- How do we allow children to combat stereotypes and foster independent thought?
- Are we continuing to create a gender divide within academic disciplines?
- Do our classrooms favour one gender over another?
- Are the stories we read perpetuations of stereotypical gender roles? If so, are we educating our kids to recognize them?
- How often do we say, “Boys will be boys,” “Boys and girls,” “Oh, she’s such a good girl…?”
Over the past several years, I have been fascinated by the power of our language on our students. While researching articles on learning through play, I stumbled across this article, Why Does Gender Matter? Counteracting Stereotypes With Young Children. The authors, Olaiya Aina and Petronella Cameron, forced me to think about the language I have used with students and how it affects gender stereotypes. They state, “While unintentional, a teacher’s inherent biases can perpetuate unfair stereotypes and may be manifested in discriminatory classroom practices,” (Aina and Cameron, 13). I began to wonder if my classroom environment was becoming like Toys R Us.
What I’m thinking about…
These postings were originally published for teachers at Munich International School as part of their weekly leadership blog about teaching and learning.