Gender Matters: A Globally Focused Professional Development Workshop for Educators

Gender Matters image

August 5-8, 2019


Workshop Background


The Harvard Global Studies Outreach summer workshop for 2019 will focus on gender, considering both issues of identity and equality. The following questions will guide our exploration of this global topic:


  1. What is gender? How has it been constructed and understood across time, place and space? How does gender intersect with race, sexuality, class, ability, and other differences that affect people’s power and well-being?(identity)
  2. What is the current state of gender equality in different global communities? How do different global societies think about gender equality and to what extent do they share and pursue a common vision? (equality)
  3. How do understandings of gender shape access, opportunities, and systems?  How do systems and institutions (political, economic, cultural, academic, familial, etc.) reinforce, depend upon, or dismantle gender inequalities? (power)
  4. What do our students need to understand about gender identity and equality so they can help create a peaceful, sustainable world in which all people are equally empowered and respected? How do we, as educators, create a learning environment for them that is affirming, safe, and equitable? (agency)

As a learning community, we will:


  • Examine gender as a biological reality and a cultural construct;

  • Unpack our own understandings and biases about what it means to be male, female, and non-binary;

  • Consider how factors such as race, class, disability status, religion, sexual orientation add complexity to intersecting issues around gender inequality (intersectionality);

  • Focus broadly on global patterns, trends and perspectives to enrich and expand our understanding of gender identity and equality beyond the American viewpoint; and

  • Elaborate and share the perspectives of our students, considering how we can increase their understanding of gender in its many facets and help prepare them to live and work in this evolving landscape (although they may prove to be better prepared than us!)


What does this workshop offer me as an educator?


  • A focus on both content and pedagogy, which allows you to wrestle with new ideas and insights individually and with peers in small learning groups;

  • Presentations and regional case studies by scholars and practitioners who study gender;

  • Pedagogy and skill-building techniques, including many designed and further developed at Project Zero, a Harvard Graduate School of Education-based research group, as well as an examination of gender equality as defined and prioritized United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and

  • An introduction to relevant classroom resources, including Harvard-based resources,  to explore with your colleagues and students.

  • Successful participants will receive 35 Professional Development Points. Interested educators can earn two graduate credits from Framingham State University for an additional fee of $150. Those interested in graduate credit are expected to complete an additional post-workshop assignment.

What is expected of participants?

  • Full participation on all four days of the workshop;

  • Completion of pre-work assignments, including readings, video viewings, and posting to a workshop blog.

  • Willingness to consider your own perspective and biases around gender and engage in open and productive conversations with peers on questions and issues around the topic.

How much does it cost to participate?

The cost of participation in the workshop is $75, which can be paid by check once you have confirmed your participation in the summer workshop. If this cost is prohibitive, please be in touch with Cris Martin by email.

Unfortunately, Global Studies Outreach at Harvard cannot provide financial assistance for travel or lodging to workshop participants.

The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, with support from a Title VI/National Resource Center Grant from the US Department of Education, is able to offer limited travel reimbursement to Community College educators from outside Massachusetts. If you meet these two criteria and are interested in applying for these funds, please declare this within the workshop application. 

How do I apply?

Participation in this program is determined through an application-based selection process. The application deadline is April 5, 2019. You will hear from us in late April regarding your application status.



Email Cris Martin with any questions or concerns about the workshop or the application process.

Sponsored by the Asia Center, the Center for African Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator, and the Religious Literacy Project of Harvard University.