answer are summarized as follows:1) What do we mean by gender equality rights education?2) What are the essential points about gender equality rights that ought to bepassed on to young people?3) What principles ought to be honored at every level of decision-making aboutgender equality rights education? and4) Does schooling from K-i 2 embody the principles, goals and objectives of genderequality rights education?The interview questions were simply a framework to guide the interviews towardsthese broader issues. The questions were broadly based on the sorts of things weusually need to know before we develop curriculum. My interest in the interviews,however, included more than the structure of curriculum. I had spent considerable timein coming to an appreciation of the issues that gender equality-seekers (groups andindividuals) encounter in their work. In understanding the language that the participantsused when they talked about gender equality rights education, I benefited from myobservations, relationships and experiences as an educator working closely with othereducators, feminists, and legal professionals in the field of women and the law, readings28I did as part of that work in contemporary research and public policy arising from thegender equality rights movement, and participation in law-related events and activitiesorganized in the community, such as Law Day at the courthouse, youth symposiums,etc. In addition, I was aware of a wide spectrum of arguments about whether or notgender issues ought to be taught in schools and if so, whether or not they ought to begiven special treatment in the schools. Mostly, I heard these arguments articulated inclassroom discussions and presentations during graduate courses in Women andEducation and Women at the University of British Columbia.The interviews were guided by the questions but the interview format was flexibleenough to allow participants to tell anecdotes in illustration of their points. In somecases, the participants added questions of their own, for instance questions about therelationship between schooling and family expectations of young people. It wastempting as a researcher to ask them why they agreed to participate in the study. Someof the anecdotal material in the interviews suggested their motives. However, none ofthe participants made direct statements about it and I did not ask them.2. MANAGING INTERVIEW MATERIALa. During the interviewsMy job during the interviews was to listen reflectively and to take notes. ThusI spent my time in the interviews alternating between silent listening, writing down themain points, reading back comments to the participants using phrasing such as “is it fairto put it like ... can I sum it up as ... does this sound like what you said?” forclarification and so that my re-wording of their comments would be on tape. The29challenge was to clarify their comments without entering into a debate or analysis oftheir ideas. I wanted to be particularly careful with ideas that I had not heard before.Happily for me, the participants were so articulate is was rarely difficult to catch theirmeaning.In order to avoid setting the priorities in the interview, I allowed the participantsto respond to questions in their own way and in any order they chose. The schedule ofinterviews was set according to when the participants were available. In this way I didnot control whose views I would hear first. I did not introduce any vocabulary into theinterviews that I had not already used in either my correspondence with the participantsor in the questions themselves. And I avoided offering examples except in cases wherean illustration would clarify what the participant said.My notes are mostly quick summaries of the points made, generally organizedunder the questions. This was a judgment call. Many of the participants were nonlinear in their approach to the questions. Sometimes it was hard to tell which questionthe participant had in mind while speaking. What sounded like the answer to onequestion would turn into a response to another one. Since I did not wish to interruptthe flow of their thinking, I made quick decisions about where to locate items. I knewthat the information in the notes could be verified by the tapes if necessary. Quotationmarks in the notes indicate to me direct quotes. Comments that I simply could not sortout quickly were flagged in the margins for reconsideration later.b. Following the interviewsI waited a few weeks after finishing the interviews to transcribe my notes. Ithought that what still made sense to me then would likely be a good foundation for30analyzing what the participants had said. The notes were transcribed into the computerverbatim. When the origin of any part of the notes was unclear to me, I either excludedthe item from the transcript but flagged it with a question mark in the notes, or I put itin square brackets in the transcripts.C. ANALYTIC FRAMEWORKIn coming to analyze the Delphi material, it was clear that I could notaccommodate in the thesis every idea, concern, and suggestion from the interviewmaterial. I needed a way to condense the findings which retained the richness of thematerial. I solved this problem to a reasonable level of satisfaction as follows. I readthrough the interviews with three categories of ideas in mind that I thought wouldcapture the spirit as well as the novelty of the material. The first category was ideas thatfit the purpose, goals and objectives of law-related education; second, ideas that wererepeated and emphasized in the majority of the interviews; and third, ideas that stoodout as unique in comparison to what was said generally in the interviews.I read the transcripts over, sketching in main themes and looking back over thetranscripts for examples. In an attempt to be open-minded about all the transcripts, Isaved those that I thought had influenced me most strongly until last. I decided thatthemes supported by comments in over half of the transcripts would be consideredprimary. Secondary themes would have to show up in at least five transcripts. Inorganizing the findings of the study, I defined “many” participants as ten to nineteen,“several” as five to ten, and “a few” as less than five. Most of the participants attempted31to answer all of the interview questions rather than to develop any particular questionor category of questions.Much of the interview material indicates the presence of a kind of subtext madeup of assumptions, beliefs and expectations held by the participants. I thought it wouldbe useful to try and bring these thoughts to the surface. This was not to discredit ordiminish their ideas in any way. But I would argue that it is necessary because of theprivileged position of the participants in society. Most of the participants occupy highlevel positions and attend meetings that determine policy in their respective professions.I viewed them as modelling approaches to gender equality rights education.A great deal of the analysis of the interview material involved working backwardsfrom statements. For example, I worked backwards from many suggestions aboutcurriculum in order to determine what principlethe suggestions were intended to satisfy.I tested these principles against the reasons given for educating about gender equalityrights. I also compared the basic principles in the transcripts with each other to see ifI could find a pattern. Did the principles I formulated for each interview cross over,complement, or compete with those in other interviews? Collectively, did theseprinciples lead to a set of coherent goals and objectives for educating about genderequality rights so that I could make a claim about what ought to be tried in schools?One of the appealing characteristics of the Delphi method for me is that it isflexible. Delphi researchers ought to be open to the unexpected. In my study, three ofthe participants chose to critique the interview process as part of the study. It seems thatthere are at least three ways of looking at gender equality rights education that do notconform to the traditional approach to curriculum development that I used as a32framework for the Delphi study. These are part of Chapter Three. They open up awhole new set of questions that could be part of another study. I mention them here,though, to make a point about Delphi. It is hard to imagine anomalous ideas about theresearch process appearing in a written questionnaire or multiple choice survey ofexpert opinion. I think that the Delphi method, and in particular the interview format,allowed participants to think out loud as it were about new ideas and they enjoyed theopportunity to do so.II SUPPORTIVE RESEARCHANALYSIS OF DOCUMENTS. REPORTS AND OTHER PAPERS, AND INFORMALINTERVIEWSI formulated my first impressions of gender equality rights education for youngpeople during a work study project that I elected to do in the field of gender equalityrights in preparation for writing my thesis on a gender and law-related topic.During the three years that I worked for the West Coast (Women’s) LegalEducation and Action Fund (West Coast LEAF) I was responsible for the management anddevelopment of two public education initiatives in women and the law. I alsorepresented West Coast LEAF for a time on the law-related education committeecoordinated by the Legal Services Society of B.C., which monitored changes to the Law12 curriculum proposed by the B.C. Ministry of Education.It was in the course of these projects, and the committee work they involved, thatI began to consider seriously the lack of substantive education about gender equalityrights for young people.33My first project was a speaker’s bureau. Working from a manual about theCharter of Rights and Freedoms, and gender equality law, it was my job to train adultspeakers to address a variety of groups - including schools, community associations,parent consultative committees, unions, etc. - on a variety of gender equality rights andsocial policy issues. As part of the project, we developed some resources suitable foradult audiences. For Law 1 2 and Social Studies class presentations, we tried to getmaterials from the public legal education services to suit the youth audience but had tonecessarily build into the existing material what we thought was important to talk toyoung people about gender equality rights. I had regular contact with classroomteachers and through this contact, I started to get the idea that we needed morepresentations on more topics for students, but also for teachers.For my second project, the Equality ‘92 Youth Conference, we generated ahandbook for young people that was a combination of existing resource material foryouth collected from the public legal education network (and a variety of women’sgroups) and new material written especially for the conference on six gender equalityrights topics. They were: work and family, violence against women, poverty,employment equity, sexual harassment and media imaging of women.Contact with young people during these two projects provided me with a viewof the kinds of questions and concerns that young people have about gender equalityrights issues. The Legal Services Society offers telephone call-line service that is usefulfor specific legal questions. But many young people I spoke to in Law 12 classes couldnot formulate questions about the broad social issues that gender equality rights34addresses well enough to research such issues in the Legal Services library on their own.I did not survey the resources available on gender equality rights in school libraries.The inclusion of a Women and the Law unit in the new Law 12 curriculumwould make a difference to only the comparatively small number of young people whotake Law 12. And the dearth of resource material available for the course left me withthe impression that the whole idea of gender equality rights education for young peoplewas underdeveloped. Gender equality rights for young people did not seem have theserious attention of the schools or the legal community.Following this investigation, I looked at a library search done at Simon FraserUniversity and the University of British Columbia, looking for academic research papersin the area of youth, legal literacy, and gender equality. But the relationship betweenyoung people, access to justice, and gender equality rights was not addressed. Whenthe Law Society of B.C. published their report on gender bias in the justice system, boththe schools and the public legal education network were cited as important to theeducation of young people about gender equality rights issues. This prompted me to doa research project about the need for gender equality rights education in the schools.It was at this point that I began to attend the Ministry of Education Gender EquityProgram conferences, and to talk to school-based educators about gender equality rightsinitiatives in their schools or classrooms. I also began to read reports like We’re Here,Listen to Us by the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women11 about theinterests and needs of young people, in particular young women, in relation to genderequality rights.35Essentially, what I was looking for was evidence of any commitment in the legalcommunity, government, academia, women’s groups and the educational system togender equality rights education for young people. In the course of my investigation,I thought about gender equality rights education as a course of study in law. I still do,but my perspective on why we ought to educate about gender, law and equality andhow we ought to go about it changed as a result of the Delphi study.SUMMARYIn summary, this paper queries the level of knowledge about and systemic supportfor gender equality rights education in B.C. schools as evidenced in five areas thatgovern educational practice: curriculum, pedagogy, allocation of resources,implementation of policy, and school leadership. I wanted to establish whether or notmy impression is true that the level of knowledge about and systemic support for genderand law-related material seems weak in comparison to the scope and depth of theimpact on our other social institutions of the gender equality rights movement.12 Someexamples are the proliferation of employment equity policies, sexual harassment officeson campuses, and mediation services in family court.To gather background for this paper, I examined some spin-off activities generatedby the gender equality rights movement in a cross-section of public legal education andadvocacy organizations. I particularly looked for gender and law-related material thatcould be used by and related to the experience of young people; and was available tothe educational system. I conducted a parallel investigation of the educational system36using as a guideline the five areas of educational practice mentioned above. The processwas intended to be exploratory rather than exhaustive or conclusive.The gender equality rights movement is more than a law reform movement, Itis also a social reform movement that is affecting our public institutions. However,changes to our laws and to our legal system are the most visible, and I would argue themost commonly debated, feature of the movement.13 So in documenting material, itmade sense to limit myself to gender equality law and how the community and theschools facilitate or fail to facilitate the education of young people about that law. Asummary of my findings is reported in the following section as an overview of theperceived potential for educating young people about gender equality rights.37NOTES TO CHAPTER TWO1. For ex. community groups such as OASIS, Burnaby Multicultural Society, Congress of BlackWomen have held youth conferences and programs related to gender equality issues.2. Quade, E.S. (Editor 3rd edition Grace M. Carter) Analysis for Public Decisions 19893. The idea is that their observations and conclusions are based on a substantive degree ofpersonal experience dealing with the subject and can be evaluated in a publicly-recognizedmanner.4. Miles and Huberman Qualitative Data Analysis 19845. There is a line between strong views, which is what we ask of the participants, andpontificating6. Marshall and Rossman. Designing Qualitative Research 19897. I have worked professionally with three of the participants.8. Individuals who held elected political office at the time of the interviews were notconsidered for this study if their political job seemed to be their only connection to genderequality rights issues. Holding political office is not a professional qualification, nor need itindicate relevant prior experience.9. In other words, if no woman of color had occupied such a position, I would not have hada woman of color as a participant.10. One participant’s name is withheld from a the document at her request. A few otherparticipants will not be mentioned by name in the findings of the study but are reported asparticipants in the study. All the interview material was considered as part of the findingsand conclusions of this theses.11. Holmes and Silverman We’re Here, Listen to Us!: A Survey of Young Women in CanadaCanadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women 1992.12. Wasserstrom.13. Consider, for example, the current balancing of the interests of both victims and defendantsin rape cases.38CHAPTER THREE - FINDINGSINTRODUCTIONMy research indicates that knowledge about gender equality rights is notaccessible to young people in B.C. schools in a useful way. In spite of what could andought to be made available to sustain gender equality rights education in the schools,there does not appear to be either a plan to increase gender and law-related material inthe formal curriculum, or a way to raise awareness of what appears to be a significantgap between a body of knowledge gained by the legal system at considerable publicexpense, and inclusion of that knowledge in the schools.While much about gender inequality in society is public knowledge, readilydiscussed, and the subject of serious academic attention in law and higher education,a coherent approach to educating about gender equality rights in the public schools hasnot emerged from the Ministry of Education.1 Not only do we lack formal guidelinesfor educating about gender equality rights, but we cannot determine the extent to whichwe do educate, in practice, about gender equality rights because activities in theinformal curriculum and the school environment are undocumented. The task ofretrieving information from the schools is virtually impossible until we are much clearerabout what we would look for as gender equality rights education. Beyond readilyidentifiable legal content inside the formal curriculum, we need to clarify what we arelooking for when we seek evidence of gender equality rights education.39I THE DELPHI STUDYI began the research with the hypothesis that knowledge about gender equalityrights is not accessible to young people in the schools in a useful way. Part of theproblem is that the schools do not provide a disciplined thinking environment, such asa formal curriculum, for the study of gender equality rights. This does not mean,however, that the schools are silent on gender equality rights. It does mean thatknowledge about gender equality rights is likely provided in association with otheractivities in the formal and informal curriculum, and in the school culture. This processought to be examined in the context of defensible goals and objectives of genderequality rights education.There is no consensus in the Delphi material about what these goals andobjectives are right now. However, there is general agreement on what gender equalityrights education would promote in an educative sense. In fact, many of the suggestionsindicate that law-related education ([RE) and gender equality rights education (GERE)have much in common. Like [RE, gender equality rights education would in part:1) promote learning that advances the ideals of justice in a democratic society;2) draw on parallels taken from the history of law about the progress of social justicein our society;3) advise students of their democratic rights and obligations as citizens;4) prepare students to exercise foresight in their behavior based on what theyunderstand about the principles of law and order, and respect for the rule of law;5) explain how the justice system works and how to use it as individuals or as partof advocacy groups;406) study examples of legal cases that show how laws protect, and sometimesprescribe, what we believe to be central societal values;7) bring students to an appreciation that public policy is the result of practicalreasoning about laws and has a far-reaching influence in their lives; and8) teach students a variety of academic skills, in particular those associated withcritical thinking, such as the ability to select relevant facts in problem solvingexercises, grasp the meaning of legal language, analyze legal constructs,distinguish between fact and belief, etc.Regardless of the similarities, however, there are two significant findings from theDelphi study that ought to be taken into consideration if we wish to use law-relatededucation as a conduit for gender equality rights education. First, the study of socialjustice for women ought not to be a matter of chance, either in school or in society.At present law-related education is minimal in B.C. schools. Second, indifference togender equality rights issues in decision-making about educational matters could hindergender equality rights education in the schools. For example, it is unlikely that theMinistry of Education would upgrade and expand the role of law-related educationthroughout the school system in order to ensure that we have the means to educateabout gender equality rights. Indeed a proposal to include a mandatory unit on Womenand the Law in the Law 12 curriculum was rejected in 1991.If we agree with the findings of the Delphi study, we would say that it would bea mistake to link the fate of gender equality rights education in the schools to that oflaw-related education. The low status afforded