Gender Representation in the Classroom: Final Thoughts

Gender representation is a serious issue that is constantly changing.  Each month brings new issues to the forefront; strong teachers will use current events to help shape their dynamic lessons.

This lesson is part of a large mini-unit on Teaching Gender Representation in the Media.  It can be used as a stand-alone piece or part of a larger conversation.



There are a wealth of resources available to help you continue exploring the issue of gender representation.  While some specifically target classroom teachers, many are essayists who write passionately about feminism and contemporary concerns.

You will find a currated list that will help focus your ongoing exploration here.


Classroom Specific

The British Council: How to approach teaching gender equality to boys and girls

Australian Aid – Tool Kit on Gender Equality Results and Indicators

Teaching Tolerance – ‘Good Morning Boys and Girls’: When a simple greeting engenders stereotypes.

Pacific Standard – The Importance of Teaching Gender in International Relations Classrooms

Vanderbilt University – Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary in the University Classroom


Important Blogs

Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

The Mary Sue

Ms. Magazine

The Guardian | Feminism




Toronto District School Board – 2012 Gender Report


Next Steps…

As mentioned, Gender issues are constantly changing.  Be sure to add updated sites that you follow in the comments below.  I’ll work to add them to this living document.

If you haven’t seen the full Teaching Gender Representation in the Media unit, be sure to look at through all the different classroom-ready lessons.  Or, you can just head straight to the Gender Lessons: Resource Download Page.


PART 1: Gender Representation in the Media

PART 2: Lesson – The Toy Box

PART 3: Lesson – The Gender Box

PART 4: Lesson – The Past is Present – Part 1

PART 5: Lesson – The Past is Present – Part 2

PART 6: Lesson – Annotating Texts

PART 7: Lesson – Gender R.A.F.T.

PART 8: Lesson – Reshaping Roles

PART 9: Final Thoughts

PART 10: Gender Representation – Resources

Pixabay: Royalty Free Stock Photos for Teachers and Professionals

One thing that few people realize is that not every picture on the internet is fair game for teacher use.  At the end of the day, will you face legal reprimands for using a picture you downloaded from someone’s website?  Probably not.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to stick to using legal images.  This is also a great way to introduce your students to the ideas of plagiarism, and let them know where they can find images they may want to use for commercial works they are planning to create.


Street Art and Handouts

I once looked at a co-workers handout and saw something very familiar about the street art image they used.  A quick check later showed that it was one of my own pictures.  I gave that teacher explicit consent to use it, lest you think I’m a terrible person.

The copyright of a photograph of street art is an entirely different, far more complicated, question.  So we’ll avoid that.  This example just proves that once pictures are posted on the internet, they often find their way around, legally or otherwise.


Can I Legally Use that Image?

This question is a great one to ask before you start adding them to your documents.  To discover the answer there are three main questions you should ask yourself.

Did you create it?

The first question you want to ask yourself is “did I create that image?” This means, you either drew it or pressed the shutter button on the camera that took the picture.  Just because you’re in the picture doesn’t mean you own it.  Whoever literally pressed the button is the legal copyright owner.  That’s why I can’t make millions on that beautiful picture of me on the sand dune, and also why there’s someone involved in legal battles against a monkey.

Is it fair use?

If you’re using the image for educational purposes you’re almost always covered.  This is explained in Section 29 of the Copyright Act under Fair Dealing.  Now you think, ah hah!  I need not be concerned with this advice, as I can use any images I want because “Fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire does not infringe copyright.”  And while that’s true, if you want to sell your lessons, or post them on a website (not unlike this one) that’s where it becomes murkier.  Is this website for education, or is it for commercial gains?  I’d rather not have to hire a lawyer to figure that out for me.

Is the image covered under Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a movement all about sharing.  There are a number of types of creative commons licenses, but the one that you really want to keep your eye out for is CC0 1.0 which allows you to use the image without attribution for commercial purposes.  Basically, it allows you to use the image for anything you want.  You can put them in a book you plan to sell, add them to an app, or use them on a commercial website.  In theory, you could create a photobook of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 images and sell it.  But, you shouldn’t.  Because that’s not nice.

Why do people add their own images?

For the same reason people update Wikipedia, and upload free 3D printer models.  To make the world a better place.


Where can I find CC0 1.0 Images?

Surprising no one, the answer is Pixabay!  When you go to the site, you can download images in various resolutions for personal use.  Each image explains what Creative Commons license applies to it.  Most of them are CC0 1.0 (beware images of Lego or Disney toys, those ones will almost always be covered by a different license.)

You can upload your own images to help grow the community, or give donations to people whose images you really enjoy.  But you don’t have to, and you’ll never be bothered to do that.  It’s just an option made available to you.

For all your royalty free image needs, be sure to start your search at