In December 2016, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC stressed at an ideological and political work conference that colleges and universities should "adhere to moral education as the core of ideological and political work throughout the entire process of education, to achieve full and all-round education for students." This caused a warm response in mainland colleges and universities.
The connotation of ideological and political education in colleges and universities is rich. Gender equality education in colleges and universities in China is still facing a lack of gender perspective in courses on gender equality education and the construction of gender-based disciplines, weak teachers' awareness of gender equality and gender segregation in classrooms. College teachers therefore need their awareness of gender equality enhanced, and knowledge on gender equality to be integrated into professional courses. Suitable schools should integrate gender related courses and implement gender equality education in the whole process of teaching.
Dilemma of gender equality education in Colleges and Universities
Higher education is the most direct and effective way to teach students to understand and form the concepts of gender equality. At present, colleges and universities have made progress in gender equality education, but they still face the following difficulties.
The gender equality consciousness of college teachers still needs upgrading. The implementation of gender equality education in higher education requires teachers to have a strong sense of gender equality. It is found that the weak gender awareness of female teachers in colleges and universities leads to their lower gender role expectations and lower achievement expectations. In their teaching practice, their gender-role behavior, emotions, attitude, way of thinking, behavior patterns and gender expectations, gradually form a gender-role awareness of their students through students' acceptance and internalization.
Gender equality education curriculum and discipline construction in colleges and universities still lack gender perspective. Our professional education curriculum and subject curriculum design and teaching contents, especially the curriculum of humanities, still focuses on fields and issues which are men's concerns not women's. Issues about women are neglected and forgotten. Students inadvertently follow such thinking and actions, which leads to a strengthening of the value system and stereotyped gender roles of men and women.
The gender segregation in college classrooms has not been resolved. It is found that there are still unequal gender interactions, gender segregation and unequal distribution of educational resources in the classroom teaching of colleges and universities. Gender segregation has not been digested, and has gradually become recessive. Such different interactions in each specialty and discipline's teaching directly affects the enthusiasm and consciousness of the male and female college students to participate in classroom activities.
Path of gender equity education throughout the whole process of teaching
The author believes that the following aspects should be carried out in colleges and universities to practice gender equality education.
Promote the gender equality awareness and concepts of college teachers. Every teacher should consciously and voluntarily enhance their awareness of gender equality, so that they can get rid of the shackles of traditional gender concepts and treat each student equally. Every teacher should create an equal educational environment for both male and female students, making their teaching behaviors become a model for the practice of gender equality.
Integrate gender equality education in the teaching of specialized courses. Teachers should consciously integrate gender equality awareness into the consciousness of the teaching of professional knowledge, avoid the stereotype of class assignments, and provide opportunities for all students to participate in various activities and learning. Teachers are students' learning and imitation models in words and deeds, emotions and will, so they teach by examples of themselves.
Schools where conditions permit should take the lead in gender related courses. In college, a gender-related curriculum plays a main role in promoting the cultivation of gender equality education and gender awareness. Schools where conditions permit should take the lead in the creation of gender-related courses, and construct women/gender courses with Chinese characteristics to make it a relatively independent discipline.
Teaching in colleges and universities is a complex process of information and emotional communication, and also a process of forming and shaping ways of thinking. Only through the introspection of teachers for the concept of gender equality concepts and awareness, and with a strong sensitivity to gender equality concepts, can gender equality education can be carried out throughout the whole process of teaching in colleges and universities.
(Source: WSIC/Translated by GSN)