Gender Stereotypes In Schools

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Australian students are faced with an array of stereotypes particularly surrounding gender. Curriculum resources used in schools, including texts such as fairy tales, contain male and female stereotypes which do not represent all children. As discussed by National Union of Teachers (2013), it is important for educators to challenge these stereotypes to create an inclusive environment. Furthermore, it is important for educators to understand that the relationships connecting gender role models and providing opportunities for children to connect with them directly relate to children 's own gender based behaviours (MacNaughton, 2000, p. 13-15). It is also imperative for educators to recognise and eradicate the many stereotypes which effect students…show more content…
As suggested by Jones et al. (2016), gender stereotypes create a sense of estrangement from society through spiteful actions and rejection from peers and adults alike. Exposure to media (For example, television programmes, magazines and film), other children, family members and school staff aids children in their formation of identity (MacNaughton, 2000, p. 20). This in turn, can affect how curriculum experiences are presented in the classroom. Therefore, it is imperative for educators to understand that gender inequality, due to portrayed stereotypes, can be detrimental to a child’s developing identity (National Union of Teachers, 2013). Thus, educators should be aware of the detrimental effects of gender stereotypes in resources used in the classroom, such as, toys, games, and books, to a child’s ability to form a true sense of identity. Unfortunately, from the beginning of a child’s life, they are persistently inundated by suggestion of society’s idea of the norms for their biologically assigned gender, through media, toys and early literature. Alas, for many children, such as interviewee A (Jessica), this biological gender does not match the gender they identify with due to a condition called gender dysphoria and/or identifying as…show more content…
Children whom have same-sex parents are often constrained by societal expectations that they too will be homosexual (Poynting & Morgan, 2007). Poynting and Morgan (2007), discuss the outrageous reactions to topics surrounding homosexuality and the alarming number of individuals whom display homophobic behaviours. The article further discussed an example of a televised children’s program depicting a same-sex couple accompanying children to a theme park in 2004. The segment which portrayed this scene was a regular feature which represents diversity within Australian children 's lives and to reflect current social trends. This particular scene sparked controversy as the show had portrayed adult and homosexual themes (Poynting & Morgan, 2007, p. 211-212). It is important for educators to be aware of such occurrences within the media and be prepared for children to raise questions. This is because, as discussed by Malaguzzi (1993, p. 1), children question the adults as they are their role models and the expectations that the children have of the adults and the adults have of the children are important when preparing to answer such

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