law-related education is quite likely an41indication of how a plan to formalize gender equality rights education as a legal coursewould be received at the curriculum negotiating table. But more to the point, as weshall see, the reasons why we should move gender equality rights education beyond theframework of a law-related curriculum involve concerns not to negotiate through oneparticular existing discipline.A. GENDER EQUALITY - A GAME OF CHANCEThe Delphi study indicated that even if carried out in an uncoordinated mannerat first, we ought to begin to educate young people about gender equality rights in theschools. Significant facts, concepts and values regarding gender equality rights are atpresent only incidental to their education. Students may have specific knowledge aboutgender equality rights but it will be fragmented and unevenly distributed amongst them.As a first step in educating about gender equality rights, we ought to create acontext for schooling that allows for what young people already know about genderequality rights (through the media, friends, etc.) to come to the surface so that we canconnect this informal knowledge to fundamental concerns about the effects of sexism insociety. If we fail to do so, we may risk that young people will perpetrate create moreharm to women in society in the future.There is sexism in society so there is sexism in schools. But, at the same time,schools are in a unique position to address gender inequality as a serious subject ofstudy, and model gender equality in practice for students and other institutions. Thisought to be done because students are in the care of educators for twelve years. Sexismdoes not cease to exist inside or outside the schools simply because we do not choose42to educate about it. Instead, we relegate to chance young people’s ability to cope withthe sexism that is part of ordinary life. In doing so, we sustain gender inequality.Gender equality is not achievable in the sense that at some point we can ceaseworrying about it. Equality - of race, gender, etc. - is not simply a measurable quantitybut rather an ideal. Concern for equality is a state of mind and a way of being in theworld that promotes equality rather than inequality. There is no good reason to delaythe development of an awareness of gender equality until after graduation.We can show, through gender equality rights cases for instance, how ourlanguage, actions and systems move us forward or back along a continuum.2 At oneend is the ideal, full legal and social equality. This idea of a continuum can help ussharpen our awareness of gender equality rights. It also helps us to remember thatequality is considered to be the normal state in a democratic society. in law equalityis the norm on that continuum. Inequality then is the abnormal state of affairs in ademocratic society. The language of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is definitive onthis point. Section 1 5 (Sb 1) states that “every individual j equal before and under thelaw”. The ability to analyze the progress of concepts like gender equality through thelegal system requires specialized knowledge that is not readily available outside a formallegal study. Those who have that knowledge, then, have a duty to ensure that at thevery least our public systems try to conform to the norm of equality [l3runeauj.However, an educated society is a better insurance against gender discrimination thana pool of experts. Those who have the power in society - law-makers, political leaders,educators, etc. - should not be left to wield it without regular input from the community.Public legal education and women’s advocacy groups play a role in negotiating the43terms of access to knowledge about our progress towards gender equality, particularlyin our social institutions.3 Gender equality rights education in the schools would helpcreate a stable channel for communication about gender equality rights from thecommunity to circulate through the schools and back to the community in anaccountable way. In effect, young people would learn while in school that theiropinions count. They would also learn how to make their needs and opinions heard asa routine part of their adult life. And finally, they would learn that thinking, educatedpeople care about gender inequality.Individual educators have some of that specialized knowledge of, as well as theability to understand, some developments in gender equality law and social policy. Itis questionable whether or not it is their duty to share that knowledge with young peopleif there is no recognition of gender equality rights education in the schools. This isunfortunate because schooling is the last opportunity to provide all young people witha basic understanding of the issues, and learn the language of, a public controversy thatthey will likely have to deal with at some point in their lives, whether or not theireducation has prepared them to do so [Rapin]. Although it is doubtful that genderequality rights initiatives are common throughout our society right now, the genderequality rights movement will likely be part of the future in various forms. Genderequality rights might take a long time to be actualized. But, this should not be a reasonfor ignoring them in education, but rather a reason to strengthen our efforts to educateabout gender equality rights, in the short term certainly but definitely for the term[Bakan, Brown, findlayj.444At a fundamental level, social justice will only come about as a result of theactions of individuals. But those of us who do not experience justice have less chanceof acting in a just manner towards others. For example, girls and women may knowmore about injustice than justice because they learn it first-hand through discriminatorysystems and practices in society. Whether they recognize it or not, they are thencapable of perpetrating gender discrimination. Left to chance, nothing in theirexperience may guide them to do otherwise. This is due in part because the institutionsthat influence them from an early age and are common to their experience, i.e. thefamily and the schools, are part of a patriarchal social system that is focused on theneeds of adult males. One problem this creates for females is that they do not learn tovalue women. Another problem is that women find themselves in competition witheach other from an early age for the attention of parents, teachers, men, and later forscarce resources available to them in society, like well-paid jobs. These dynamics canbe particularly devastating to women who are not by birth, circumstance or choice partof white middle class Anglosaxon abled heterosexual society.If there is a singular aim of gender equality rights education, is to collectively andcomprehensively address the deficit position of women as a distinct category of personsin relation to the economic and social benefits of our culture. The reduction, andeventual elimination, of systemic discrimination would go a long way towards levellingthe public ground that women must travel across to claim a fair share of the benefits ofour society. For many women, much of that time as adults is spent first discovering,then understanding and defending their rights, while men (and those women who arein a privileged position in relation to mainstream society) are reaping the benefits. But45this does not mean that gender equity rights education is primarily for female students.The changes and issues involved in gender equality rights have affected and will affectthe lives of male students as well as female.The diversity of ideas in the interviews is connected by an optimistic desire tomove young people forward from an apparent impasse between education and feminism.There are two possible ways to bring this about in the schools in the short term.Several of the individuals interviewed are in favor of compulsory gender equality rightseducation for school-based educators and for students [Avril, Fulton, Jaffer, Bakan,Sheehy-Cuihane, Bruce, Harvey]5 They argue that we have a right as well as a duty toeducate our young people properly about gender equality rights. This is not inconsistentwith the compulsory demands we make about other subjects in education, such asBusiness Education. The second approach is through systemic support andacknowledgement. We should be openly proud of educators who agree about theimportance of gender equality rights education and find ways of supporting their workin the system [Caidwell, Thomas, Bruneau, Bain, Rapin].Our main investment in society should be an education system that willempower young people with the mental clarity and emotional security to be able tojudge for themselves the important things we learn from the study of the evolution ofgender equality and to put their knowledge to good use on their own behalf in theirdaily lives. Gender equality rights education can be a vast source of social ideas, legalfacts and real-life stories that could both enlighten our students and possibly strengthenthe educational system. Educators at all levels of the educational system ought to46consider the impact of avoiding gender equality rights when they consider the impacton themselves of compulsory gender equality rights education.B. INDIFFERENCE TO GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATION IS GENDER BIASWithout exception, the twenty individuals I interviewed believe that to separateeducating about gender equality rights and furthering substantive gender equality insociety goes against commonsense. To study our rights is an important step they thinkin bringing about positive change in discriminatory laws and practices in society. Butas a legal study it cannot and should not stand on its own in the curriculum.A narrow focus on legal rights would allow for superficial and fragmentedcoverage of the economic, personal, socioeconomic, and political reality of women,without which we cannot fully understand gender equality laws. We must be carefulto teach that equality is an empty concept if it does not inform our social attitudes andbehavior [Bain]. Equality as a concept on its own is suspect as an aid to women. Itinvites quantitative analysis and solutions to very complex issues [Bakan, Boyd]. Themystique of law can project a false sense of certainty and security. It is important toremember that the systemic conditions in which laws are drafted are gender biased,producing unpredictable results for women [Brown]. Nor does the study of law sensitizeus to or enable us to deal with the different needs of ethnic minority women, womenof color, lesbian women, elderly women, or disabled women [findlay]. In fact the studyof legal rights in isolation from reminders about the collective nature of society, may infact have the reverse effect, dulling us to the needs of others, teaching us instead howto “trump each other with our inequality cards”[Boyd]. And finally, there is a temptation47in introductory courses in law to focus on the glamorous laws, such as Charter law,when in fact the laws that affect women’s lives the most are those which relate toordinary life: laws administered by regulatory bodies like the Workers CompensationBoard, the Labor Relations Board, and various agencies that regulate delivery of medicalservices for example [Bakan]. Nevertheless, the study of gender equality laws should beincluded in the curriculum somehow because case studies can make difficult ideas moreconcrete for young people and can give a “human face” to law.There are many forward-looking educative reasons to institutionalize longrangeplans for routine education about gender equality rights in the schools. Sustainededucation about gender equality rights from K-i 2 now might make it easier to introduceinto society later several important goals for women and men, such as: to preservegender relations; to defend human rights; to create gender liberation art and mythology;to institutionalize social justice; to re-formulate gender-equitable rights andresponsibilities of citizenship; and to set new community standards of morality. As acase study in systemic discrimination, gender equality rights would lend itself to theeducative objectives of existing school subjects and inspire new ones. For example, inSocial Studies from K-i 2, students would study how the socialization process isgendered, how to challenge the justice system in the context of respect for the rule oflaw, and how the dynamics of power and privilege work in society. In the generalcurriculum, students would be encouraged to undertake a critical deconstruction ofknowledge, values and belief systems, challenging a view cherished by traditionalthinkers that knowledge and social values not only exist, but are static and endure forall time. Thus, a sustained presence of gender equality rights education in the schools48would counterbalance and eventually reverse discriminatory practices, attitudes, socialbehavior, and language usage at all levels of our educational system to the benefit ofsociety.Conversely, there may be very good reasons not to educate about gender equalityrights in the schools. If so, these reasons ought to be made public so that we canformulate an opinion about gender equality rights education that is as informed aspossible.C. DUAL ROLE OF EDUCATING ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTSMany of the participants in the Delphi study thought that the dual nature ofgender equality rights education might present an ideological barrier as powerful assystemic discrimination to educators responsible for designing and implementingcurriculum aimed at formalizing gender equality rights education in the schools. Genderequality rights is at the same time a subject of intellectual inquiry and an appeal forchange in society.6A parallel in recent history is AIDS education. Medical information about AIDSthat is made public is not meant to be passive knowledge. We do not deny that weeducate about AIDS because we have a strong societal investment in influencing humansexual behavior in a particular direction. AIDS is imminently life-threatening and iseasily understood to be so.Similarly, can we educate about gender equality rights without taking a positionon sexism in society? One could argue here that the schools are under an obligation tokeep students informed about AIDS. However, in future it may be arguable that the49schools have a similar obligation in respect to gender equality rights. That genderinequality can be life-threatening is much harder to demonstrate. It may get easier ifinvestigative work in the areas of homicide and family violence, Battered WifeSyndrome, and occurrences of suicide and death by drug overdoses amongst womenproceeds.This duality might stall policy decisions, and subsequently delay the developmentof and allocation of resources, to gender equality rights education. Of particular concernto the participants is school-based educators, a group of individuals representingbackgrounds, experiences and values.7 This main barrier gives rise to the secondaryproblem of convincing school-based educators to behave contrary to the commonly-heldperception that gender equality rights education is partisan. [FN we speak here of theperception of educators working within the system as reported by participants in theDelphi study - Caidwell, Avril, Thomas, Brown, Rapin] In other words, many of theparticipants hold the opinion that school-based educators will be predisposed againstgender equality initiatives because they (the educators) believe that the gender equalityrights movement is geared to furthering the political agendas of special-interest groupswho do not represent the majority of Canadian women.8 If true, this is problematicbecause the most direct way to effect change in for women in education, aside fromcorrecting systemic gender discrimination, may well be by educating educators. Whateducators do not have knowledge about or experience with they cannot teach about ormodel in a useful way. The same factors that impede the progress of gender equalityin social discourse, behavior and institutions will be present in the schools.50To see a path into the schools for gender equality rights education may requireus to liberate schooling from the confines of our current notions about boundaries ineducation [Fulton, CaIdwell, findlay, Brown, Jaffer, Thomas]. The boundaries betweenthe roles of the schools, parents, church and community in educating young people areless distinct than they have been in the past. Traditionally, young people purportedlylearned gender roles and moral discipline from their families, spiritual values from theirchurch, social skills from their peers, cognitive skills from their school, and socialresponsibility from employers. However, when a critical mass of individuals in a societyshifts ground, the ripples touch everything else. This is what happened early in thetwentieth century when scientific thought ascended and formal religion declined in valuein the estimation of the educated classes and again during the Great Depression foreconomic reasons. Similarly, in recent times, the women’s movement was lent impetusby the civil rights movement in North America, a social revolution that crossed culturaland class boundaries and resulted in a re-examination of our traditional ideas ofschooling, family, work, church and community. It is significant that since womenjoined the workforce en masse in a serious way, change to our social institutions hasescalated. By serious I mean women seek vocational and professional positions inaddition to their traditional jobs as clerks, seamstresses and domestic workers. This isone indication that the traditional domestic role carried out by women in society upuntil the nineteen sixties, was an important part of a social structure designed tocompartmentalize and protect the jurisdictions of state, education, church, family, andcommunity. When women changed their relationship to their traditional roles, theboundaries between those jurisdictions were weakened for the present generation of51young people. However, we still educate as if this was not the case [Fulton, Bain,Thomas].The following ideas, gathered together under five broad themes, could be part ofan initial approach to gender equality rights education. Developed from thephilosophical and practical comments about curriculum, pedagogy and educationaladministration in the Delphi material, the ideas aim to help students and educators toenvision life in a society that accommodates the needs and aspirations of women andmen as determined .y women and men as equal participants in a concrete way. Wecan acknowledge that some educators face a dilemma because at a personal level theyare not committed to the goals of the gender equality rights movement as theyunderstand them. But at the same time, if our reasons for educating about genderequality rights in the schools are defensible, then we have reason to overrule the viewsof individual educators. Ultimately though, educators at all levels of the educationalsystem ought to take charge of the design and implementation of gender equality rightseducation. Individuals cannot prevent change but they can help to direct it.CURRICULUM. PEDAGOGY. SCHOOL CULTURE AND EDUCATIONALADMINISTRATIONThe parameters of the Delphi study precluded any in-depth discussion of any oneidea. The following is a sampling from five main themes about curriculum design andcontent discussed by participants. These are followed by a brief account of pedagogyand the administration of schooling. It is important to re-state that these ideas stood outbecause they would not necessarily come about if we depended solely on the existing52model of law-related education as I understand it in order to educate about genderequality rights. Particular ideas that would be part of law-related education are left outfor now. They are offered here not as complete arguments about or proof of what oughtto be done, but rather to indicate ideas that deserve more in-depth attention fromeducational researchers. Nearly all the participants tried to address every question thatwas asked on the interview sheet. Brown and findlay expanded on particular curricularthemes (different themes), and Harvey and Fulton spent a lot of time on administrativethemes. But they did not omit the other questions. The five themes are my way oforganizing their ideas, not theirs.9The first grouping of ideas is based on the view that all education is ideological.Young people ought to be encouraged to recognize such things as the political progressof gender equality issues through the system, the power dynamics that work to protectthe established social order, the relationship between legal equality and social justice,the distinction between political and partisan, and the role of public advocacy inmaking the changes we want to see happen. For example, individuals do not have toembrace feminism in order to study feminism as a social movement. There is ateachable distinction between a political decision and a politically correct decision. Weought to engage rather than avoid, the biases of students, teachers, and parents in theclassroom and engage in a critique of schooling from this perspective. The politicalcontroversy is about social equality or put another way, what our rights entitle us to andat what expense. This kind of study going on in the schools would help to make it morepossible to have discussions throughout the school - in classrooms, in school meetings,in lunch rooms - about culpability, for example. At some point our education has to53prepare us to take responsibility for what goes wrong in our society as well as what goesright. This has been well illustrated by the environmental movement.Students ought to practice formulating different political view points about genderequality rights and resolving conflicts between those views. A positive outcome is thatwe might have a generation of young people with a head start in understanding whatis required from our political system to actualize gender equality rights and to compareour system to other political