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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Teacher Awareness of Gender Roles in Early Childhood and Childhood Education Classrooms

When children enter the classroom for the first time they are already aware of what are socially ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviors for boys and for girls. They understand that girls play with dolls and boys play with trucks, girls are fragile and boys are tough, girls wear pink and boys wear blue. This gender binary tends to be reinforced by early childhood education teachers, who are unaware that they are perpetuating gender stereotypes in their classrooms. Teachers are a major contributor to how children understand, carry out, and respond to gender, and can be useful resources (when trained) to reverse the trend of gender stereotyping in society. When teachers unknowingly promote gender binaries and stereotypes in their classrooms problems arise, such as: unequal access to educational materials, promotion of stereotypical gender roles, unequal expectations concerning careers, sexual harassment and an intolerance of any persons or things that are different.

Presenter: Brandy More (Undergraduate Student)
Location: 217 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)