This Position Paper will discuss the proposition thatchildren in primary schools in Ireland should be taught in gender neutralclassrooms the concept of gender neutral schools began in 1998 when a change toSweden’s Education Act required that all its schools must work against the genderstereotyping. Lotta Rajalin head of five state preschools for children aged oneto six introduced gender-neutral policies in her preschools. In 2011 she openedEgalia meaning equality in Latin a school dedicated to give children the sameopportunities and rights Leach, A. (2016,February 02). ‘It’s all about democracy’: inside gender neutral schools inSweden.
Retrieved December 01, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2016/feb/02/swedish-schools-gender-alien-concept gender inequality gives children a barrier of what theycan’t and can do based upon their gender and people automatically emphasizegender roles this is evident with teachers they often offer a gender basis behavertowards boys and girls without realising it and thus effects how their studentslearn B. (n.d.). How to approach teaching gender equality to boysand girls.
Retrieved December 01, 2017, from https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-approach-teaching-gender-equality-boys-and-girlsa Neuroscientist and director of educational space ScienceGallery, Daniel Glaser suggested studies that language is an essential in defining behaviour having the use ofdifferent words is very influential on teachers’ behaviour and can lead to afair and non-bias classroomLeach, A. (2016, February 02). ‘It’s all about democracy’:inside gender neutral schools in Sweden. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from https://www.
theguardian.com/teacher-network/2016/feb/02/swedish-schools-gender-alien-concept Stereotyped ideas about what’s suitable for boys or girlscan limit children’s opportunities to learn and develop teachers havetremendous influence on how children develop their ideas of gender and gendersignificance when teachers use gender terms for example girls and boys, instead of using non-bias gender termswhen speaking to the class it helps to limits an accidental gender biases andunfair stereotypes which are link with discriminatory classroom practicesIn a thesis by K. S. (2006). Gender Bias in Teacher Interactions withStudents (Unpublished master’s thesis).
BEd. University of Victoria,.it showcased that boys received 13.58% more of a teacher’sattention than girls did, it also stated that is was of better value than thegirls, (Baker, 1986; Becker, 1981 Jones, 1989; Sadker & Sadker, 1986) their researchshowcased that gender bias was still active and among the classroom it revealedthat male students received more attention from teachers and were given moretime to talk in classrooms than female students.
It also stated that malestudents also receive more interaction with the teachers and it involves moreprecise feedback while female students were statistically shown to receive lessfeedback and interaction time it also showcased that males were more likely tobe rewarded for a correct answer Many studies done byvarious researchers have done conveys the idea that schools reinforce stereotypicalgender roles where girls are meant to behave in a quiet and obedient mannerwhile males are meant to behave in an energetic manor with them more likely tocall out and request a teacher’s attention than females and with teachers tendingto accept their behaviour and promote this behaviour by answer them whereasfemales are more likely to be criticised for the same behaviour. Researches has shown that males in school environments are oftentrained to be more of an assertive learner while females are trained to be amore passive audience in classrooms This female passiveness is a greaterbenefit to their teachers than for the children. This in turn leads to aLearned passiveness behaviour and doesn’t prepare them for their future andtheir future careers as they are more likely to work in unhappy work conditionsand are less likely to demand a raise of promotion this can be linked withfulcrum theory of power given them the lower power the evidence of whatgender bias had in this thesis stresses the importance a gender neutral primaryschool would have it wouldprovide an equal learning environment for children with no gender bias roles beingimplicated and allow for females and males to grow more independent freely andto allow the study various subject on which the child feels suits them it willalso allow them to gain a voice and equality in their classroom and in theirfuture to be able to expand across and explore different aspects and to not bedefined and limited by their gender and what they can and can’t do the stereotyping which is evident in school children’s toys andbooks presents children with a negative role models for children in definingstandards for feminine and masculine behaviour, and define their gender rolesmanifest itself into them and diverse children into their gender roles andsubsequently define what they are acceptable to be like and to play with forthem based upon their gender stereotype this is partly evident in a recentstudy done by K. S., B.
K., H. F., A. I., & C. F. (2015).
Earlypreschool environments and gender: Effects of gender pedagogy in Sweden(Unpublished master’s thesis). Department of Psychology, Uppsala University,751 42 Uppsala, Sweden.it demonstrates and conveys the hold stereotyping have onchildren and what they consider to be gender appropriate in the study they conductedAs Young children who developed a choice towards same-gender playmates they developa more intense gender bias towards their interests and behaviours which subsequentlyrelated to the development of skills that are associated with playing for example playing with blocks a toystereotypically linked with males allows the development of a betterthree-dimensional abilities and hence children’s success in school for example,greater obedience with adult direction (a behaviour shown more commonly bygirls is associated with better academic performance in primary it is believed bymany research that children had developed these by the age they were threeyears old to measure a child gender stereotyping tendency they conduct anexperiment during the experiment through eight differenttrials each contain two of each item which we associated with being male or female’sitems for example some bricks for the males and a doll for femalesThe experiment commenced by having the experimenter showed thechildren the toy or the outfit on acomputer screen and gave a description of the item they would then show apicture of a girl and boy would s aske them who they thought most wants to play/wear the item from this experiments they learn that children had acted in line which theyhave been exposed to the social associate and beliefs about objects towardsgenders a gender-neutral schools reduce the bias and gender stereotyping.
In a study of Newberry and Caldecott award-winning booksJ. W. (2016). An Analysis of Gender Bias in Newbery Medal(Unpublished master’s thesis). Department of Education and Human DevelopmentState University of New York College at Brockport .the male protagonists outnumbered female ones have these books in most of primary school’sbooks which is convey a way toward children the basis toward genderstereotype by depicted when deemedaccessible based on their gender an example of these the book Pink is Just a Colourand so is Blue was Inspired by the author’s Niki Bhatia 6-year-old son who lovedthe colour pink and many toys which were associated as girls toys the bookaddresses the issues of gender stereotypes, open-mindedness, anti-bullying andself-confidence and showcases a powerfully message that toys and colours don’t,and shouldn’t, define who kids are that they are just a means of exploring andlearning about the bigger world children’s gender attitudes may be positively changedthrough the reading of suitable children’s literature and other book-relatedactivities Teachers should try and critically evaluate books for genderbias. But rather than eliminatingall books with stereotypes, teachers could guide children torecognize stereotypes and increase independent critical thinking about genderand any perceptions of gender.
Making a concerted effort to provide positive,empowered stories and images of diverse characters will activatepositive self-concepts for children and promote anti-biasattitudes among the entire class O. A., & P. C.
(2013). Why Does Gender Matter?Counteracting Stereotypes with Young Children (Unpublished master’s thesis).California State University, Los Angeles.before it is concluded it should be noted along with thegender stereotyping that the school uniform often consists of a segregatedattire this gives the division where children must choose to conform with theirgiven gender has to wear and not giventhe chance for both genders to wear atrouser or skirts given the thought provoking believed of why children should be defined bythe clothes they wear gender-neutral school uniform removing the association of’boys’ or ‘girls’ with clothes in a school and lets them be who they wantFerguson, D.
(2017, September 19). School trousers or skirtsfor all: ‘Children should experience equality’. Retrieved December 07, 2017,from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/sep/19/school-trousers-skirts-equality-john-lewis-uniform In conclusion By schooling young children in a gender-neutral school, itgives them a positive message of empowerment regardless of gender, in additionto the critical thinking skills to identify stereotypes, teachers and familiescan impart in children self-concept resiliency, even when faced with negativestereotypes Those children will then be less likely to spread thestereotypes and can help end the cycle of prejudice. And create a fairer andequal society