Great interest has been expressed in teachers' hands-on workshops, organized by the Here Today... Where Tomorrow? program resource team. The content and format would be designed to assist the delivery of the project modules by classroom teachers, with mentor assistance, in their own schools.
The Steering Committee has agreed that the following activities should be supported for the next year: development of a video that is project-based and covers the generic skills workshop including the discussion with teachers, students, and women mentors; development of a mobile tool kit that contains all the tools required to complete a project; development of support material such as a teacher's kit and local resource list; involvement in professional development with Boards of Education; continued support of local demonstration projects like the one in Midland. All schools are being advised of these activities, and their support, advice, and guidance is being sought.
In order to ensure continuation of this project, we are left with serious questions. How to provide on-going support to those dedicated people and local communities who want to maintain and further develop the philosophy of Here Today.. Where Tomorrow? What is the role of a central Steering Committee with a decentralized program? And what is the role and what are the implications of the position of coordinator?
Does the program's title confuse a fundamental focus of self-esteem and confidence with a greater emphasis on career orientation, and is a change of title necessary for the inclusion of activities and philosophy into regular curriculum materials? And why does the lingering issue of a girls-only event remain ever present? For five years we have been presenting research, data, and practical examples that support a female-only event as an introduction for girls entering unknown territory. Finally, what is the possibility of influencing the delivery of the new Design and Technology curriculum for the elementary level so that the particular needs of girls are taken into consideration (2)?
We have some general suggestions. A research project, where girls co-investigate with a researcher whether they want a female-only event, should be undertaken and perhaps this will settle the controversy once and for all. As well, a research project to investigate an existing secondary level technical program for girls-only should be set up. The importance of the hiring of female role models, particularly in Technical departments, and the participation of Here Today... Where Tomorrow? resource staff in providing leadership for professional development workshops must be promoted.
Barbara Leek was an instructor with Women Into Trades and Technology. She is presently Coordinator of Here Today... Where Tomorrow? and instructor in "Muskoka Women Into Trades", a program of the Muskoka Women's Advocacy Group. She is also developing employment skills training programs for institutionalized special populations.
Jane Dalton is a member of the Program Committee for Here Today... Where Tomorrow? She has developed and implemented several programs at the college level for women considering entry into trades and/or technical fields and has developed and acts as a consultant to a literacy program for institutionalized special populations. She is completing her Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.