This Position Paper will discuss the proposition that
children in primary schools in Ireland should be taught in gender neutral
classrooms the concept of gender neutral schools began in 1998 when a change to
Sweden’s Education Act required that all its schools must work against the gender
stereotyping. Lotta Rajalin head of five state preschools for children aged one
to six introduced gender-neutral policies in her preschools. In 2011 she opened
Egalia meaning equality in Latin a school dedicated to give children the same
opportunities and rights

 Leach, 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

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gender inequality gives children a barrier of what they
can’t and can do based upon their gender and people automatically emphasize
gender roles this is evident with teachers they often offer a gender basis behaver
towards boys and girls without realising it and thus effects how their students
learn

B. (n.d.). How to approach teaching gender equality to boys
and girls. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-approach-teaching-gender-equality-boys-and-girls

a Neuroscientist and director of educational space Science
Gallery, Daniel Glaser suggested studies that language is an essential in   defining behaviour having the use of
different words is very influential on teachers’ behaviour and can lead to a
fair and non-bias classroom

Leach, 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 girls
can limit children’s opportunities to learn and develop teachers have
tremendous influence on how children develop their ideas of gender and gender
significance when teachers use gender  
terms for example girls and boys, instead of using non-bias gender terms
when speaking to the class it helps to limits an accidental gender biases and
unfair stereotypes which are link with discriminatory classroom practices

In a thesis by

K. S. (2006). Gender Bias in Teacher Interactions with
Students (Unpublished master’s thesis). BEd. University of Victoria,.

it showcased that boys received 13.58% more of a teacher’s
attention than girls did, it also stated that is was of better value than the
girls, (Baker, 1986; Becker, 1981 Jones, 1989; Sadker & Sadker, 1986)

 their research
showcased that gender bias was still active and among the classroom it revealed
that male students received more attention from teachers and were given more
time to talk in classrooms than female students. It also stated that male
students also receive more interaction with the teachers and it involves more
precise feedback while female students were statistically shown to receive less
feedback and interaction time it also showcased that males were more likely to
be rewarded for a correct answer

 Many studies done by
various researchers have done conveys the idea that schools reinforce stereotypical
gender roles where girls are meant to behave in a quiet and obedient manner
while males are meant to behave in an energetic manor with them more likely to
call out and request a teacher’s attention than females and with teachers tending
to accept their behaviour and promote this behaviour by answer them whereas
females are more likely to be criticised for the same behaviour.

Researches has shown that males in school environments are often
trained to be more of an assertive learner while females are trained to be a
more passive audience in classrooms This female passiveness is a greater
benefit to their teachers than for the children. This in turn leads to a
Learned passiveness behaviour and doesn’t prepare them for their future and
their future careers as they are more likely to work in unhappy work conditions
and are less likely to demand a raise of promotion this can be linked with
fulcrum theory of power given them the lower power

 the evidence of what
gender bias had in this thesis stresses the importance a gender neutral primary
school

 would have it would
provide an equal learning environment for children with no gender bias roles being
implicated and allow for females and males to grow more independent freely and
to allow the study various subject on which the child feels suits them it will
also allow them to gain a voice and equality in their classroom and in their
future to be able to expand across and explore different aspects and to not be
defined and limited by their gender and what they can and can’t do

 

the stereotyping which is evident in school children’s toys and
books presents children with a negative role models for children in defining
standards for feminine and masculine behaviour, and define their gender roles
manifest itself into them and diverse children into their gender roles and
subsequently define what they are acceptable to be like and to play with for
them based upon their gender stereotype this is partly evident in a recent
study done by

K. S., B. K., H. F., A. I., & C. F. (2015). Early
preschool 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 on
children and what they consider to be gender appropriate in the study they conducted
As Young children who developed a choice towards same-gender playmates they develop
a more intense gender bias  towards their  interests and behaviours which subsequently
related to the development of skills that are associated with  playing  for example playing with blocks a toy
stereotypically linked with males allows the development of a better
three-dimensional abilities and hence children’s success in school for example,
greater obedience with adult direction (a behaviour shown more commonly by
girls is associated with better academic performance in primary

 it is believed by
many research that children had developed these by the age they were three
years old to measure a child gender stereotyping tendency they conduct an
experiment   during the experiment through eight different
trials each contain two of each item which we associated with being male or female’s
items for example some bricks for the males and a doll for females

The experiment commenced by having the experimenter showed the
children the toy or  the outfit on a
computer screen and gave a description of 
the item  they would then show a
picture 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 they
have been  exposed to the  social associate and beliefs about objects towards
genders  a  gender-neutral schools  reduce 
the bias and gender stereotyping.

 

In a study of Newberry and Caldecott award-winning books

J. W. (2016). An Analysis of Gender Bias in Newbery Medal
(Unpublished master’s thesis). Department of Education and Human Development
State University of New York College at Brockport .

the male protagonists outnumbered female ones   have these books in most of primary school’s
books which is convey a way toward children the basis toward gender
stereotype   by depicted when deemed
accessible based on their gender an example of these the book

 Pink is Just a Colour
and so is Blue was Inspired by the author’s Niki Bhatia 6-year-old son who loved
the colour pink and many toys which were associated as girls toys the book
addresses the issues of gender stereotypes, open-mindedness, anti-bullying and
self-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 and
learning about the bigger world

children’s gender attitudes may be positively changed
through the reading of suitable children’s literature and other book-related
activities

Teachers should try and critically evaluate books for gender
bias. But rather than eliminating

all books with stereotypes, teachers could guide children to
recognize stereotypes and increase independent critical thinking about gender
and any perceptions of gender. Making a concerted effort to provide positive,
empowered stories and images of diverse characters will activate

positive self-concepts for children and promote anti-bias
attitudes 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 the
gender stereotyping that the school uniform often consists of a segregated
attire this gives the division where children must choose to conform with their
given gender has to wear  and not given
the chance for both genders  to wear a
trouser or skirts given the thought provoking  believed of why children should be defined by
the 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 want

Ferguson, D. (2017, September 19). School trousers or skirts
for 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, it
gives them a positive message of empowerment regardless of gender, in addition
to the critical thinking skills to identify stereotypes, teachers and families
can impart in children self-concept resiliency, even when faced with negative
stereotypes

Those children will then be less likely to spread the
stereotypes and can help end the cycle of prejudice. And create a fairer and
equal society

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