systems, such as apartheid, to get an idea of how politicalsystems can help or hinder the progress of gender equality rights. In an address onInternational Women’s Day, March 8, 1993, the Secretary General of the United Nationsreminded the world that “equality between the sexes, and the development of effectivegovernmental responses to the needs of women will not come about until the voice ofwomen is heard in politics.10The second follows from the view that we should not behave as if we are alonein the universe [Brown, Rapin, findlay, Sheehy-Culhane, Bruneaul. All civilizations arestructured along gender lines, and there is good and bad in any social structure. Acomparison study can be done of choices that social groups make by enforcing orchanging laws, or choosing to organize units and responsibilities around gender. Anexample is the kibbutz system in Israel as an alternative to the nuclear family model weuse in North America.The third grouping aims to allow for psychological and emotional life as a naturalpart of schooling [Brown, Bruce, Thomas, findlay, Harvey, Jaffer, Bain]. This isparticularly important if we want to foster healthy relationships between young womenand men. For example, skills such as conflict resolution could be very useful in54improving any human relationship. But these skills need to be practiced. A school daythat is heavily scheduled with formal classes is not conducive to dealing withinterpersonal issues. Perhaps school life could emulate a more relaxed model.Emotional issues take time to work out and cannot always wait until the weekend to bedealt with.Emotional turmoil is partly the result of learning how to live with change,uncertainty, conflict and contradiction.11 One way we can learn this is to learn howto make our own choices. Making choices is part of exercising personal power.Opportunities to feel powerful in a context where other individuals also feel powerfulpromotes the development of human relationships that do not require that some havepower over others and that power is attached to birthright, class, intelligence, etc. Whatbetter environment do we have available to raise and model new ways of behaving. Anexample of what ought to change about the structure of schooling is that students oughtto take part in deciding about school rules and other matters that affect them. It isimportant to remember that gender inequality is pervasive in society. Much of thesexism experienced by young women will be perpetrated in the private sphere ratherthan the public sphere. Gender equality laws do not as yet have far-reaching jurisdictionin the private sphere. This is another good reason why young people have to take apersonal interest in independent thought and action in response to gender inequality.A fourth grouping is about dealing with differences [findlay, Bain, Boyd, Brown].A big part of educating about differences is finding a vocabulary that is not alreadyloaded with associations of racism, deviancy, etc. A sociolinguistic approach to genderequality rights education would help young people need to acknowledge difference but55come to understand what differences are significant and in what context. Here is anexample of how the same language serves different ideological purposes depending onthe context. Section 1 5 of the Charter uses difference in a positive way to protect thesocial, economic and political rights of disadvantaged categories of individuals. A goodstudy would be to show how those same differences are used to deny individuals theirhuman rights. The UN Secretary General in the same address announced that two thirdsof the member countries of the United Nations have ratified the Convention on theElimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.12 Although we cannotnecessarily fulfill high ideals, it seems that many people in the international communityagree with the feminist-minded groups and individuals who struggled for theestablishment of the convention that human rights and women’s rights are inseparable.What will count is the will to act in a just manner. We must resist perpetratingdivisions and focus on common humanity without whitewashing or ignoring differences.Another example is the language of sexuality. Mainstream sexuality isheterosexual and based on a Christian view of procreation and family life. It isreasonable that educating young people about sex would assume this to be the norm.What departs from a norm is typically referred to as deviant or abnormal. The word isharmless in the context of biology or clinical psychology, but in the context of genderequality rights for lesbian women it creates difficulties. The implications are notinnocent in this context. Traditional definitions of the family become problematic for thesame reasons, Individuals who are disabled had the same problem. Thus we havegone, in rapid succession, from “handicapped” to “people with disabilities” to56“physically or mentally challenged” because of the association words take on in publicusage. And so on.A fifth grouping concerns moral education and critical thinking. Gender equalityrights education ought to make clear connections between the principles of genderequality and the values of an educated person [Harvey, Bain, Bakan, Bruce, Bruneau,findlay, Fulton]. Understanding how we come to value what we do, what happenswhen we change our values, etc., are part of becoming psychologically and emotionallyflexible enough to cope with change in society. How we are treated on a daily basishelps us to make those decisions. Educators would be called upon to make visible tostudents their personal values and belief systems. This means spending a lot of timetalking about beliefs and values, and reaching few conclusions.Any approach to gender equality rights education ought to reflect the convictionthat the schools can mirror gender equality on a daily basis as well as to provideknowledge about gender equality rights to students simultaneously [Harvey, Fulton].Approaches to curriculum should not be viewed as definitive, linear, mutually exclusiveor dependent on a gender bias-free school environment. The challenge for the classroomteacher will be to raise the women question13 opportunities, and to welcome nonconformist and dissenting opinions on gender equality rights topics [Harvey].As in any innovation, we cannot assume that our initial ideas will bring about thedesired outcomes. We ought to reserve the right and the means to change our mindsas we go along. Nevertheless, we can make an effort to honor the diverse backgroundsand perspectives of educators, and therefore make it as easy as possible for as many aspossible to intervene in the existing curriculum and in the school culture with gender57equality rights initiatives. The assumption is that the willingness to intervene is afunction of two things: one, a school administration that values professionalindependent thought and action by educators; and two, the personal or professionalmotivation of individual educators.14D. CONVINCING EDUCATORS1. TAKING THE STING OUT OF ISMSFeminism has precipitated a system-wide concern about gender bias in education.But the public response to gender equality issues is complex. Female and maleeducators who work on the frontlines, running the schools and teaching in them, findthemselves under a public microscope [Fulton, Thomas]. Some teachers may choose toavoid involving themselves in gender equality initiatives unless clearly directed to do so,adopting a “wait and see” attitude [Caldwell, Avril].Educators might feel that they must take a position on sexism if they involvethemselves with gender equality rights in the curriculum. And they might wonder if thisis compatible with their role as educators. They might feel that feminism will be shownup as a set of mistaken beliefs with negative results for society that they would not wantto be associated with. For example, many educated people in Ontario opposed PremierBob Rae’s employment equity policy. Further, educators may be predisposed tominimalize the effects of sexism because their own formal education predates a feministcritique of culture.15 Some teachers are beginning to realize that they play a pivotalrole in shaping their students attitudes and behavior toward gender issues.16 But it isa lot to ask of educators who are already straining under budgetary cuts, larger classes58and special programs, to undertake self-education about gender equality rights in orderto teach about it or model it to students.But the following quote from the Introduction to the Gender Equity EducationTeachers Resource Guide, a project funded by the Ministry of Education Gender Equityprogram, cloaks an appeal from teachers for clear direction, though from whom isunclear:No teacher is deliberately sexist..we are highly trained anddeeply concerned colleagues who want to do what is bestfor our students ... whatever the label, this is the heart of theeducational process to which we are all committed.The editors go on to ask, while teachers know how to teach the curriculum, how canthey do “what is best” when “there is increasing evidence that teachers’ unconsciousbiases especially in the area of sexuality influence their classroom interactions.”Nevertheless, the editor says that educators must balance their professionalambivalences against the needs of their students.Young people may share many of these same feelings of ambivalence.17 Thedifference is that young people are more vulnerable to persuasive arguments, especiallywhen transmitted by personalities or forceful authority figures.18 It is the responsibilityof adults and educators to come to terms with professional ambivalence if it is in thebest interests of their students.Young people receive mixed messages on a daily basis about feminism. Theyhear about gender bias in the formal, informal and invisible curricula, and about sexismin their school culture and society at large. We do not know very much about how they59process this information. For example, we do not know if they know what makes anissue into a gender equality issue. To modify an axiom from history, what we do notunderstand we risk reproducing in our own lives unconsciously. But it is certain that wecannot help students to understand if we do not raise gender equality issues in adisciplined thinking environment. What we cannot talk about we cannot educate about.At present, there is no clear idea about how to do this that lends a measure ofconfidence and security to educators.192. WAITING FOR GODOTNo one is in charge of feminism, or sexism for that matter. While we wait forleadership, our students are at risk. They would benefit right now from informed andfocused attention on gender equality rights. Tension seems to be building up in societythat has negative consequences for all of us.2° This is linked in our minds to theequality rights movement. Much of what is happening in society is incomprehensible.For some, this is the only reason we need to bring gender equality rights educationforward in the curriculum now.Delay in giving shape and direction to understandingaboutgender equality rightsis not in the best interests of young people. We ought to mobilize all the resources wehave as educators on their behalf. We can begin with small objectives, likeacknowledging the conditions that impede our efforts to assume responsible control overeducating about gender equality rights, If we do not, we should be called upon publiclyto explain why we go on justifying those conditions instead of changing them, even ifit goes against our personal beliefs to do so.60We can show that schooling is bound by the same set of historical conditions thatgenerated inequitable results for women and men in other social institutions, notablylaw, marriage, and government. But it took a long time for these institutions to recognizesystemic discrimination. And only now are we beginning to see the affects in society.21Conceivably, if we do not intervene officially, in a focused and informed manner, theformal curriculum could remain silent on gender equality rights for some time [Avril].3. A HOUSE DIVIDEDBecause we do not intervene officially in the schools, we get mixed results there.Many teachers may take the initiative to try to deal with gender equality issues in theirclassrooms without curriculum guidance. Without guidance they may compound therisk to students, through misrepresentation of legal facts for example. In contrast, manyothers resent the whole idea. For them, educating about gender equality rights wouldbe tantamount to joining the equality rights movement against their will. Thiscontributes to tension among teachers. Hostile school environments tend to suppress thepositive forces for change. In the middle ground between proactive and hostileeducators are a mix of well-intentioned, skeptical, disinterested or unmotivatedindividuals. This produces very unpredictable results for students.22The main purpose of policy on gender equality rights education is to give shapeand direction to intervention in the curriculum. For example, gender equality lawsgive us a degree of certitude about what we value at least for a time. We could use thisknowledge as a foundation to help young people make sense out of what they see, hear,and feel, especially the senior students who are on the cusp of adult life with itsattendant duties and responsibilities. Many are of voting age, some are parents already.61But as things stand now, young people can not access this knowledge because it is notformally a part of the curriculum and supported by learning resources.4. BREAKING THE GROUNDWe make gender equality rights important by saying that they are. The longerthere is silence in the schools about gender equality rights the stronger is the messagethat educators, who are role models for our young people, do not attach significance tosuch facts that 7O°I of women who are single parents live in poverty, medicalpractitioners manipulate treatment to obtain sex from women patients, and that one infive of their female students will be beaten up by the men closest to them.Support for a focused, informed and official intervention would break the groundfor gender equality initiatives to succeed. A major conference on law and education,Law vs Learning: Examination for Discovery, held in Vancouver in June 1 988, covereda variety of issues but did not address gender bias in the law. Many people are workinghard at UBC, SFU, BCTF, and the Ministry of Education to arrange training institutes,revision of teacher education programs, funding for research and resource development.But it is essential to win support from educators in the field. School-based educatorscould accelerate the process of introducing gender equality rights education in theschools if they showed solidarity.235. EDEN REVISITEDPart of positive gender identity formation is knowing that you own your ownbody and control what goes on with it. The recent open dialogue and research aboutviolence against women has revealed to all of us the extent to which many women feelthey have no control over their lives and are not deserving of respect. The worst case62scenarios are women who stay in relationships with men who beat them. We want toturn the page on violence against women. To do so, women have to hear about theirworth and potential, modelled in their daily life, and experience it personally frominfancy to adulthood. Women cannot do this in a society of men which fosters theBiblical myth that Eve is to blame for everything that goes wrong for her and modelsmale stereotypes to their sons and daughters. Gender equality laws and policies areintended to be remedial in nature, allowing for financial settlements to pay forpsychological counselling for battered wives for example. But gender equality rightseducation is the story behind the laws that explains why these circumstances are nolonger acceptable in society. Learning how to behave well toward each other will havea positive impact on everyone.II THE SUPPORTIVE RESEARCHA. THE PERSPECTIVE OF PUBLIC LEGAL EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY GROUPSAND INDIVIDUALSThe public legal education and advocacy (PLEA) groups play a role in adulteducation about gender equality rights, and help to keep government informed aboutgender equality issues in B.C. For the purposes of this study, the question was if youngpeople were considered to be a part of that “public”. If this was the case, then I wouldhave expected to find coordinated efforts, such as workshops, conferences, etc. and agrowing number of resources, such as study papers, booklets, videos, etc. on a varietyof gender equality rights topics aimed at keeping young people up-to-date on and a partof the process of addressing gender equality rights issues. In my investigations, I found63some of this going on, but the examples are isolated from each other, the overall amountis minimal, and the educative value unproven. There is some limited access toinformation about gender equality rights but, taken as a whole, this cannot beconsidered to be education about gender equality rights. In the Delphi study, I did notacquaint the participants with the facts about how the community provides informationabout gender equality rights to young people. Greater use of community resources ineducating young people in the schools was suggested many times, but I do not knowif the participants knew what those resources look like now. However, Qi use ofcommunity resources was not recommended. Instead, what is envisioned is the creationof a broad base of support for gender equality rights that encompasses the educationalsystem and the community.1. THE RIGHT TO KNOW ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTSIn 1 988, only a year after the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights andFreedom became law, the Justice Reform Committee of B.C. published a report aboutissues of public access and the justice system in British Columbia.24 A critique of theB.C. report by the B.C. government followed quickly after, in 1989.25 It was in thissecond document that gender equality-seekers, coalitions of groups and individuals inthe community began to articulate for the government what would be required from thejustice system in order to guarantee substantive, rather than merely, procedural accessto justice for women in British Columbia. Amongst other goals, Jaws governingproperty settlements on marriage breakdown would have to be reformed and a newChild Protection Act drafted. Having the right to equal protection and benefit of the64law in principle is vital to gender equality rights, but actualizing that right in societymeans we will have to work steadily for substantive changes in many directions at once.It is not unreasonable to believe that an investigation of the role of law in settingpublic policy that addresses such gender equality issues as employment equity,reproductive rights, media censorship of violence against women cases etc., can bepartly based on the extent to which such issues end up in court. Legal action usuallydemonstrates a high level of commitment to decide an issue because the costs and timeinvolved in litigation can be prohibitive. Also these hurdles create a great deal ofemotional pressure to “get it right” the first time, because there are very few chances togo to court a second time on the same issue.26In the cases involving Section 15 (Sb. 1 and 2) of the Charter of Rights andFreedoms, commonly referred to as the equality rights provisions of the Charter, thegovernment eased some of this burden by establishing the Court Challenges Program.The mandate of the program was to invite and pay for test cases brought forward bygroups and individuals who might not normally have access to the justice system. Inother words, the government empowered the public to bring forward controversial issuesunder Section 1 5 in order to test the new law and to set precedents for future legaldecisions. In the view of many women, individuals and groups that had lobbied forgender equality rights to be part of the Charter, this was a clear signal from thegovernment that gender equality laws would be taken seriously. 27The body of gender equality rights litigation since 1985 is large and precedentsetting. An intensive level of effort sustained by women’s groups and their supporters,focussed on the courts and legislatures, has generated laws and programs that have to65a great extent helped to: define gender equality rights guarantees; translate equality rightsinto social practices; re-construct some of our fundamental concepts of social justice; reshape our justice system; and generally illuminate the pervasive social, economic andemotional impact of gender discrimination on women and men in Canada. Yet, as Iwill show, the educational system in B.C., notably in its formal curriculum, is relativelysilent on gender equality rights. 282. THE RIGHT TO HAVE ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GENDER EQUALITYRIGHTSBecause of the supremacy of constitutional rights, we inCanada have at hand the means for protecting ourfundamental rights from being violated by the exercise ofgovernmental power. Merely having the Charter, however,will not ensure the enjoyment of our rights. The Charterwill only afford such protection if we understand it wellenough to claim the rights it grants to us.29We ought to take a look, then, at how society helps to do that in claiming equal rightsfor women and men.1) Law and LearningThe Law Society of B.C. published a major report on gender bias in the justicesystem in 1 992. 30 The report was the results of eight public meetings and 10 paneldiscussions throughout the province. The Gender Bias Committee heard and readtestimony from a broad spectrum of individuals, civic, legal and social serviceorganizations, and the as well as from lawyers, academics and judges. The committeeconcluded that “gender inequality is pervasive in the legal and justice systems in B.C.’