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Are We Shortchanging Girls?

by Edna Runnels Ranck, Ed.D.
July/August 1991
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/are-we-shortchanging-girlsbr/5008020/

Francis Wardle's guest editorial in the May/June 1991 issue of Child Care Information Exchange acknowledges the importance of gender attitudes among staff members in early childhood programs. However, Dr. Wardle's positive response to his own question raises even more questions about what is happening to our young children. Given the research available on gender issues in the classroom, heavy media attention on the characteristics of children's television, and my own study of the role of women in the development of the early childhood education profession together with over seven years as director of a preschool program, I believe that the response should be "Yes, we are shortchanging our boys, our girls, all of our children."

Perhaps Dr. Wardle comes to his restricted conclusion because the editorial avoids or ignores many of the influences that operate in today's early childhood classroom. Evidence for this observation is found, first, in several unexamined assumptions that are stated as givens and, second, in the failure to acknowledge aspects of the broader gender issue that impact on attitudes and behaviors in the classroom. Because of the gaps in Dr. Wardle's argument, he concludes that specific curriculum changes to help boys modify their behavior ...

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