based on a paper presentation, “A comparison of pre-service and in-service teachers’ attitudes to language and gender issues in Hong Kong schools,” she gave at the PolyU-CALLS 2023 conference.
Abstract of the Paper: Even with the increasing awareness of gender issues in Hong Kong, gender studies is still not included in teacher training programmes, especially when considering the important role of language in tackling such issues. Teachers have an important role to play in reducing bias and challenging norms (Brown 2021). Therefore, the aim of this paper is to examine teachers’ attitudes to issues of gender and language in Hong Kong schools. To form some initial insights on the issue, in this research both in- service and pre- service teachers’ perspectives are examined to explore the relationship between teaching experience and attitudes. In- depth interviews were conducted with three in-service teachers and three pre-service teachers. An analysis of the interview data reveals that all teachers hold positive attitude in promoting gender inclusivity, but their levels of engagement differ; an outcome which might be affected by their level of teaching experience, personal background or even the school in which they teach. However, it was also found that teachers still hold traditional gender stereotypes and career expectations for students that may potentially impact and limit students’ development. The findings of the study therefore suggest that current gender education in Hong Kong is insufficient, and improvement is needed.