(Introduction, Executive Summary and Recommendations - fix this cite)31 These66findings support the position of many gender equality-seekers that law as an instrumentto bring about positive social change for women is flawed, and that we ought toconcentrate on creating a broad base of support for gender equality rights in thecommunity.Two recommendations are of special importance here:Recommendation 10.5 - We recommend that the Ministryof Education specifically address gender equality issues aspart of the Learning for Living school program and, as apriority, the Ministry of Advanced Education must equipteachers with the skills necessary to teach these programs byensuring the appropriate university and college courses arein place....Recommendation 10.6 - We also recommend the (publiclegal education network, eg. Legal Services Society, etc.)] beencouraged to continue to sponsor the delivery of programs,education, and resource materials for members of the publicand in particular, curriculum designed to address issues ofgender equality....2) School ResourcesThe lack of learning resources is a disincentive to teachers who might otherwiseteach gender equality rights material in Law 12 or Social Studies 11. For example, thereis no text that teaches basic concepts such as gender equality, or fundamental legalphenomena such as the conversion of a psychological or social problem into a legalproblem. 32Most of the material that is available has been developed by public legaleducation organizations, such as the Legal Services Society of B.C., the Public LegalEducation Society, and the Law Courts Education Society. For example, there is a good67bibliography and some audio-visual materials available through the Legal ServicesSociety of BC. However, the gender-specific items that are available seem to arise indirect response to the major areas of current concern identified, such as AIDS, date rape,and sexual harassment, and reflect the funding opportunities available at any given time.And as we shall see, improving or expanding their services to young people depends onmany things.Furthermore, the presentation of the information, although instructive about thespecific topics, is not broadly educative. By this I mean in part that the societalconditions that give rise to the need to inform youth about these specific areas of laware not explained. Taken as a whole, the material and the presentations tend to promotea conception of women as a homogeneous category of societal victims, ignoring thequantitative and qualitative differences in the experiences of women especially in casesof double-discrimination such as the occurrence of rape perpetrated on women withdisabilities. A lot of this material is laid out in pamphlet form that can be photocopiedto keep costs down and formatted for quick and easy reading.As a result, the information is fragmented, giving the impression of either a crisismanagement model of problem solving or a disease model of society. The former resultsin a tinker with the system” kind of approach to gender equality problems, such astacking on a few seminars in a conference ; the latter puts the onus on women toidentify problems they have and to alter their behavior is some way. The assumptionis that women can either prevent the occurrence of the problem or inoculate themselvesagainst gender-specific social maladies.68Finally distribution of the material is as hoc rather than sustained so we cannotknow who has it or what they think about or do with the information. This amounts toa kind of hide and seek model of education.One exception is the The BC Human Rights Coalition. They run a schoolsprogram that educates young people about some of the broader aspects of genderequality issues in the context of human rights, that invites students to analyze theprovisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Human Rights Act (BC) on specificissues such as sexual harassment in the workplace.3) Social Context of SchoolingThe relationship between the development of gender equality law and the socialclimate that generated the need for it is now clear.35 Furthermore, we know that thesocial environment has a powerful influence on schooling. Schools are pressured bysocietal expectations traditionally coming from families and employers, but morerecently, from public interest groups acting on behalf of visible, ethnic and religiousminorities, aboriginal peoples, people with mental or physical disabilities and withdifferent sexual orientations. But we cannot always track this influence on a day to daybasis in the schools. In the case of gender, or gender compounded by race, religion,class, ability, sexual orientation, we have to depend on what we are told about youngpeople’s lives in the 1990’s. In other words, the influence of family, communities, andother societal factors helps explain the differences in educational attainment amongyoung people in what we misleadingly think of as equal educational opportunity. Thefollowing excerpts from these studies are unusual in that young people were askedabout themselves rather than studied from a distance.69Young people do not live in a self-contained culture. ...Forsome, their growth is blocked by obstacles: a harshenvironment, a repressive social system, a depressedchildhood. Some are overwhelmed, others under-challenged; both imbalances limit a person’s ability tocontrol her/his own actions. (We’re Here, Listen To Usp.4)36The students came from a broad spectrum of socioeconomicand ethno-cultural backgrounds, but it was not surprisingthat they said that most young people are concerned aboutAIDS, unemployment, relationships and violence againstwomen. (Anti-Sexist Workshop for High Schoolers p. 68)The girls themselves believe that their lives are morecomplicated and that they live under more pressure, thantheir mother’s generation. (A Cappella p. 16)38Black girls in elementary school express high levels of self-esteem and they retain it through high-school. While familyand community reinforcement sustain high levels ofpersonal importance for black girls, these girls feel strongpressure from the school system and drop significantly inpositive feelings about their teachers and their school work.(Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America p. 8)It is reasonable to assume that the social context of schooling would be a factorin the development of gender equality rights education. We ought to pay attention tothis when thinking about gender equality rights education. As mentioned, communitygroups and services continue to be controlled by factors that ought to be secondary toeducational considerations, such as the funding and expertise available to any group atany given time.Concerns regarding the education of young people about gender equality rightswere expressed by representatives of legal and community groups who sponsored theWest Coast LEAF Equality ‘92 Youth Conference in Vancouver on November, 1 992.70Prior to the conference, in September 1 991, the Youth Conference Steering Committee,which I chaired, solicited informal opinions from 90 non-academic sources in theeducational network, women’s groups, multi-cultural organizations, legal associationsand community services in the Lower Mainland. We asked them about the need toeducate young people about gender equality rights and whether or not publicly-organized education-oriented forums such as a youth conference, are a good idea. Avery small proportion of the respondents was male. All the respondents said that it wasimportant to reach young people with accurate and relevant information about genderequality rights. But they also said that:* School curriculum does not adequately cover gender issues in general and legalissues in particular. For example, Law 1 2 classes do not reach a full cross-sectionof young people. Of particular concern are youths who do not intend to go onto post secondary educational institutions. They have no formal opportunities todiscuss gender equality issues in an informed way.* Young people often do not know how to express their concerns about equalityissues or who to talk to. Some schools and colleges report that there is a stigmaattached to voluntary counselling programs aimed at young women. And parentscannot be relied upon to be informed about these issues or comfortable withdiscussing them in the home.* Equality must be the context as well as the content of any gender-relatedinitiative. There is a real lack of opportunity for young people to participate indecision-making processes that affect their lives, especially in the schools.71* Gender awareness initiatives in the schools should be tied to longer-term plansfor on-going public education about gender equality. It will take a long time andconcentrated effort to bring about pervasive change in the status of women.4) Peer LeadershipIt is hard to know what motivates young people to seek out any kind ofknowledge. Most of the activities associated with gender issues are organized for themby adults.4°One exception was the activity sponsored by the BC Youth Council. While itexisted, the BC Youth Council, made up of and run by young people, frequentlyattempted to inform its members about human rights issues, including sexism andracism, from a youth perspective. Funding for the BC Youth Council was cancelled in1993 by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Technology. The West Coast LEAFYouth Conference was organized by adults and some youth. Key-note speakers andspecial guests at the conference were young people. This part of the conferencereceived considerable positive attention from the conference participants.3. THE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTSAll women and men have the right to equal protection and benefit of the lawwithout prejudice. But as we are coming to understand more clearly, there are barriersthat prevent some people from exercising their rights on an equal basis. Those who lackknowledge about the law, understanding of legal procedures and the ability to act on ourown behalf, are in jeopardy of experiencing a qualitatively different level of justice thatothers who are more educated about the law.72For the purposes of illustration only, I use a very simplistic example. Comparethe circumstances of two females, a Chinese-Canadian store clerk enrolled in an ESLprogram run by the federal Immigration Department at VCC -King Edward Campus, anda British-Canadian who teaches Social Studies 11. The British-Canadian may take avariety of legal actions related to gender discrimination during her employment by theschool board. It is unlikely that the Chinese-Canadian will take any such action againsther employer. But we cannot assume from this that the teacher experiences moregender discrimination in the work-place than the store clerk, or that the store clerk iscomplacent about gender discrimination. What we can assume that the teacher, hassuperior knowledge, for example of Section 15 of the Charter that empowers her toexercise her legal rights. She also has the advantage of belonging to union, which willhelp her exercise her legal rights.Of the two, the new Canadian is at the same time the more vulnerable todiscrimination in the workplace and the least likely to appear before a court or tribunalto deal with it. She is vulnerable because of the language barrier; because her newimmigrant status and level of education may only enable her to work in jobs thathistorically exploit women, undefended by unions; and because she will likely havegrown up with a view of society and womanhood, and a system of justice, that has givenher a different set of expectations different from those of the British-Canadian teacher.And these reasons that make the clerk so vulnerable and perhaps in need of assistance,are the same reasons that will likely prevent her from ever coming forward, unlessencouraged by others to do so.73Given the lack of law-related education, and in particular gender law-relatededucation, in the schools a socially unacceptable number of our students may havemore in common with the new Canadian than the Social Studies teacher, when theyleave school. To exercise their rights as adults, our students need to learn the languageof equality; to understand the dynamics of systemic discrimination; to feel empoweredby the law in their hearts not just in their minds; and to connecttheir expectations in lifeto their true abilities, nothing less.1) Discriminatory Laws and Practices Affect Young Peoplea. Young people in B.C. ought to know ordinary people like themselves, theirfriends and their families may face gender equality problems. Gender equalityrights cases have helped to make visible the face of systemic discrimination.Locally based public advocacy groups such as LEAF and PIAC (Public InterestAdvocacy Center) have won over many cases at the Supreme Court of Canada,several of them originating in B.C. But neither fact is likely to be widely knownto students in school.b. Examples of Discrimination in BC Law - Four examples of systemic legaldiscrimination against young women based on age and gender that could bebrought to the attention of the Ombudsman’s office41 surfaced as a result of theconsultation work done in the community for the West Coast LEAF YouthConference by the Steering Committee. These instances were incorporated intothe workshops given at the conference. This was a good example of howcommunity organizations take on the work of educators in bringing knowledgeof gender equality rights to young people. One concerns the jurisdiction of the74Canadian Human Rights Act in sexual harassment cases at school and at college,the second concerns monetary compensation for victims of sexual harassmentwho are under the age of eighteen, and a fourth is the sentencing of femaleyoung offenders by judges.42It is clear that not only are young people, especially young women, frequentlyvictims of gender-biased acts, but that even the law can be stacked against them - if theyare young. The acts may not be systematic, but the laws are. This is systemic bias andis wholly unjustifiable.2) Life-preparednessThe onus has fallen on community service organizations such as Legal ServicesSociety43 to bring young people into an awareness of recent and proposed changes toour provincial and federal laws. One way that Legal Services does this is through itsSchools Program. The Schools Program provides informative articles, seminars forteachers, school workshops and brochures on various legal topics of a legal nature. Itis responsible for Legal Perspectives, BC’s only publication about law that is geared tothe interests and experiences of young people. However, as noted previously,distribution of services is by request and is not systematic. Legal Services does notalways evaluate whether young people have an appreciation of the motivation andintentions behind the services they provide.But perhaps more relevant here is the fact that education about the evolution ofgender equality rights is not afforded any particular priority in the near-future plans ofeither the Community Program or the Schools Program of the Society. This indicates75that there is no guarantee that public legal education about gender equality rights willbe available to young people after they leave school. What is available may be out ofdate or could be so specific that it is unlikely that encounter it unless they suffer fromthat particular problem in their life. This reinforces the association of law with conflict.Assuming full legal personhood at the age of majority means taking responsibilityfor our duties as well as benefiting from our rights. But gender equality rights are stillevolving and will continue to do so for many years. Maintaining the status quo in thepublic legal education sector and in the schools with regard to gender equality rightseducation is tantamount to cutting young people off from knowledge that may beparticularly crucial to young women. At what point in their lives do young people cometo know what they need to know about gender equality rights in order to look afterthemselves if they do not already know what they should be looking out for? Themedia could become the only avenue for getting information about gender equalityrights that is given over in plain language.Unhappily, amongst other drawbacks to using the media for public legaleducation, there is no commitment to provide continuity of information. Stories arepicked up and dropped without adequate explanation. This might have seriousconsequences for young people because media personalities have a lot of influence onhow they think about issues.46 We thus have inadequate public information and a veryuncertain delivery system.Changes are being made to laws that address specific factors that are believed toadversely affect gender equality rights in various aspects of ordinary life. For example,the Ministry of the Attorney General of B.C. recently conducted a comprehensive review76of all legislation that pertains to violence against women. Promoted initially by a needto address poverty amongst women who are single parents, and elderly women who aredivorced, the B.C. government has revised the Child Custody Act, Guidelines forProperty Settlement on Marriage Breakdown, and the Employment Standards Act. Youngpeople are the beneficiaries of these changes in law and policy. But as shown, there arelimitations to the resources that will be allocated by government in both changing lawsand in educating the public about those changes.3) independence and Persona! EfficacyRecent gender equality cases47 indicate a pattern of systemic discriminationoccasioned by six distinguishable factors:1. Power imbalances between men and women in public and private life. Norbergshowed how doctors violate the Charter if they exploit the power imbalance ina doctor/patient relationship,2. Entrenchment of patriarchal thought in law kept women out of the CanadianSenate until the ruling in the Persons case,3. Competition for status and resources by the various protected classes of equalityseekers under Sec 15 such as awarding spousal pension benefits to same sexpartners is made clear by in Mossop,4. Level of knowledge or help in understanding knowledge about law had seriousconsequences in Scott because the victim failed to file a complaint within thetime prescribed in law by the Statute of Limitations,5. Imaging of women and men in media, film, advertising, particularly inpornography, can do harm to women, as was argued in Butler, and776. Institutions are simply too old to be free of outdated assumptions about gender,as in CNR, which challenged the conditions of employment for women applicantsto any position with the company, that included a demonstration of physicalstrength by lifting a train brakeshoe with one arm.Clearly, the circumstances of many of the cases cited above are extraordinary.However, a test case by definition usually has to be quite dramatic in order to draw thecourt’s attention away from entrenched patterns of legal thought and to point the wayto a unique perspective on a case. What these cases do for ordinary people is that theymake visible the dynamics that may be at work in any case, all be it on a minor scalemost of the time. The judge must consider it within the realm of possibility thatlanguage, bureaucracy, power, etc. may be discriminatory in every case, even if they areruled out as factors eventually. An added benefit of dramatic test cases is that the mainpoint is likely to stick in the minds of ordinary people.Legal literacy is the key factor on this list in a discussion of independence andpersonal efficacy. Take the Scott case for example. Although it is unlikely that anyperson with a good level of legal literacy would have known enough about the Statutesof Limitations to understand what serious consequences it could have in sexual abusecases, knowing about Scott would enable us, and perhaps dispose us to raise the issueof limitations with our lawyers in our own affairs, such as in child custody cases.The bulk of discriminatory practices that affect women exist at a low level of legalauthority, such as provincial courts and administrative tribunals. Rule makers at thislevel are obliged to try to keep their decisions and actions in line with the intent of the78Charter. It is reasonable to assume that this will take time and in the meantimeinconsistencies will continue to appear. So a critical level of understanding andcontinuing vigilance is needed from all of us as we encounter problems in our dailylives.For example, the B.C. Human Rights Coalition conducted a Human RightsEducation Needs Study in 1 990. A questionnaire was sent to 300 organizations in B.C.that provide human rights services in B.C. The report states that human rights educationthat prepares teenage women to deal with discrimination they will experience in theworkforce is one of the five most urgent areas identified for the whole province.Independence and personal efficacy are not likely to be common where basic legalliteracy is wanting.REVIEW OF GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATIONA sketchy profile of gender equality rights education in the schools emerged frommy preliminary background research. The formal study of women and the law, orgender and law-related topics, is only marginally provided for in the Social Studies 11and Law 12 curricula. However, this does not mean that the schools are silent ongender equality rights. Rather it is likely that students are being educated about genderequality rights indirectly, through informal curricula and the school environment. Thiscould take the shape of a guest speaker from a Sexual Harassment Policy Office at oneof the community colleges or the choice of play to be staged for the whole school aboutchanging family stereotypes, such as the comedy “Angry Housewives”.4879Use of informal education has obvious advantages for a school. In fact, it isargued for favorably in at least one theory about diversity in education49, and bysupporters of more interaction between the community and the schools. But informaleducation this can be problematic for several reasons. For one thing, the discretionarynature of such an approach to education might invite a relaxed intellectual attitudetowards a subject such as gender equality because it is, like all informal education,exempt from the standards that govern the formal curriculum. An informal curriculumalso allows a teacher or a school to give the appearance of providing access toknowledge about a controversial or unconventional subject without requiring that theteachers or the school have background knowledge or resources about those subjects,in the library for example, that would enable them to help students make sense out ofthe subject.Another drawback is that specific teachers may become identified with particularviews, allowing for the possibility that students might feel free to discount the event orsubject on the basis of their relationship to a particular teacher. 