Tackling Gender Inequality from the Early Years: Strategies for building a gender-transformative pre-primary education system

Tackling Gender Inequality from the Early Years: Strategies for building a gender-transformative pre-primary education system

AUTHOR(S)
Dita Nugroho; Mayra Delgado; Bella Baghdasaryan; Stefania Vindrola; Divya Lata; Ghazala Mehmood Syed

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
Access to early childhood education has increased over the last two decades, with global enrolment rates showing gender parity in access among boys and girls. Despite this gender parity in access, the pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle gender inequities and address harmful gender stereotypes while they are being absorbed by the youngest learners. As such, this research explores the ways in which pre-primary education can become more gender-transformative at a system level and presents 11 key strategies to support this goal. The strategies are organized around five interconnected action areas: planning and budgeting; curriculum; workforce development; family and community engagement; and quality assurance. These strategies can help governments and policymakers to proactively incorporate gender-responsiveness into the design and implementation of their pre-primary education policy and programming, following a system-wide perspective.
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Addressing gender inequalities through early years education

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Addressing gender inequalities through early years education

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Access to pre-primary education has increased significantly in the past two decades and, as of today, boys and girls are participating equally. However, despite this gender parity in access, the pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle gender inequalities and address harmful gender stereotypes and norms. In particular, children begin to gain insight into certain cultural gender stereotypes as early as the ages of two and three. There is, therefore, a need to proactively incorporate gender-responsive and gender-transformative strategies into the design and implementation of pre-primary education systems to address gender inequalities. 
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Supporting gender-transformative parenting through pre-primary education systems

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Supporting gender-transformative parenting through pre-primary education systems

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Children begin learning about gender stereotypes as early as age two. The pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle and address harmful gender stereotypes while they are being absorbed by the youngest learners. All components of the pre-primary system have a role to play in breaking down these stereotypes. This includes parents, who are the primary agents of gender socialization for their children. As young children are in the process of forming their own gender identity, their primary caregivers can reinforce their behaviors and act as role models on how to behave and interact with others. This brief highlights key strategies and considerations to ensure family and community members are active agents of change for gender-transformative education and development.
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Tools for gender-transformative policy and programming

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Tools for gender-transformative policy and programming

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Gender-transformative pre-primary education requires a coherent system that integrates gender considerations across all its core components for a quality service delivery. This brief presents a set of tools to support policymakers and/or practitioners to progress towards gender-transformative pre-primary education policy and programming, organized by the five core components of quality pre-primary primary education systems: planning and budgeting; curriculum; workforce development; family and community engagement; and quality assurance. The tools provide key gender considerations to strengthen each core component and advocate for gender-responsive and gender-transformative policies and practices. 
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: A System-wide approach to tackling inequalities from the early years

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: A System-wide approach to tackling inequalities from the early years

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Mainstreaming gender within pre-primary education is a priority in tackling gender-related inequalities from the early years. Such mainstreaming requires the commitment of a variety of stakeholders within the education system and beyond, including different units within education ministries, pre-service and in-service teacher training providers, teacher unions, other ministries, academia and civil society organizations. This brief presents key advocacy points and enabling conditions to support education ministries to engage these partners in the delivery of gender-transformative pre-primary education. Advocacy points are aligned with the five components of quality systems: planning and budgeting; curriculum development and implementation; workforce development; family and community engagement; and quality assurance.  
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Investing in pre-primary education workforce development for gender equality

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Investing in pre-primary education workforce development for gender equality

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Children begin learning about gender stereotypes as early as age two. The pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle and address harmful gender stereotypes while they are being absorbed by the youngest learners. All components of the pre-primary system have a role to play in breaking down these stereotypes. This includes the teaching workforce, who play a crucial role in determining how the education system contributes to gender equality and whose actions can influence children’s learning experiences and their personal gendered views and behaviour. This brief highlights key strategies and considerations to ensure the pre-primary workforce can be prepared to stop gender stereotypes from being perpetuated, and ways they can create a learning environment that is gender-transformative.
Best of UNICEF Research 2022

Best of UNICEF Research 2022

AUTHOR(S)
UNICEF Innocenti

Published: 2022 Miscellanea

Best of UNICEF Research showcases the most rigorous, innovative and impactful research produced by UNICEF offices worldwide. While evidence highlights emerging issues, it also informs decisions and provides policy and programme recommendations for governments and partners, to improve children's lives.

This year, Best of UNICEF Research celebrates its 10th edition. It features 12 research projects that the selection panel concurred deserved special recognition for delivering results for children in 2022. How? By informing decision-making, shaping policy, raising public awareness, driving social change, and giving children and young people a voice on the issues that affect them most through participatory research.

