• 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.

But What About the Parents?
But what about the parents?
  • Keith: I'm struggling to convince Craig that it's okay for him to play with our new dolls. I see him looking at the dolls but he won't touch them.
  • Monique: I wouldn't dare try. Craig's dad thinks that boys should be boys. He'd be really unhappy if he knew that you were trying to encourage Craig to play with girls' toys.
  • Keith: Maybe I should talk with him about it.
  • Monique: I wouldn't bother, you won't change his views. I'd steer clear of it if I were you.

It's not surprising that Monique is hesitant to talk to parents about gender issues. Many early childhood staff find that building strong partnerships with parents in their gender equity work is tricky. ...

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