Studies confirm that gender socialization influences school perseverance as well as school drop-out and drop-in (Higher Education Council, 1999). This socialization is especially the result of the different attitudes and expectations we have towards children and young people, according to their gender (Persévérer dans l’égalité, 2016). It reinforces gender stereotypes, and children internalize them. Thus, girls and boys have a different school experience. It is also recognized that girls and boys who adhere to sex stereotypes are the ones who drop out the most.
This differentiated socialization also influences school career paths and, ultimately, career choices (Conseil du statut de la femme, 2015). This phenomenon is reflected in particular, but not exclusively, by:
- Differences in the process of school disengagement: drop-out girls are more affected than boys by psychological factors or family problems, which are often not visible in school. As for boys, they indicate the desire or need to work as a reason for dropping out (Guide persévérer dans l’égalité, 2018).
- Inequalities mean that girls who drop out are more disadvantaged than boys in their socioeconomic pathways, because they are more likely to experience precariousness and poverty (Théorêt and Hrimech, 1999). Socio-economic deprivation is one of the main risk factors of dropout and is partly related to the under-enrollment of mothers, which means that students who have an unqualified mother are at higher risk of dropping out than others (FAE – Relais-Femmes, 2010).
- From early childhood, several studies show significant inequalities at girls’ benefit in terms of initiation and motivation to read, which greatly influences the continuation of schooling (ELDEQ, 2015).
- In the workplace and college, gender stereotypes can have a significant impact on the integration of students into studies leading to occupations that are traditionally male or female (eg women in forestry, or adventure tourism, men in nursing or social work) and the quality of their training.
- In the region, academic and professional segregation is more pronounced than elsewhere in Quebec (Conseil du statut de la femme, 2015). To address these issues, TCGFGIM participated in 2015-2016 in the development and testing of a guide on school perseverance and gender stereotypes (Persévérer dans l’égalité, 2016). This guide aimed at educators and was intended to raise awareness of the links between adherence to sex-role stereotyping among young people and prospects for student retention.
We have therefore wished to improve the Perseverance in Equality approach to enable educators to truly integrate these findings into their educational practices and thus develop intervention strategies adapted to the realities of the different educational environments, from early childhood to college. Keeping that in mind, we have set up this website, which brings together tools and intervention strategies for each grade level. The tools are adapted to the various contexts encountered in the Gaspé and Magdalene Islands, namely those of the Francophone, Anglophone and Mi’kmaq communities.
During the 2019-2020 school year, about 15 experimental places will benefit from training courses and support so that their staff will begin to put into practice some intervention strategies to deconstruct gender stereotypes, both in their teaching practices and in their interventions with students. In 2020-2021, this training will be deployed throughout the Gaspé and Magdalene Islands so that more teaching environments can benefit from this training.