50 Generally speakingthen, we might find that whatever knowledge our students do have about genderequality rights is likely to be unchallenged, random, oblique, inconsistent, unconsciousand biased.In order to get a sense of the unexpected or less conventional exposure thatstudents may have to gender equality rights topics, I was interested in reviewinginformation about the informal curriculum and the general educative milieu of theschools as it relates to gender and law.80However, I could find no documentation of school activities beyond the Ministryof Education’s list of projects funded under their gender equity program. Only oneproject that related to legal rights has been funded by that body in three years. 51 Onelocal compulsory event in the high schools, for female students only, came to myattention in particular through conversations with some of the women who organizedit.52I concluded that nothing less than a school by school investigation of individualteaching practices, school activities, etc. would provide a sound picture of whatcontribution to gender equality rights education comes from the informal curriculum andthe school setting. And given that we do not have scholarly agreement on what genderequality rights education is all about, I lack the hard criteria to test the evidence ofgender equality rights education that I think I might have found.53After I completed this investigation, the answer to the question of why we do notformally educate about gender equality rights remained unclear. Initially, in my mindit had seemed a straightforward, interesting and socially relevant subject for study.Clearly, some answer to this question has to be forthcoming before we can formulate adefensible statement of goals and objectives which would guide the development ofgender equality rights education.But to shed light on the problem, I would need to know more about the means,methods, motives and opportunities that govern the development of those areas ofeducation that ideally should accommodate gender equality rights education in theschools. Is it:811) a structural problem that originates perhaps in the education system or in the waythat our knowledge about gender equality rights is evolving in society; or2) something about the subject that does not recommend itself to formal education?WHAT IS PROBLEMATIC ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATIONSystemic Barriers?The first line of inquiry leads to recent research that probes our public institutionsfor evidence of systemic discrimination against women. It also requires anunderstanding of barriers to the study of law in general in the schools. To followthrough with this inquiry would require that I study not only the literature on gender biasand its impact on the foundations of curriculum theory in law-related education, but thatI be able to deduce from that research the probable consequences for curriculumdevelopment about gender equality rights education. It may be difficult to study an areathat does not at present have a conceptual framework or an identity in schooling. Thisbegs the question of how to study what is not officially recognized as a course of studyin the schools. To my knowledge, there is no study done of the impact of gender biasin the Law 12 curriculum. Some research is available that pertains to the Social Studiescurriculum54 but again it would be a flight of the imagination at this point to applywhat is said about gender bias in Social Studies as a whole to the law component of theSocial Studies 11 curriculum specifically.Ideological Barriers?This conundrum could dissolve quickly depending on what we find if we followthe second line of inquiry, Is the subject of gender equality rights less important than82other competing areas of concern to formal education? On the face of it, this appearsto be the position of the Ministry of Education.The Ministry of Education decided to restrict gender equality rights education inthe formal curriculum to an optional unit in an elective course unsupported by learningresources. Presumably the Ministry’s committee assessed the educational merit ofgender equality rights against a set of criteria. In the absence of information about whatwas actually done, we must assume that the Ministry committee must have had someidea of what educating about gender equality rights means. Arguments made against thesubstantive inclusion of gender equality rights in the curriculum ought to tell us why thestudy of gender and law is unsuitable as educational material for the schools. But thesedata is not on public record. It could be that the Ministry officials, as I did initially,restricted their vision of gender equality rights to a that of a legal study. If this is thecase, then we can presume that they thought that this ground would be adequatelycovered in the Consitutional Law section of the revised Law 12 Curriculum, and in theGovernment, Law, Politics and Social Issues component of Social Studies 11.II. THE SUPPORTIVE RESEARCHB. THE PERSPECTIVE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMThe background research for this section took into account curriculum, pedagogy,implementation policy, allocation of resources and school leadership. It brought me tothe hypothesis that knowledge about gender equality rights is not accessible to youngpeople in B.C. schools in a useful way. I based the hypothesis on what I found outfrom:831) an investigation into the B.C. Ministry of Education core curriculum guides andresources for junior and senior high school, in particular Social Studies 11 andLaw 12;2) a review of academic research into student literacy regarding gender equalityrights; 3) a review of reports about teachers and teaching practices in relation togender equality rights; 4) an analysis of recent actions of the Ministry ofEducation and of the administrative infrastructures of the schools; and 5) aninvestigation into Learning for Living program.56In addition, I gathered anecdotal information from informal discussions with educatorswho attended gender equity conferences, by sitting in on meetings of the women’scommittees of the Vancouver, Victoria and the Prince Rupert School Districts, indiscussions with teachers I have worked with on projects, and with whom I studied atuniversity.In each of these, I sought to find the extent to which legal content about genderequality law, information about the history of the gender equality rights movement, ordocumentation of the direct impact on women’s lives which may have resulted from thegender equality rights movement, were taken into account. I set out my findings belowunder the following headings: 1) Curriculum Guides and Learning Resources, 2)Academic Research Into the Legal Literacy of Students, 3) Teachers and TeachingPractices, 4) Ministry of Education and the Administrative Infrastructure of Schools, and5) Learning For Living.841. CURRICULUM GUIDES AND LEARNING RESOURCESIt seems evident from an examination of these documents that the schoolsprobably do not offer a disciplined thinking environment, i.e. a formal curriculum, toprovide knowledge and the opportunity to raise questions about gender equality rights.The curriculum guides and resources for Law 12 and Social Studies 11 do not preventthe coverage of gender and law-related material, but the opportunities to do so aremarginalized. For example, educational decisions such as what topics to cover, howmuch time to devoteto each topic, how to teach and the learning resources to be usedare effectively left to the discretion of the individual teacher. The Guidelines for theGovernment, Law, Politics and Social Issues section of Social Studies 1 1 offers only thevery general direction that case studies on human rights “should be included” and thatlegal cases “may be used to illustrate legal principles for extension and enrichment”.There is no mention or encouragement of gender-related topics. And there are nolearning resources that provide examples or a guide to discussion of gender and lawtopics.The Law 1 2 curriculum limits student access to information about gender equalityrights. The unit on “Women and the Law” is optional, and there are few learningmaterials suggested to back it up. The Constitutional Law unit covers the Charter ofRights and Freedoms but does not emphasize Section 1 5. Gender equality rights wouldbe a possible sub-topic under Section 15, providing relevant examples of thedevelopment of equality law in general, but the topic is not encouraged in thesedocuments.85I also examined the curriculum guides and resources for other subjects. I thoughtit would not be unreasonable to expect some coverage of the impact of gender equalityrights in Business Education (up until recent history women could not take outmortgages unless a male patron co-signed, usuallyafatheror husband), English Literature(women writers forced to write under male pseudonyms in order to be published), andDomestic/Industrial Sciences (impact on entering non-traditional workplaces). What canbe said about these curricula is that, while they do not prohibit teachers from raisingsuch examples for discussion, they offer no encouragement nor supportive materials toteachers who might be interested in doing so.2. ACADEMIC RESEARCH INTO THE LEGAL LITERACY OF STUDENTSI found only two scholarly works dealing with the legal literacy of young womenin B.C. (which includes knowledge of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) in thelibraries at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.58 Aliterature search was conducted as part of a Law Related Education Project aboutCharter rights at the University of British Columbia.59 And a survey of 3000 studentsin B.C., conducted as part of the same project, suggests that young women may be ata disadvantage compared with their male peers in knowing about their Charter rights.According to the survey “the least knowledgeable student [in B.C.] is female, aged 12-14 years”, and the gap is not closed by a high school education. “The B.C. student whois most likely to know the provisions of the Charter is male, aged 1 7 or 18 years, andenrolled in grade 11 or 1 2.h160 The level of knowledge of gender equality rights in anyof the demographic categories used in this study is unresearched at this time. It wouldbe interesting to compare the level of knowledge of gender equality rights among those86in the most knowledgeable and least knowledgeable categories. It could be, for examplethat 12 - 14 year old girls have less knowledge than boys about Charter rights as awhole, but the more knowledge about gender equality rights. While little evidence isavailable from academic studies, what there is indicates a relatively low level of legalliteracy among young women in B.C.These might be significant data because the Greenberg-Lake study, whichcompared learning achievement of male and female students before and after thetransition from elementary to secondary school, indicates that girls begin to underachievein maths and sciences in comparison to boys in secondary school. “As girls get older,the percentage who dislike math because it is too hard drops and the percentage whodislike math because they get bad grades increases.” 61 This study also suggests that thebad grades may be more of a perception than a fact, a perception negatively influencedby a dramatic drop in self-esteem for girls after entering high school. But regardless ofthe reasons, the impact on their interest in the subject is significant. Seventy-five percentof girls like elementary science while only sixty-three percent like secondary science.81 percent like math in elementary school, but only 61 percent like it in high school.Adolescent girls “have career goals and plans but they tend to feel quite hopeless abouttheir achievement.”62 Statistically, their fears may be realized. 63 Overall, girlsachieve high grades in high school but this fact is not reflected by the employmentstatistics that show that the majority of women who work end up in low-paying lowstatus jobs. An overwhelming majority of young women and men in Canada believethat young people have equal opportunity to succeed in school, but those from BritishColumbia and the Prairies were the least likely to agree that young women have the87same opportunities to succeed in school as do young men. (Were Here, ListenTo Us)., 653. TEACHERS AND TEACHING PRACTICESWhether individual teachers teach “gender equality rights education” in theirclassrooms is not a matter of public record at the time of writing this paper. It could be,for example, that given the nature of their interests or their life stories, some teachers caneducate about gender equality rights in the formal curriculum by using examplesalready known to them, or through the informal curriculum and school setting by actingas role models, revealing to their students the choices they may be making in their livesoutside of school life that they believe will counter gender inequality. But, without anaccepted guide to the goals and objectives of gender equality rights education, it is allbut impossible for a researcher to identify classroom practices or elements of the schoolenvironment which might promote gender equality rights education. Consequently thisevidence is not irretrievable for research purposes.66To speak generally, some teachers are accepting as fact their role in shaping theirstudents’ attitudes and behavior toward gender issues. However, the alreadymarginalized provisions for gender equality rights education in the Law 1 2 and SocialStudies 11 curricula are further undermined by the realities of the classroom. Ninety percent of Law 12 teachers are male. Seventy nine per cent of Social Studies teachers aremale. It is not so surprising then that a recent study 67 indicates that less than twentysix per cent of Social Studies teachers support creating more gender sensitive teachingand learning in Social Studies. Although we cannot say that women teachers are morelikely to agree with gender sensitive programs, it could be significant that enrollment and88graduation figures for women teachers in Social Studies Education at B.C. universities istwenty one per cent.In-service training about gender equality law was been made available to Law1 2 teachers at a Summer Institute organized by Simon Fraser University and the LegalServices Society. But attendance was not compulsory at the Institute, nor at the genderand law-related workshop. Given the complexity of gender equality law and the lackof teaching materials available, it is not surprising that the Women and the Law unit ofthe Law 12 curriculum has not been taught much in the last two years. 68This is consistent with a pattern of behavior of male teachers that some teachershave mentioned in informal conversations about gender equality rights education.According to their observations, on average, male teachers do not voluntarily attend orvisibly support gender-related workshops and conferences organized within the schoolsystem. It could be that male teachers avail themselves of resources external to theirprofessional environment in order to educate themselves about gender equality rights.If so, it would be very interesting to explore the nature of these resources in futureresearch.4. THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND THE ADMINSTRATIVEINFRASTRUCTURE OF THE SCHOOLSa. Curriculum Development - On the face of it, the study of gender equalityrights is made possible in school within the Law 1 2 curriculum. But in reality decisionsmade by the Ministry of Education have marginalized the subject. Law 1 2 continues tobe an elective rather than a college or university entrance course. There is no provincialexam. This likely has the effect of diminishing: a) the number and diversity of students89who take the course, and b) the consistency and depth of treatment of difficult areas oflaw tackled by Law 1 2 teachers.In spite of the quantity and complexity of gender equality law, no particular effortwas made to ensure that Law 12 teachers have access to accurate knowledge aboutgender equality rights at the 1 990 Provincial Summer Institute for Law Teachers at whichthe revised curriculum was introduced, or at any follow-up activities. 69 As noted,gender equality rights could be taught as part of the Constitutional Law unit if the studyof sexism was as well-supported by learning resources as is racism now, for example.However, in the hands of a skilled teacher, the study of Section 15 of the Charter couldbe an opportunity to study the nature of discrimination in society,7°whether it bebased on race, gender, ability, class, sexual orientation, or religion. Such a study mightdispel some misconceptions about equality rights. I draw again on these examples frompresentations made to Law 12 classes. One such misconception is that equality rightsare about minorities. Women are not a minority. Another misconception is thatequality is somehow a quantitative commodity that is to be divided amongst all thecategories of persons protected under Section 1 5, and that these persons are incompetition with each other for this commodity. The problem of sorting out thesecomplexities is compounded by the fact that the overall time allotted for Law 12 isminimal.b. Allocation of Resources - A variety of resources provide support for aparticular curriculum. They include teachers, learning materials, in-service, clericalsupport, etc. The task of setting priorities for the allocation of resources is driven by acomplex set of factors: precedents in the given field, biases and preferences of the90agenda setters, scholarly research that informs the decisions about what to develop, andadvocacy undertaken on behalf of a particular idea.One way to assess priorities in education is to look at the amount of money thatis made available to support a curriculum. It can be real money to purchase resourcesor hire relief teachers, or money in kind, such as allowing teaching assistants to coverregular classroom time to enable teachers to work on special projects, or mobilizingexisting staff to research or organize a project around an idea. Implementation of newideas is generally controlled by actual time available and the degree of priority given tothe new ideas by the decision makers.71Regardless of the poor systemic support for the study of gender and law in theformal curriculum, as evidenced by the marginalization of the subject in Law 12 andSocial Studies 11, the education system is not totally silent on some subjects that arerelevant to gender equality rights. Consider for example that information about daterape and AIDS made it into the schools relatively quickly. Also, there is now moreactivity at the political level. The B.C. Ministry of Education funds projects through theGender Equity Program.72 However, only one project related to gender and law hasbeen funded in the last three years (see Appendix C).An annotated report about all the projects to date will make it possible tocompare funding for gender equality rights initiatives with that of various other projectsthat involve new ideas about or approaches to gender equity in education. The reportwill be welcome because it will make it more possible for school districts to co-operateon new projects and to build onto previous ones. It will be interesting to see ifinterdisciplinary projects informed by gender equality law develop.91c. Support in Principle - We can nearly always expect some delay in theintroduction of social issues into the mainstream of educational thought and policy. Acase in point is environmental education, a concern in society as a whole at least sincethe 1950’s with the publication of Rachel Carsen’s essays and her book, Silent Spring.To face up to this reality, the Gender Equity Program of the Ministry of Education hasestablished an Advisory Council to influence, monitor and evaluate educational policyin relation to gender equity issues. Members of the council are drawn from Faculties ofEducation, school trustees, administrators, principals, teachers, parents and government.But some straightforward things that can be done at the school level are not beingdone. For example, in one Vancouver school, an announcement about a Women inHistory initiative running in the school at the time was passed over by the schoolprincipal when the school bulletin was read out over the PA system.73To make a list of shortcomings at the school level is tedious and is often not ahelpful exercise. We sometimes opt for “shooing flies”, that is picking out small detailsto protest against, when we feel overwhelmed or powerless to challenge much morefundamental concerns. For example, a fundamental goal for many female educators isthe mandatory inclusion of women at all levels of educational administration. They feelthat this would make possible the substantive representation of gender issues in decisionmaking.74 It might also help to sharpen the focus of their colleagues on the “flies” thatcan, if numerous enough, undermine gender equality initiatives in the schools.One such challenge at the administrative level is currently underway in theVancouver School District. The representative of the Women’s Committee, which wasformed by the Vancouver Secondary Teachers Association, has applied for voting92privileges on the executive committee