Co-constructing Learning and Teaching Experiences: A TDG on Developing Gender Sensitivity of Social Work Students

Suet Lin Shirley HUNG
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
slhung@hkbu.edu.hk

Abstract

Sensitivity to diversities has always been considered necessary for universities graduates who are facing a globalizing world. One of the social divisions - gender - has to be attended to particularly where traditional definitions of masculinities and femininities have been dominant. Gender sensitivity is the awareness of how gender, together with other social factors such as age, class, ethnicity, disabilities and sexualities, has constructed young peoples' relationships with others, choices of career, aspiration for the future, and most of all, shaped their understanding and expectation on themselves. The awareness, however, cannot be effectively cultivated through one-way instruction. The presenter, while teaching the course Gender and Social Work for the final year students studying the Bachelor of Social Work programme, completed a TDG which has involved the students to develop gender sensitivity exercises. It is a co-construction process of teaching and learning experiences when the students were 'teaching' and the teacher was learning from how they 'teach'. The students, after designing the exercises, conducted them in class. All students were invited to feedback on the design and the possible impact of the exercises. Reflections were also collected about the awareness of gender and its impact on the self. Together, the teacher and the students published a training manual on gender sensitivity exercises which has been used continuously as a teaching material. The other part of the TDG is role playing of a support group for divorced women by the teacher and students the process of which is also a co-teaching and co-learning process.

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