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.
Chapter 3: Gender Equity's Just Good Practice, Isn't It?
Gender Equity's Just Good Practice, Isn't It?
- Lydia: This term I'm trying hard to ensure that each of the girls can use the woodwork equipment effectively.
- Nada: Don't worry too much about it. It will just happen.
- Lydia: How is that?
- Nada: If you make woodwork available to the girls they'll do it when they're ready to. It won't work if you force them to use the equipment.
- Lydia: I really disagree. I don't think they'll use the woodwork area unless I take a strong stance against the boys' domination of it.
- Nada: I think that you're really over-reacting. Just follow good early childhood practice and it will happen. If you provide the opportunity in an appropriate way the girls will come to it ...