These endeavours showcase both the power of innovation in the face of emergency and crisis, and the virtues of agility, endurance and scalability. They also offer solutions and ways to learn from each other. Each piece of research offers a set of adaptable tools: validated methodologies; templates for emergency response plans; methods of monitoring and measuring progress; and examples of successful collaboration between stakeholders. 

 

Let Us Learn: Making education work for the most vulnerable in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal

Let Us Learn: Making education work for the most vulnerable in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Learning remains largely out of reach for many of the most vulnerable children around the world. In low- and middle-income countries, an estimated 56% of children cannot read a simple text by the age of 10. This share is projected to rise to 70% after the pandemic. The school closures imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak, coupled with an enduring tendency in low-income countries to allocate a limited share of the national education budget to the most vulnerable, are further widening inequalities in the global learning crisis landscape.

The Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative implements innovative education programmes to improve learning for the most vulnerable children in five countries with high levels of out-of-school children: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal. This report documents the outcomes, lessons learned and recommendations based on the experience of the initiative across four types of learning programmes spanning the education lifecycle: (1) pre-primary education; (2) accelerated learning pathways; (3) programmes to reduce barriers to access and stay in formal school; and (4) vocational training.

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Ghana

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Spogmai Akseer; Ximena Jativa

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Education has been a priority for Ghana since its independence, with current expenditures representing double the average for Africa and other developing nations. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government aimed to enhance the quality of education and teacher attendance, including improving school infrastructure and providing textbooks and incentive packages to attract more teachers to rural and remote areas. However, the disruption of the pandemic forced school closures and economic consequences, threatening to push millions of vulnerable children out of the education system, widen inequalities and impede progress on the country’s development goals. The Ghana Time to Teach research project set out to capture teachers’ voices and provide a comprehensive understanding of teacher attendance in pre-tertiary schools in the country. Although data collection for this study was completed before the onset of COVID-19, it provides valuable insights into how the national education system can be strengthened to improve teacher motivation, attendance, and time on task. Detailed findings, analysis and policy implications can be found in the report.

Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Côte d’Ivoire

Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Côte d’Ivoire

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Si la Côte d’Ivoire a accompli de grands progrès pour faciliter l’accès à son système éducatif et en améliorer la qualité, d’importantes lacunes subsistent en matière d’apprentissage et de réussite des élèves. On estime que huit enfants sur dix en Côte d’Ivoire ne maîtrisent pas la lecture à l’âge de 10 ans et disposent de compétences insuffisantes en mathématiques à la sortie du primaire. Les données probantes existantes suggèrent que l'absentéisme des enseignants serait responsable de la perte d'environ 25 pour cent du temps d'enseignement dans les écoles primaires du pays. Si l’on tient compte de l’absentéisme des élèves et des retards dans le calendrier scolaire, la perte moyenne s’élève à deux mois par année scolaire. La présente étude « Time to Teach » vise à contribuer à une meilleure compréhension de l’assiduité des enseignants dans les écoles primaires en Côte d’Ivoire. Pour ce faire, l’étude adopte un concept large de l’absentéisme des enseignants, qui comprend :  l’absence de l’école, le manque de ponctualité, l’absence de la salle de classe et la réduction du temps d’enseignement.

How relaxing develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

How relaxing develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

AUTHOR(S)
Sabbiana Cunsolo; Victor Cebotari; Dominic Richardson; Marloes Vrolijk

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

From a developmental perspective, skills or capacities, such as ‘relaxing’, are commonly considered necessary for children to achieve optimal development and reach their full
potential. From this perspective ‘relaxing’ can be considered a capacity that could help children to cope with emotional and behavioural problems and lower their levels of stress and anxiety.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to map the existing evidence of cultivating ‘relaxing’ as a key core capacity with an explicit focus on children, and understand age-related development, links to wellbeing and other core capacities, and the levels and application of ‘relaxing’ among significant adults in children’s lives. These contributions will help inform real, positive and efficient changes in general policies and practices for child development.

How reflecting develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

How reflecting develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

AUTHOR(S)
Marloes Vrolijk; Dominic Richardson; Sabbiana Cunsolo

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

Reflecting, or thinking about one’s own thinking, is understood by the Learning for Well-Being Foundation as one of the possible core capacities which may influence well-being in children. This study explores the academic literature for theoretical and empirical evidence in support of this conceptualization.

Drawing from a multidisciplinary evidence base, what is the empirical and theoretical evidence of children’s reflecting and how does it interact with overall well-being throughout childhood?

The objectives of the review are to map the evidence of the development of reflecting in children, describe possible gaps in the literature and search whether any studies explore reflecting as a core capacity, or study the relationship between reflecting and child well-being. In doing so this paper focuses on the possibly diverse development of the core capacity in children, on the capacity in parents, teachers and other caregivers and the role they play in the development of the core capacity, and on the evidence from the academic literature.

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