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 7: What About the Boys?
What About the Boys?
- Allison: Did you see the article in yesterday's paper about girls in education? Apparently they're now more educationally successful than boys.
- Joanne: It didn't ring true to me. I really wanted to look more closely at the statistics.
- Amryl: It made me really angry. I think it's just part of the backlash against gender equity programs for girls.
- Allison: I disagree. I think it had a point. Maybe we haven't been paying enough attention to the needs of boys.
- Joanne: I agree that we need to think about our work with boys. Often boys undermine the work we are doing with girls. It's no good encouraging girls to be assertive and ambitious if their assertion and their ambition is met with boys' ...