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Exploring Gender Stereotypes with Preschoolers

by Martina B. Albright
January/February 2021
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/exploring-gender-stereotypes-with-preschoolers/5025712/

*Photos can be found in the pdf version of this article.

 

Teacher: “I like the way you drew the feet of that police officer. What do you think the police officer should be called?”

4-year-old: “I think a police name is Drew.” 

Teacher: “Is that a boy or girl name?”

4-year-old: “That’s my brother’s name.”

Teacher: “Okay, so you think a police officer is a boy?”

4-year-old: “Yup.”

This conversation between a 4-year-old boy and his teacher was part of a simple experiment to understand preschoolers’ perceptions of gender and stereotypically male professions. The idea came directly from an experiment done in a school in Kent, England, with slightly older children.

Gender and Careers

Our teachers and administration embarked on a year of examining what gender identity means to us as adults, and in what ways we could explore the concept of gender with the preschoolers we teach. We worked with a consultant over the year to understand our own biases and to learn more about the topic. Inspired by our conversations with the consultant and the Redraw the Balance Video (inspiringthefuture.org/redraw-the-balance/) we decided we could add a powerful teaching moment to our curriculum by recreating the Kent, England, study for our age group. The organization Inspiring the Future, ...

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