of the VSTA. At present, the Women’s Committeerepresentative may attend the executive committee meetings but may not vote. Thisstructure may be the outcome of the way committees are formed historically by theassociation rather than of anattempt to exclude the women’s committee from decision-making. But a test for gender discrimination in law is whether or not a policy results ininequality for women as a category of persons, whether or not there is the intention todo so.Thd. Gender Equity Conferences Organized by the Ministry of Education - I attendedworkshops for educators on gender equity in science and math education to acquaintmyself with the way gender equality law might inform these subjects. I know very littleabout these curricula. My impression from the workshops and from reviewing thereports of gender equity grants funded by the Ministry of Education is that most of themath and science projects focus on practical strategies for initiating and sustaining higherenrolment of young women in these subjects, particularly in post-secondary was unclear to me whether their strategies include contextualizing the study ofmathematics and science by women in the gender equality rights movement.76In summary, the data I have been able to collect about the intentions and actionsof the Ministry of Education and the administrative infrastructure of the schools isuneven, partial and less systematic than one would wish. Nonetheless, the fact that allsuch sources indicate only a liitle interest in both gender equity in general and, inparticular, in gender equality law, make it plausible to hold that both areas are neglectedby the official public education system.935. LEARNING FOR LIVINGThe Gender Bias Report of the Law Society recommended the Learning for LivingFramework developed by the B.C. Ministry of Education as a vehicle for furthering theeducation of young people about gender equality rights. The following comments followfrom only a brief analysis of the Learning for Living Framework and from an informalinterview I had with the program’s consultant at the British Columbia TeachersFederation.Learning for Living is a fledgling initiative of the Ministry. It aims to empowerlearners to value themselves as unique persons of worth who care for self and others,make responsible decisions, and strive for a healthy, balanced life. (Primary ThroughGraduation, Curriculum/Assessment Framework, Learning for Living, Draft 1 992) At theinception of the program, every elementary and secondary school was allotted $900annually to fund projects that fit the criteria outlined in the program manual. Toaccommodate regional diversity, no attempt was made to co-ordinate the efforts ofschools within a district or between districts.The discussion with the consultant was moot since the Learning for LivingFramework did not specify any formal role for gender equality rights education.Learning for Living aims to explore issues related to the following: Careers, Child AbusePrevention, Family Live Education, Healthy Living, Mental Well Being, Safety andAccident Prevention, and Substance Abuse Prevention. Nevertheless, I concluded fromthe interview that some gender equality rights topics, such as maternity leave benefitsand information about what is considered to be an admissable defence in date rapecases, subjects that have some possible connection to the lives of older students, could94be successfully incorporated into the exploration of issues related to Careers and MentalWell Being respectively.More attention needs to be focused on the Learning for Living Framework inorder to determine what level of practical legal knowledge elementary school studentscould gain from it. However, if we accept that to educate about gender equality rightsis partly to demonstrate in the school setting the right for all persons to share equally inthe benefits of society - including choice of careers, freedom from abuse, healthy familylife, mental and physical well being, safety and security of the person - then it is likelythat any gender equality rights education initiative in elementary or secondary schoolwould be compatible with the aims of Learning for Living.One concern I have is that because of the unco-ordinated nature of the program,each school would likely interpret gender equality rights material differently. This couldlead to inaccuracies about gender equality rights. Another concern is the lack of auniform approach to project development. It is difficult to imagine how any singleschool would treat gender equality rights material without consulting with at least oneperson who is well-informed about gender equality rights.There is some evidence that the established role of school counsellors in someways recommends them as potential educators in the area of gender equality rights.77In a follow-up discussion with a member of the BC Association of School Counsellors,this view was supported. But this approach to education would probably have to bedone in the format of confidential tutorial. I was told that young people are disturbedby what they hear about sexual harassment, job discrimination, and violence inrelationships.78 Often, however, they do not know how to express their concerns or95who to talk to. Furthermore, in some schools there is a stigma attached to students whoconfide in school counsellors. And finally, many parents are not versed in orcomfortable with material related to gender issues so that these subjects are censored inthe home. If we ask if or how school counsellors are to get special training in genderequality rights, then we encounter the same problems that surfaced in the analysis ofteachers and teaching practices in relation to Law 12 and Social Studies.It may be that I could record as many successes as failures in bringing aboutgender equity in a broad sense, by documenting the unsung efforts of individualeducators and the Gender Equity Program of the Ministry of Education. However thefocus of this paper is the lack of education about gender and legal rights. I wouldwelcome a project that would undertake a survey to identify schools that are supportiveof systematic ways to educate about gender equality rights education because,conceivably, without official and focused intervention, the formal curriculum will remainsilent on gender equality rights for some time.SUMMARYIt is of some concern first of all that the school curriculum in B.C. does little topromote students’ knowledge about and understanding of either gender equality lawsper se or the process of coming to decide on just and viable policies that will further theintentions of those laws. Second, it is of concern that the critical dialogue about thefuture of gender equality rights education in the schools could be effectively silenced ifwe do not have enough educators who are well-informed and motivated enough toovercome the systemic and ideological barriers that exist in order to keep up that96dialogue. Given the research so far, no further action would be gender bias byomission.And finally, education about gender equality rights provided through the publiclegal education and advocacy network does not adequately satisfy the right for youngpeople to have access to knowledge about gender equality issues. Public legaleducation relies to a great extent on self-selection, a process that is inherently unequalbecause schools are not equal, and young people are not all the same. Amongst othersthings, young people have different interests and degrees of legal literacy; they wantinformation for different reasons; they do not learn from material in the same way; andthey do not have the same ability to research a subject on their own. Only the schoolsare in a position to make the decision to provide gender equality rights education basedon why young people need to know about their rights, what they need to know, andconsequently to allocate the resources necessary to educate them in a fair and justmanner. This could best be accomplished in partnership with the public legal educationand advocacy network and would require a commitment from the Ministry of Educationand the Ministry of the Attorney General.97NOTES TO CHAPTER THREE1. I did not personally inquire into the future plans of the Faculties of Education because it isoutside the parameters of this study. As of June 1993, Avril, Director of the Gender EquityProgram at the Ministry of Education was not positive about what efforts would be made insupport of a compulsory course in the Teacher Education program about gender equalityissues. Brown, an advisor in the Teacher Education Program at UBC, said that she had notbeen informed of any move in that direction. And Bruneau, a faculty member of the Facultyof Education at UBC and chair of the Faculty Association, also could not comment on plansof this kind.2. Brodsky and Day Canadian Charter Equality Rights for Women: One Stei Forward or TwoSteos Back? 19893. Ministry of the Attorney General Access to Justice: A Resoonse to the Report of the lusticeReform Committee By the Government of B.C. 19894. It took twelve years to desegregate schools in the United States after the Brown vs Board ofEducation decision.5. District of York in Ontario imposed multicultural training for in-service teachers.6. Lather. Issues of Onenly Ideological Research: Between a Rock and a Soft PlaceInterchange 1986, 17(4)7. An administrator at the Vancouver School Board said that a groundswell of support fromschool-based educators would be a most persuasive factor in the acceptance of an innovationby administrators.8. I will not review the literature on gender equity/gender bias in the schools for this paper,since the focus is on new ideas for curriculum development.9. Some of these ideas have occurred in feminist educational theory of curriculum. See MarciaToms’ paper Rationale and Outline for a Secondary School Women’s Studies Course 1994,SFU which came out after my theses was drafted.10. Message by the Secretary General on International Women’s Day March 8, 1993. UnitedNations Division for the Advancement of Women, Vienna.11. Novogrodsky, Kaufman, Holland and Wells. Retreat for the Future: An Anti-sexist Workshoofor High Schoolers Our Schools/Ourselves, 1992 3(4)12. Ibid13. Bartlett, Katherine. Feminist Legal Method Harvard Law Review 1990, 10314. Harvey and Fulton articulated comprehensive strategies to reform the administrativeinfrastructure of the educational system.9815. For example an educator may in principle agree with the Ministry of Education gender equitypolicy statement but may disagree with implementing feminist pedagogical practices as a wayof meeting the goals of gender equity.16. Tite. Sex Role Learning and the Woman Teacher: A Feminist Perspective FeministPersijectives Series Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women 1986, No.71 7. Novogrodsky, Kaufman, Holland, Wells. Retreat of the future: an anti-sexist workshop forhigh schoolers. Our Schools/Ourselves 1992 3(4)18. Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women We’re Here, Listen to Us! 199219. If we did, we would be doing it - it has been almost a decade since Gender Equality Day inCanada.20. Instances such as the murder of female engineering students in Montreal, threatening lettersin the Education Psychology department at the University of British Columbia, disciplinaryaction against judges for remarks made about women in the cases they precide over21. National Task Force on Violence Against Women, Employment Equity Standards report ofthe Ontario government, changes to federal pension plans to provide for same sex couplesand elderly women22. These examples come from informal conversations with teachers on the women’s committeesof the British Columbia Teachers Foundation. I use them as part of the Delphi findingsbecause it confirms what several Delphi participants said they were concerned about butonly expressed in vague terms.23. A law and Social Studies projected for only twenty students was endorsed by the VancouverSchool Board in November 1993. The project will not be in the classrooms until March1995.24. This was part of the Access to Justice series of report commissioned by the federal justicedepartment. Hughes. Access to lustice: Renort of the Justice Reform Committee Ministry ofthe Attorney General of B.C., 198825. Access to Justice: A Response to the Report of the lustice Reform by the Government of B.C.Ministry of the Attorney General of B.C. 1989.26. Berg vs University of British Columbia. Janice Berg, a student in the School of Family andNutritional Sciences suffered severe emotional problems during the winter session of 1983.Subsequently, her department refused to give her a Letter of Review normally given tostudents that enables them to intern in their field. It was nine years before the SupremeCourt of Canada ruled that her university department discriminated against her on the basisof disability.9927. The Court Challenges program was cancelled in 1992 and has not been re-instated. In hisannouncement, the then Prime Minister, Brian Muironey, said that the fund was no longnecessary because Charter law had been tested adequately.28. Litigating the Values of a Nation, One SteD Forward, Two Sters Back.29. Case. Understanding Charter Decisions Toronto: IPI Publishing Ltd., 198930. Gender Equality in the lustice System Law Society of B.C., 1992A Report by the GenderBias Committee of the Law Society of B.C.31. Ibid.32. Or what makes an issue into a gender equality issue. One misconception of some Law 12students that I addressed on the subject of LEAF’swork though that a gender equality case isany case that involves a women.33. Many other community-based groups that are not part of the public legal education oradvocacy network, such as the Red Cross and Battered Women’s Support Services,developed their own resources and run workshops on these same topics.34. At the anti-sexist retreat held by the Toronto School Board few students had enough of ahistorical perspective to understand the role of the women’s movement in spearheading thesechanges and did not really under stand how it had come about; they want future change forwomen and men but did not know how that could come about either.35. Many more examples can be drawn from Criminal Law i.e. the redefinition of sexualharassment as a degree of sexual assault under the Criminal Code rather than as a minoroffence.36. We’re Here, Listen To Us!37. Retreat of the future: an anti-sexist workshop for high schoolers.38. Canadian Teachers Federation. A Capella: A Report on the Realities, Concerns, Expectationsand Barriers Experienced by Adolescent Women in Canada Department of the Secretary ofState, 1990.39. American Association of University Women. Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America.Greenberg-Lake, 199040. In various conferences, such as “Widening the Circle” and “Here Today, Where Tomorrow”legal interests were not high on the list of young people. The CACSW report identified anlaw as 23 on a scale of 25 of “easy to obtain information about” - drugs topped the list.Below law came discrimination #24 and finances #25.41. This office is responsible amongst other duties for sorting out allegations of legalinconsistences and illegalities at various levels of government.10042. No details of these examples are available at present.43. Created by government statute to provide public legal education and public legal aid.44. According to recent criteria for project funding at LSS told tome in response to a fundingapplication on gender, law, and work.45. A young women called West Coast LEAF to ask if she had reason to formally complain abouta first-aid instructor who made sexist remarks when demonstrating CPR on a manikin.46. We’re Here, Listen To Us47. Examples that follow are drawn mostly but not exclusively from LEAF cases.48. And in what I say here I assume an effort to promote an understanding of gender equalityrights; I ignore for the present the systemic factors that work against gender equality rightseducation.49. Dr. Daniels paper on diversity.50. A hypothetical example - it is conceivable that a woman teacher would be likely to objectto sexually explicit magazines, such as Playboy or Penthouse, being circulated by studentson school premises. If her action is not connected in the mind of the student to a schoolpolicy that is based on an understanding of why these magazines are harmful, then she couldbe viewed as an opressor by those students who claim they have a right to keep theirpersonal property at school and to share it with others. An oppressor is, amongst otherthings, one who yields authority without regard for the rights of others. This incident, whichcould have been an opportunity to further the student’s education about gender equality, ismore likely to result in defiant behavior against concerns raised by women in general, andthe teacher in particular.51. The West Coast LEAF Equality ‘92 Conference linked gender equality law to six topics ofinterest to young people - Work and Family, Sexual Relationships, Violence Against Women,Media Imaging of Women, Women and Poverty, Employment Equity]52. Here Today, Where Tommorrow Conference addressed broad issues and to my knowledgethe question of legal rights was not raised.53. Tite. Sex role learning and the woman teacher: a feminist perpective. Canadian ResearchInsitute for the Advancement of Women Feminist Perspectives Series, 1986 No. 754. Current research in the Department of Social and Educational Studies, directed by VeronicaStrong-Boag is under way on male bias in Social Studies.55. The meeting that decided this was in camera.56. Recommendation 10.5 Gender Equality in the Justice System Report10157. Social Studies 11 Curriculum Guide, Ministry of Education, B.C.58. Both postdate 199159. Echols, Ungerleider, La Bar, and Daniels. Charter survey, UBC, 1988 and 199160. Danels and Case. Charter Literacy and the Administration of Justice in Canada UBC 1992 p.1261. Greenberg-Lake Study62. ACappella App 1. iii63. Where British Columbia Women Stand: 199064. We’re Here, Listen To Us!65. To complete the picture this section gives of educational reasearch being sadly lacking in thearea of legal literacy of young women, I cite a recent major work entitled Feminist LegalLiterature: A Selected Annotated Bibliography, 1991, which offers us no reference toliterature about young women, law and education, except in reference to post-secondaryeducation i.e. admission to and performance at law schools.66. I use the term ‘irretrievable’ as when we say that wealth of oil we know exists in theAthabaska Tar Sands is irretrievable - we lack a method to distill the oil from the sands.67. Case. Analysis of the Provincial Social Studies Needs Assessment Intermediate Program.Ministry of Education, 1992.68. Schools Program, Legal Services Society.69. Legal Services did a follow-up workshop in Kelowna at the request of Law 12 teachers in thatdistrict.70. Concerns about prejudice and discrimination topped the list for 100 delegates when askedto rank a given list. Two participants said they were not interested in either. CACSW surveytaken at the Widening the Circle Conference, 199271. Fullan.The Meaning of Educational Change. 