• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Some teachers believe that gender doesn't matter to young children, some believe that good early childhood practice produces equity for all and others believe that pursuing gender equity compromises relationships with parents. Glenda MacNaughton confronts these common myths and shows that even very young children are clearly aware of gender roles, whether they are playing among themselves, listening to stories or interacting with adults.

Rethinking Gender in Early Childhood

Education reveals how the focus on individual development that is promoted in early childhood education doesn't produce gender equity. Rather, everyday teaching practices influence the gendering of young children's identities. Glenda MacNaughton draws on theory and research to explain this and to develop approaches, which open up new possibilities for both boys and girls.

Reconceptualising Early Childhood Pedagogies
Reconceptualising early childhood pedagogies

I began this book with the aim of unsettling several myths that make gender equity and traditional early childhood education unlikely and uncomfortable allies. These myths are that:

  • Gender is biologically fixed and immutable
  • Good early childhood practice inherently produces equitable outcomes for all children
  • Gender is not an issue in early childhood settings
  • Young children don't know or care about gender
  • Early childhood teachers solved the problems of how to work for gender equity years ago
  • Boys miss out in gender equity programs
  • Individual teachers are free to pursue gender equity if they want to
  • Parents cannot be allies in gender equity programs
  • Gender equity and multiculturalism do not and should not mix.

In unsettling these myths, I have scrutinised the practices and theories of early childhood ...

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