This working paper was commissioned as a background paper for the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2013/2014 – Teaching and Learning: Achieving quality for all . The report shows why education is pivotal for development in a rapidly changing world. It explains how investing wisely in teachers, and other reforms aimed at strengthening equitable learning, transform the long term prospects of people and societies.
The broad purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion on why teaching and learning are pivotal for development by critically exploring their gendered dimensions. The paper proposes an overarching framework for understanding the role of gender in teaching and learning. In particular, four specific research questions are addressed:
- Which teaching and learning practices and policies are particularly effective in responding to the learning needs of girls, especially girls from disadvantaged groups?
- Which teaching and learning practices can overcome gender discrimination and gender-based violence?
- To what extent can a gendered approach to teacher education make a difference to the educational experience of girls, including their learning experiences?
- What are examples of curriculum and assessment reforms that have supported teachers in improving and supporting equitable learning outcomes for girls?
In attempting to address these questions through an analytical review of existing evidence, the paper shows why a gendered understanding of teaching and learning is pivotal for equitable development. It puts forth an effective case for promoting investments in gender-focused teacher professional development and in a gender-equitable whole school approach.