198272. The Gender Equity Program financially supports projects by school districts and educationalorganizations that address Gender Equity. Projects include a broad range of initiatives:awareness, leadership, learning resources, policy and planning, research, parent education,curriculum, pedagogy, in-service and school culture.73. One of several examples mentioned at various Women’s Committee meetings I attended inVancouver, Victoria, Prince Rupert74. I do not think that it follows that every woman representative would automaticallyunderstand and further the concerns of all women educators.10275. The issue of representation was settled by a vote on April 13, 1994. The Women’sCommittee is now a standing committee with full voting privileges. The vote had to be donetwice because there was no quorum at the meeting called to discuss and vote on therepresentation issue.76. It might be important to do so, especially in light of the Greenberg-Lake study findings.Achievement in mathematics and science in high school seems to correlate with theaspirations young girls have about their opportunities and the actual realization of thoseaspirations after high school.77. This is inconclusive. No details were offered during the informal interview that I can buildan argument on, for or against Learning for Living as a framework for gender equality rightseducation.78. These observations are supported in We’re Here, Listen to Us! and the Anti-Sexism Retreatarticle.103CHAPTER FOUR - CONCLUSIONSINTRODUCTIONI had hoped to develop, as an outcome of this research, a concrete set ofrecommendations for introducing the study of gender and law into existing curricula inB.C. schools. However, the limitations of the research material dictate a narrow scopefor this paper, and I therefore confine myself in the end to recommendations thatacknowledge that an ideal program for gender equality rights education might exceedthe capacity of existing formal institutions and particular curricula to accommodate it atthis time. Consequently this paper supports the idea of a transitional approach to genderequality rights education that hopefully would act as a catalyst in bringing about a morecomprehensive program in the future. The whole that gender equality rights educationcan be is greater than the sum of its parts. The study of gender equality is secondary tothe actualization and experience of gender equality. We ought to think of law, inparticular Charter law, as an authoritative voice in advocating for gender equality rightseducation in the schools, and not just as a subject of legal study. Much preparatorywork ought to be done in all facets of education so that educators are empowered tocreate and sustain a set of conditions that we have come to identify in this paper withequality. We also need to understand how to change existing conditions that are notconducive to gender equality rights education. In this task, educators are assisted byother efforts being made in the community, such as those of the Law Society of B.C.Gender Bias Committee, to understand systemic gender bias.104Interviews with twenty leading, informed educators, feminists and legalprofessionals constitute the body of research material used for this paper. The questionsthat I hoped to get answers for are as follows:1) what do we mean by gender equality rights education?2) why should we educate about gender equality rights in the schools?3) what are the priorities in gender equality rights education?4) what principles ought to be honored at every level of decision-making in orderto unify efforts to educate about gender equality rights? and5) does schooling from kindergarten to Grade 12 reflect and further the principles,goals and objectives of gender equality rights education as we come tounderstand it?I aimed to summarize the main arguments put forward in the Delphi study in supportof gender equality rights education, distill from the material some operating principlesthat seem to underpin the variety of suggestions made about how to approach genderequality rights education, identify some of the characteristics that a gender equalityrights program for schools would have that are mentioned by many of the Delphi studyparticipants, and sketch in some broad-based approaches to curriculum and schoolingthat emerged from the Delphi study, in addition to an analysis of documents, reports andresearch papers, and informal conversations with educators. Taken together, the ideasseem to offer us a different perspective on curriculum development. Roughly phrased,they encompass ideas that are openly ideological such as the gendered nature of society;psychological gender identification; the dynamics of personal and political power; what105it means to accommodate qualitative differences in the emotional and psychologicalexperiences of women and men, and amongst women from different cultural, social,economic and physical backgrounds; the attributes of a healthy society; the values of aneducated person; and awareness of global human rights.Prior to my research, I thought that the need for such a curriculum might be metif we were able to expand the study of gender equality law in the Social Studies 11 andLaw 12 curricula. However, the prevailing view in the research material is that,although the study of gender equality rights in these two subjects ought to be promoted,as the sole approach it would not satisfy many of the significant reasons for institutingsubstantive gender equality rights education in the schools. In particular, these curriculaare too restricted to allow for a wide social critique of the development of genderequality law. In fact such an approach, if it was not well received by educators mighthave the affect of undermining future plans that will take time to implement.All twenty participants in the interviews support gender equality rights educationin principle. However, there is a strong conviction expressed by many of theparticipants that some systemic characteristics of schooling as we know it, and thecurrent social climate, are likely to predispose many school-based educators againstgender equality rights education initiatives. Therefore, before we make our finalrecommendations, we ought to widen our field of vision beyond any particularcurriculum and also pay attention to the informal curriculum and the daily routine of theschool. This is advantageous for four reasons. We might:1061) find out more about the current role played by teachers in the informalcurriculum and the daily routine of a school in defining gender equality rightseducation,2) prevent ourselves from overlooking resources that may already be available in theschools to support gender equality rights education,3) ensure that we promote the principles of legal and social equality for women andmen at every opportunity, and4) discover factors that help us clarify what we mean by gender equality rightseducation that may not be obvious at the beginning of our program.To summarize: a) my current research is only a start b) the views expressed bythe participants are not definitive c) the subject is far from exhausted, and d) detaileddiscussions about curricula are premature. What seems to be called for is a ‘transitional’strategy to lay the foundation in the short term for what we ideally hope to accomplishin the long-term by educating about gender equality rights.Much was gained from the interviews that seems to strengthen a rationale foreducating about gender equality rights in the schools, highlight some ideological,attitudinal and systemic issues that might be encountered along the way, and toencourage new and creative responses to these issues. A transitional approach tocurriculum development ought to be construed as a strategic pause, rather than anexcuse for delay, in the process of developing long-range plans for gender equality rightseducation.107CONCLUSIONSThe pattern of ideas about gender equality rights in the interviews is dominatedby a desire to move young people forward from what the participants think to be publicconfusion about the issues generated by the gender equality rights debate. Advocatesof gender equality rights are most interested in a curriculum that will empower youngpeople with the mental clarity and emotional security to translate what we have learnedfrom our struggle with gender equality rights into their daily lives in a useful way. Thehope is that young people will transform society with a new vision of how to go abouttheir economic, personal, social, cultural and political lives that takes gender equalityinto account. A narrow focus on legal rights would allow only a superficial coverage ofthe social context that would help make sense of gender equality laws. Somehow, weneed to provide a context in the school that will allow students to discuss theirpsychological, emotional, spiritual, sexual, and relational needs, and not just maths,sciences, languages, etc.1Many of the participants did not grapple with the details of a law-relatedcurriculum. They took a broader view of gender equality rights as a body of ideas, facts,and stories ranging beyond legal issues that have the potential to unravel sexism in theeducation system at all levels. Several participants deferred to educators on points ofcurriculum design when I questioned them about specifics. And a few felt that it wouldbe no real loss if we do not educate about the law specifically, each for quite differentreasons, as was shown. But reflecting on the interview material as a complete body ofdata, while respecting differences in individual points of view, the majority view seemsto be that a gender and law-related curriculum will not succeed and for reasons related108to gender bias in education. It is for these reasons that I have revised my basichypothesis, which was that young people do not have access to knowledge about genderequality rights in the schools because there is no formal curriculum or curricularresources.To educate about gender equality rights, we must take into account gender biasin education. The data suggest that the process is not necessarily linear, i.e. we do nothave to achieve gender equity in education (even if we were entirely sure of what thatwould look like) before we proceed with a curriculum about gender and law. But wecannot educate about gender equality in an environment that is unconsciously silent ongender inequality.Put another way, we cannot educate about gender equality rights without alsoeducating about the principles of equality and social justice. And we cannot discussequality and justice in a vacuum, that is without undertaking a discussion about values.In this context it means that we cannot discuss values without discussing discriminationand prejudice. This view, although not explicit in all the interviews, is not contradictedby any of the interview material. Several of the interview participants do not think thatan issues approach to gender equality rights education is the place to start if ourconcern is ultimately to liberate young people from sex role stereotyping. Rightsdiscourse divides and factionalizes women and men and gives the impression that wecompete for rights. Gender equality rights education is essentially a values education.There is an argument that gender equality rights education is about social issues, and assuch is not an essential part of the development of cognitive abilities. In an educational109context, this seems indefensible. Education should be about what society cares aboutand maybe its time we changed our minds about what is worth learning about.To do so, we are called upon to understand and make visible the conditions thatmove us closer or further away from gender equality. This kind of analysis wouldcertainly take into consideration the influence of the daily environment of the schoolson our efforts to educate about gender and law, as well as equality. What we need isa framework to assess these conditions. Each idea we propose about gender equalityrights education ought to be analyzed to determine its impact on the broader issue ofgender equality. There are parallels to this approach in other areas of life. A stockbrokerdoes not arbitrarily mix and match investments without referring to the broader financialprofile of the client, a cook does not arbitrarily add or subtract ingredients without takinginto consideration how they act in combination with other ingredients, except as anexperiment, from the direction we took in the first place. This may be what is going onin education right now.Gender equality rights education ought to help young people understand socialequality. We ought to make it clear that legal equality, as a right, is indisputable. Itis social equality strategies that are problematic, for instance, how to use the law toachieve gender equality goals in society. This is where the schools have an importantrole to play. The social response to gender equality issues is complex because thebarriers to equality are different depending on who we are in relation to mainstreamculture. But there is no reason why our young people cannot now be taught to have anappreciation for egalitarian thinking now.110For instance, for some women, minor adjustments to various institutions andpolicies etc. will help to open up choices. For others, however, such as single mothersor fathers, a much more profound change in economic policy regarding about universalchildcare would be needed.2 And so on for the disabled, lesbians, aboriginals, seniors,ethnics, and women of color. And yet we must be willing to struggle to bring aboutsocial equality if we are going to believe that the law is truly for women as well as men.To take another example, in Ontario, Premier Rae’s employment equity program metwith opposition from well-educated people, such as professors, educators, and membersof the legal community. The media coverage of the opposition to the policy implied thatit seemed to be a surprise to many that the NDP government is serious about genderequality rights.3 This kind of public response is difficult to explain if we believe thatconcern for gender equality rights is one of the attributes of an educated person. Onepossible explanation is that a person can agree in principle to broad social change, butdo not want change to happen to them personally.A critical perspective about gender-bias should be sustained in the analysis of thisresearch, and any other curriculum-related research. In this paper, I argue that if we areto attempt to educate about gender equality rights it is necessary to take a critical lookat the relationship between schooling and gender equality in a broader social context.At least some of the research points us in a direction that could help us deal with thesesimple but essential questions.Their concerns about gender bias interrupts, as it were, the flow of ideas from theinterviewees concerning specific plans for gender equality rights education. Theirsuggestions about curriculum are less practical than philosophical. Put another way,111their suggestions about curriculum imply philosophical concerns that reach deeper thanwould be necessary for the design of a law-related course. Simply put, they havereasonable doubt that we can succeed in educating about gender equality rights in auseful way unless certain new conditions exist, or old ones cease to exist. It could bethat we educate about gender equality rights now but we may do it badly. In the sameway that governing groups pass and enforce laws that infringe on the rights of particularindividuals but are unaffected themselves, the educational system may put women at riskby making decisions which do not take them fully into account. The result is that weproduce mixed results for various categories of young people.Before we make recommendations then, we need to come to some understandingof what we mean by success in the area of gender equality rights education. All of theinterviews, to a greater or lesser degree, contain two streams of commentary.One is focused on outcomes and ultimate social goals. These ideas are about thecollective nature of gender equality rights. In this category students acquiring knowledgeof gender equality rights is not enough. What defines success in gender equality rightseducation within this framework are the outcomes for persons in society as a whole. Itframes the goals for gender equality rights education as a body of ideas, facts and reallife stories, knowledge of which will strengthen women’s role in the public sphere.Ideals around family for example are rethought to take into account the new view ofwomen as life-time workers. Young people ought to be part of a strategy to further thepromise of gender equality in Canada through the education system and makesubstantial change in the status of women.112The other stream is focused on process and education itself. What definessuccess of gender equality rights education in this framework is treatment of women, andinformation about women, during schooling itself. This is reminiscent of a modeleducation that evokes the best in all of us, the kind of schooling that facilitates thedevelopment of each student’s potential. It focuses on gender equality rights as anindividual right and is concerned about the individual student’s vulnerability toeducational packaging, as it were, which may or may not inspire them in later life torespect gender equality rights.The lack of development of gender equality rights education in the schools isunderstandable because gender equality rights is associated with feminism, a highlyvisible, diverse, and controversial ideological and social movement. The role ofeducators, then, becomes problematic. But this is indefensible because withouta formalapproach to gender equality rights education, they are taking personal responsibility toact on or to ignore in their professional capacities what they know of gender equalityrights. In this way individual educators are already teaching their students by examplewhat ought to be done about gender equality rights.This study did not encompass the views of educators in a direct way. Some ofthe Delphi participants anticipated what problems might exist for educators from anoutsider’s perspective. Informal conversations with a number of school-based educatorssupported much of what they said, but we cannot know without asking educatorsthemselves what they think we ought to do about gender equality rights education.The first challenge in gender equality rights education is to make a start. It wouldbe helpful if we could develop a transitional approach to gender equality rights113education that would involve educators at all levels of the educational system as analternative to use of a formal curriculum for the study of gender equality rights. Atransitional strategy would require us to crystalize our thoughts for a while about gender,law and equality; to fashion a nonpartisan context for educating about gender equalityrights; to introduce common objectives related to gender equality rights into diversecurricula; and to capture the attention of young people quickly. It would allow us timeto accomplish small objectives while we get clearer about how to cope with morefundamental changes in the future.WHAT IS GENDER EQUALITY RIGHTS EDUCATIONIf women and men are to share equally in the benefits of society then we oughtto pay attention to gender equality rights education in the schools. In order to benefitfrom their rights, and meet their responsibilities, all young people need knowledge aboutgender equality that will help them to understand the impact of gender inequality on thechoices they will likely need to make in their own lives, choices about such things asinterpersonal relationships, home ownership, employment, use of reproductivetechnologies, financial planning, etc.Gender equality law provides an interesting, contemporary, and authoritativebody of knowledge about the effects of gender inequality in society that will likely betaken into account in making public policy in the future. But young people also needto know how to proceed now - how to act in the world in a manner that is respectfulof the rights of others as well as of their own rights. Although we cannot claim that wecan prevent or eliminate all gender inequality, we can turn our attention to what we are114coming to understand about the dynamics of gender inequality as part of our educationalagenda. At the very least, a visible and authoritative stance towards gender inequalityin the schools might neutralize, correct or reverse negative perceptions that youngpeople may have about gender equality rights.4Taken as a whole, the goals and objectives of gender equality rights educationought to result in a model for schooling that is founded on a coherent, relevant, andmeaningful policy about gender equality that will help educators and students to respondintelligently to particular gender equality rights issues as they surface, and to make itemotionally, as well as systemically, possible for them to think reflectively abouthistorical entrenched beliefs about gender. Such a policy would be guided by principlesthat would promote legitimate, inclusive and interdisciplinary approaches to genderequality rights education.For example, we ought to be able to identify gender equality rights education inall aspects of schooling - in the core curriculum, accreditation guidelines, classroomdiscussions, library collections, school-wide observances of special events that are ofparticular importance to gender equality, in school bulletins and newsletters, topics inessay contests, in-service agendas, and school-based research projects. Such activitiesought to be supported by community resources and government policy. This can beaccomplished in part by forging strong and credible links between the schools and thepublic legal education and advocacy (PLEA) network in the community.Unfortunately, for now the onus will be on individual educators to know why itis important that we educate about gender equality rights and to be able to articulatethese reasons in clear, consistent and unbiased language to students. This is important115because at present there is very little visible policy about and support for initiating andsustaining gender equality rights education in the schools. In this way, educators,collectively, regardless of their particular field, become at the same time a resource tostudents about gender equality issues that are under debate outside the boundaries ofdaily schooling, and advocates for young people within the PLEA network.I think it is important that we include young people directly in the planningprocess at all levels. We ought to take into consideration at every level of educationalplanning the implications for all young people of any changes we seek to make in theschools that will bring about what we value about gender equality rights. This isespecially necessary if we base our arguments on what we believe to be the will of thepublic, which this study does to a certain degree. As a foundation for long-rangeplanning, the public is best viewed as akin to a sand castle rather than a Parthenon. Thepublic legal education network in principle is a permanent structure that can linkeducation with public life beyond schooling. But the players change in public legaleducation and advocacy, so the public ‘view’ changes. In this study for example thepublic is simply a hand-picked group of twenty women and men who happen to occupyprominent positions in relation to gender equality rights in herstory, 1993-1994.Another way public views can change is when governments change, after an electionfor example. Therefore, we ought to support ideas about gender equality rightseducation, in schools and in the community, that will be sustainable into the future. Itcould not be considered a model of just and fair behavior for students if we did notfollowthrough on gender equality rights initiatives after introducing the ideals of such an116education to young people in school. Some characteristics of any initiative that issustainable in the schools might be the following:a) portable enough to be available in every district in the province;b) consistent enough to be recognizable from school to school;c) visible enough to capture the attention of the average student;d) durable enough to withstand constructive criticism;e) flexible enough to evolve with the times; andf) diverse enough to be relevant to all young people regardless of their race,religion, class, culture, age, physical and mental ability, or sexual orientation.What would be a sustainable alternative to the existing PLEA network in thecommunity is the subject of another study.At a glance, these ideas may appear to be an addendum to education, particularlyfor those students who, as I write, are in senior high school. It is my view, however,that graduating students ought not to discount their ability to be a part of bringing aboutgender equality after graduation if they choose to do so. On the contrary, many ideasabout gender equality rights education are as basic to the outcome and application towomen’s experience as the three R’s of education that most of them were told wouldbe part of their education from kindergarten - Reasoning about problems, Respect forpersons, and Resolve to learn about things that are new to us.117NOTES FOR CHAPTER FOUR1. Gilligan. Making Connections: The Relational Worlds of Adolescent Girls at Emma WillardSchool. 1990.2. The recent child-care tax ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada was welcomed by theNational Action Committee on the Status of Women because business-related tax breaksultimately benefit high-income women who can afford to pay more for child-care than lowincome women.3. Taken from The Vancouver Sun article by Elizabeth Payne “New Puritans” Sat. March 5,1994.4. A CaDDella 85 % of eleven to nineteen year old girls sense that there is a double standardand different roles for women and men in adult life.118CHAPTER FIVE - RECOMMENDATIONSI RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EDUCATIONThere are many goals for gender equality rights education, but there are two maingoals in my view. One goal of gender equality rights education is to address historicaldisadvantage of women in relation to the economic and social benefits of society. Thereduction and eventual elimination of systemic discrimination would go a long waytowards achieving that aim.Another is to help young people envision a society that provides a variety of waysto have a fulfilling and secure life. One of the benefits of social equality is that we canbreak away from gender role stereotyping. All young people will have choices aboutjobs, relationships, and education.The following recommendations do not encompass all the ideas in the Delphistudy, nor do they represent a total strategy for gender equality rights education. Theyare simply a sampling of recommendations for curriculum, the educational system,teachers, community groups and young people that might make it possible to educateyoung people about social and legal equality.1. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CURRICULUM- clarify the values that are common to gender equality rights initiatives and testdecisions about curriculum, pedagogy, administration, and policy against their effect onlegal and social equality for women119- infuse into the curriculum explorations of the following: the gendered nature ofsociety, psychological gender identification, the dynamics of personal and politicalpower, accommodating of psychological and emotional experiences of women and men,our diversity in social, economic and physical backgrounds and awareness of globalhuman rights- make use of frameworks we have that seem particularly conducive to gender equalityrights education, such as Learning for Living, Law-related Education and Social Studies- provide good learning resources for curriculum that includes current material in schoollibraries2. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION- strengthen the Gender Equity Advisory Committee so that it can keep gender equalityrights education for schools on the agenda of the Ministry of Education CurriculumDevelopment Branch- keep up with present and future social trends important to women about family, work,health, and include that information in educational decision-making- follow through on any action that is begun in the schools that is considered to be a partof gender equality rights education- support coalitions of groups from the community and that develop resources for genderequality rights education services (such as Legal Services Society), school mentoringprograms (such as the Canadian Bar Association Mentoring program), speakers (such asWest Coast LEAF), projects for youth and especially projects by youth120- provide a common policy for gender equality rights projects but delegateresponsibilities for curricular development in such a way that promotes, augments oradds to existing curricula so that interdisciplinary projects are possible- reveal the decision-making process about educational matters, especially curriculum,and make decisions about gender equality rights education binding at all levels of theeducational system- take seriously research into alternative organizational models of schooling thataccommodate the relational, and physical and mental health aspects of daily life, andthat model decision-making processes that are inclusive of diverse groups of individuals.- strengthen commitment to establish an information conduit between the schools andthe legal community, government, and a full range of women’s advocacy groups that areclose to new developments in gender equality rights3. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TEACHERS- utilize knowledge about gender equality law and systemic discrimination in teachertraining- ask teachers for recommendations about gender equality rights education4. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE- rather than second-guessing young people, bring them into the dialogue and decisionmaking process by asking them for help in establishing priorities for learning aboutgender equality rights121- develop more group and individual advocacy skills in young people, conflictresolution skills, and the ability to think critically about social and legal issues.5. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY- sort out with the Attorney General’s office and other relevant government agencieswhat is needed to keep gender equality rights education developing at a communitylevelII RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCHOrganizing the Recommendations section of this paper was difficult because wedo not as yet have a conceptual framework for gender equality rights. So, the prioritiesare:1. Develop a conceptual framework for legal and social equality in the schools,perhaps a synthesis of existing frameworks.2. Action research in the schools - wholistic and interdisciplinary study of a schoolthat includes a kind of self-diagnostic test for gender inequality, or genderequality rights education that is already going on in the school.3. Research about young people K-i 2 regarding attitudes towards, beliefs about,knowledge and understanding of gender equality rights and find out how theycome to these attitudes, beliefs, and understandings.4. Address legal literacy of female and male students K-125. Find out how male educators and male students learn about gender equalityrights1226. Research gender equality language development, in particular theories of genderequality that explore what equality means for women of color, women withdisabilities, lesbian women, elderly women, women from different cultural andreligious backgrounds7. Establish new ways in university libraries to track research on gender equalityrights and young people8. Take seriously research into alternative organizational models of schooling thataccommodate the relational and physical and mental health aspects of daily life,and that model decision-making processes that are inclusive of diverse groups ofindividuals9. Provide funding for research and student scholarships in the field of genderequality rights educations.123REFERENCESPROFESSIONAL ARTICLES, ACADEMIC RESEARCH PAPERSAylm, Maryann. Genderized education: Tradition reconsidered. Educational Theory,1985, 35(4), 345-350.Bakan, Joel. Constitutional interpretation and social change: You cant always get whatyou want (nor what you need). Canadian Bar Review, 1991, .Z, 307-328.Bartlett, Katharine. Feminist legal method. Harvard Law Review, 1990, jQ., 829.Connell, R. W. Cool guys, swots and wimps: The interplay of masculinity andeducation. Oxford Review of Education, 1989, 15(3), 291-303.Coombs, Jerrold. Equal access to education: The ideal and the issues. (UBC, 1994 -forthcoming).Daniels, LeRoi. Diversity as an educational principle. Journal of Curriculum Studies,1993, 25(1), 65-76.Ennis, Robert. Equality of educational opportunity. Educational Theory, 1976, 26(1), 3-18.Houston, Barbara. Gender freedom and the subtleties of sexist education. EducationalTheory, 1985, 35(4), 359-369.Lather, Patti. Issues of validity in openly ideological research: Between a rock and a softplace. Interchange, 1986, 17(4), 63-84.MacDonald, Gayle. The meaning of equity. Canadian Woman Studies, 1991-1992,.12(3), 8-13.Majury, Diana. Equality and discrimination according to the Supreme Court of Canada.Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 1990-1991, 4, 407-439.Morgan, Kathryn Pauly. Freeing the children: The abolition of gender. EducationalTheory, 1985, 35(4), 351-357.Noddings, Net. The gender issue. Educational Leadership, December 1991-January1992, 4, 65-70.124Novogrodsky, Myra; Michael Kaufman, Dick Holland, and Margaret Wells. Retreat ofthe future: An anti-sexist workshop for high schoolers. Our Schools/Our Selves, 1 992,67-87.Razack, Sherene. Speaking for ourselves: Feminist jurisprudence and minority women.Canadian lournal of Women and the Law, 1 990-1 991, 4, 440-458.Shakeshaft, Charol. A gender at risk. Phi Delta Kappan, 1986, .Z(7) 499-503.Tite, Rosonna. Sex-role learning and the woman teacher: A feminist perspective.Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women Feminist PerspectivesSeries, 1986, No. 7.Toms, Marcia. Rationale and outline for a secondary schools women’s studies course.[SFU - unpublished].Warren, Karen J. Rewriting the future: The feminist challenge. Feminist Teacher, 1989,4(2/3), 46-52.Wasserstrom, Richard. Defense of programs of preferential treatment. Phi Kappa PhiNational Forum Journal, 1978, 5(1), 15-18.Wilson, Bertha. Law in society: The principles of sexual equality. Manitoba Law lournal,1983, fl, 221-233.BOOKSBrodsky, Gwen & Day, Shelagh. Canadian Charter Equality Rights for Women: OneStep Forward or Two Steps Back?. Ottawa: Canadian Advisory Council on the Status ofWomen, 1989.Case, Roland. Understanding Charter Decisions. Toronto: IPI Publishing Ltd., 1989.Case, Roland. On the Threshold: Canadian Law-Related Education. Vancouver: UBCCentre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction, 1 985.DeCoste, F. C., Munro, K. M., & MacPherson, Lillian (Eds.). Feminist Legal Literature:A Selective Annotated Bibliography. New York and London: Garland Publishing Inc.,1991.Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Seabury Press, 1970.Fullan, Michael. The Meaning of Educational Change. Toronto: OISE Press, 1982.125Gaskell, Jane & McLaren, Arlene (Eds.). Women and Education: A Canadian Perspective.Calgary: Detselig Enterprises Ltd., 1 987.Gilligan, Carol, Lyons, Nona P., & Hanmer, TrudyJ. Making Connections: The RelationalWorlds of Adolescent Girls at Emma Willard School. Cambridge: Harvard UniversityPress, 1990.Kostash, Myrna. No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girls. Toronto: McClellandand Stewart, 1987.Marshall, Catherine & Rossman, Gretchen. Designing Qualitative Research.London:Sage Publications Inc., 1989.Miles, Matthew B. & Huberman, A. Michael. Qualitative Data Analysis: A Sourcebookof New Methods. London: Sage Publications Inc., 1 984.Quade, E.S. (Editor 3rd Edition Grace M. Carter). Analysis for Public Decisions. A RandCorporation Research Study. New York: North Holland, 1989.Razack, Sherene. Feminism and Law: The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fundand the Pursuit of Equality in the Eighties. Toronto: Second Story Press, 1991.Sad ker, Myra & Frazier, Nancy (Eds.). Sexism in School and Society. New York: Harperand Row, 1973.Weiler, Joseph & Elliot, Robin (Eds.). Litigating the Values of a Nation: The Charter ofRights and Freedoms. Toronto: Carswell Co. Ltd., 1986.REPORTS & CASESAccess to Justice: A Response to the Report of the Justice Reform Committee by theGovernment of B.C., Ministry of the Attorney General of B.C., Victoria: Queens Printer,1989.American Association of University Women. Shortchanging Girls, ShortchangingAmerica. Greenberg-Lake Analysis Group Inc., Washington D.C., 1990Andrews v Law Society of B.C. (1989) 1 S.C.R. 143Berg v University of British Columbia (1993) (NO CITATION)Bliss v Attorney General of Canada (1978) 23 N.R. 527126Brooks, Allen, Dixon v Canada Safeway (1989) 1 S.C.R. 1219Butler (1992) (NO CITATION)Canadian Teachers’ Federation. A Cappella: A Report on the Realities, Concerns,Expectations and Barriers Experienced by Adolescent Women in Canada. Departmentof the Secretary of State, Ottawa, 1990Case, Roland. Analysis of the Provincial Social Studies Needs Assessment IntermediateProgram. A Submission to the Curriculum Revision Committee for Social Studies.Ministry of Education, Province of B.C. 1 992CNR v Canadian Human Rights Commission (1987) 1 S.C.R. 1114Daniels, Leroi and Roland Case. Charter Literacy and the Administration of lustice inCanada. Final Report for the Department of Justice Canada. UBC, June 30, 1992Day, Dian. Young Women in Nova Scotia: A Study of Attitudes, Behaviour andAspirations. Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Halifax, 1990Gender Equality in the lustice System. A Report of the Law Society of British ColumbiaGender Bias Committee. Vancouver, 1992Holme, Dorothy. Where B.C. Women Stand: 1990. A Collaborative Effort To Mark the20th Anniversary of the Royal Commission Report on the Status of Women, 1970-1990.1 990 Group, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, July 1 990Hughes, Ted. Access to lustice: A Report of the lustice Reform Committee. Ministry ofthe Attorney General of B.C., Victoria: Queens Printer, 1988.Janelle Holmes, Eliane Leslau Silverman. We’re Here, Listen to Us! A Survey of YoungWomen in Canada. Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women Ottawa, March1992Kage, Diane. Human Rights Education - Needs Study. British Columbia Human RightsCoalition, October 1990Lam, Angelo; and Louise Manson-Hing. Youth Views: Confronting the Issues. A Reporton the Burnaby Multicultural Society Youth Conference. Burnaby Multicultural Society,Burnaby, March 1990Mossop v Secretary of State (1990) [Unreported - Federal Court of Appeal, Doc. A 199-89]Norberg v Wynrib (1992) 68 B.C.L.R. 2nd 29127Pepsi/YTV Street Beat: A Teen Poll. Decima Research, Toronto, December 1 990Schacter v Ministry of Employment and Immigration (1 989) 52 D.L.R. 4th 525Sullivan, Barry M. Legacy for Learners: The Report of the Royal Commission onEducation, 1987-1 988. Victoria: Queens Printer, 1 988.CONFERENCE NOTES, PRESENTATIONS, PROCEEDINGSEquality ‘92 Youth Conference. Held at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel by West CoastWomen’s Legal Education and Action Fund, Vancouver, November 1 992.Gender in Secondary Schools: Issues and Insights Conference. Held at the University ofBritish Columbia by the Ministry of Education and the Vancouver School Board,Vancouver, October 1992.Healing the Past, Forming the Future Conference. Held at the Sheraton Landmark Hotelby the National Association of Women and the Law, Vancouver, February 1 993.Law vs Learning Conference: Examination for Discovery. Held at the New HarboursideHotel by the Legal Services Society of B.C. and Simon Fraser University, Vancouver,June 1988.Notes for an Address by the Honourable Kim Campbell Minister of lustice and AttorneyGeneral of Canada on the Occasion of the National Symposium on Women, the Lawand the Administration of lustice. Held in Vancouver by the National Association ofWomen and the Law, June 1991.Summer Institute for Law 1 2 Teachers. Held at the Law Courts by Simon FraserUniversity Centre for Law, Education and Society, Vancouver, August 1 990.Towards Equity: Gender Issues in Education Conference. Held at Dunsmuir Lodge bythe Ministry of Education Gender Equity Program and the Greater Victoria SchoolBoards, Victoria, March 1 993.Transitions 91: Here Today, Where Tomorrow? Conference, Held at the University ofBritish Columbia by Point Grey Secondary School, Vancouver, September 1 991.Widening the Circle: A Gathering With Young Women Conference, Held in Ottawa bythe Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, April 1992.Women’s Equality Rights in the Courts - Widening the Circle: The First LEAF Symposiumon Sex Equality Litigation. Held in Ottawa by the Women’s Legal Education and ActionFund, February 1992.128APPENDIX AQUESTIONS THAT PROVIDE A FRAMEWORK FOR THE DELPHI STUDY INTERVIEWS1. In your opinion, what are the main reasons for educating about gender equalityrights in the schools?2. Who should be educated about gender equality rights?3. How does the social context of schooling impact on our perceptions of genderequality rights?4. What attitudes towards gender equality rights do you believe exist in the cultureof our schools, that would sustain or hinder such a curriculum?5. In what ways does the diverse experience of race, culture, class, physical ormental ability, age and sexual orientation confound the purpose, goals andobjectives of educating about gender equality rights?6. To formalize the study of gender equality rights in the schools, we would haveto make some pedagogical decisions. Briefly, here are the categories and asample of the questions that need to be considered.a. CurriculumWhat concepts central to our understanding of gender equality rights do youthink should be included?What are the main legal issues we should focus on?What skills, abilities or attributes should we hope to develop through thiscurriculum?b. MethodologyHow should we educate about gender equality rights?i distinct subjectii integrated into the established curriculumiii inter-disciplinary approachHow much school time should be given over to the study of gender equalityrights?At what point in our schooling should we begin to educate about gender equalityrights?129c. Teacher EducationIf you were responsible for setting qualifications, would you require any specialtraining for teachers who teach about gender equality rights?d. Educational ResourcesWhat instructional materials and activities do you think are best suited to thestudy of gender equality rights?Would you recommend the use of resource persons and agencies from outsidethe educational system?7. Who should take responsibility for implementing the curriculum? What systemicsupport is necessary to sustain the curriculum once it is implemented and whoshould provide it?8. What method of evaluation would provide us with the information we need toassess the effectiveness of the curriculum and support recommendations toteachers and administrators about the curriculum?130APPENDIX BDELPHI STUDY PARTICIPANTSI Selection Criteria for Interview ParticipantsOne or more of the following:a) a publicly recognized contribution in the area of gender equality rightsb) holds or has held in the recent past: a) an elected or appointed position in publicinstitutions, organizations, etc., or b) a professional job or position relevant togender equality rightsc) substantial first hand experience with the issues that are argued in gender equalitylitigationd) recommendation from people with the above expertiseIt List of Participants - Interviews Completed 1 9941. Ms. Shirley Avril Coordinator, Gender Equity and Women’s Programs, Ministryof Education (B.C.)2. Ms. Penny Bain Lawyer and Consultant to the Ministry of the Attorney Generalof B.C. on Ministry Policy about Violence Against Women and Gender Equalityin the Justice System, and Former Director, Public Legal Education and SchoolsProgram, Legal Services Society of B.C.3. Mr. Joel Bakan Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, UBC, and Constitutional LawAnalyst4. Ms. Susan Boyd Chair in Women and the Law, Faculty of Law, UBC5. Ms. Christine Boyle Professor, Faculty of Law, UBC, and Member of LegalCommittee of West Coast LEAF* Association6. Ms. Yvonne Brown Program Advisor, Teacher Education Centre, UBC President,Congress of Black Women (B.C.) and Trustee, Vancouver School Board7. Ms. Cathy Bruce Lawyer and Former Coordinator, Gender Bias Committee, LawSociety of B.C.1318. Dr. William Bruneau Professor, Department of Social and Educational Studies,UBC and former School Trustee, Vancouver School Board9. Ms. Carole Caidwell Co-ordinator, Status of Women Program, B.C. Teachers’Federation10. Ms. Phyllis Chuly Provincial Education Policy Analyst, Ministry of Women’sEquality (B.C.)11. Ms. barbara findlay Lesbian feminist lawyer; Secretary, Lesbian and Gay RightsSection, B.C. Branch, Canadian Bar Association Lecturer, Women and the Law,Faculty of Law, UBC12. Dr. Margaret Fulton Adjunct Professor, Department of Language Education, UBC,Education Consultant and Member of the Board of Directors of West Coast LEAF*Association13. Ms. Gloria George Director, Aboriginal Initiatives Branch, Ministry of AboriginalAffairs (B.C.)14. Ms. Wendy Harvey Crown Counsel, Ministry of the Attorney General of B.C.Criminal Justice Branch, Criminal Appeals and Special Prosecutions15. Ms. Mobina Jaffer Lawyer, Co-founder of Immigrant and Visible Minority WomenAssociation, and Chair of the National Task Force on Violence Against Women16. Ms. Maureen Maloney Deputy Minister, Ministry of the Attorney General of B.C.and Former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria17. Mr. Ron Rapin Schools Program, Legal Services Society of BC18. Ms. Roisin Sheehy-Cuihane School Programs, B.C. Human Rights Coalition19. Dr. Jane Thomas Curriculum Development Specialist and Director, GenderCommittee, Vancouver School Board20. CONFIDENTIAL* Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, B.C. Branch132APPENDIX CCategories of Projects Funded by the Ministry of EducationGender Equity Program 1991-1 993 and Quantitative Summation of Projects by Subjectfrom K - 12*Math and science 13Administration 11Teachers 9Physical education 6Humanities 5Counselling 4Business 3Careers 3Violence 2Home economics 1Law 1* This breakdown does not indicate whether the project was focused on educatorsor students. Three of the projects were classified twice due to overlap in thecontent. A full annotated report is forthcoming from the Special EducationBranch of the Ministry of Education.


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