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Wednesday Word: Gender

Wednesday Word: Gender

Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development, and building good governance. —Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

What makes a girl a girl and a boy a boy? When this question is posed to young children, the “trappings,” what’s on the outside, are what they think determines gender. Our culture has created a “pinkdom” for girls that even includes pink Legos in hopes of fostering more interest in the block area. As teachers of young children, we often fall into the trap of complimenting girls on their appearance and clothes yet find ourselves praising boys for what they can do. Think about your morning greetings. Listen to yourself, and be prepared to interrupt that ready comment about the pretty dress or the sparkly shoes on the girls. Instead, notice effort and ability in both genders. Be intentional in providing images and stories depicting people in nonstereotypical roles. More importantly, be aware of your own gender biases, and notice how you might be treating boys and girls differently.



Leanne Grace | Gryphon House

In loving memory of Gryphon House author Leanne Grace, MEd, we are sharing pieces of her inspirational writing every Wednesday. Leanne was the director of professional development at Hildebrandt Learning Centers and a lifelong advocate for early childhood education.  She inspired the early childhood community to prepare children as lifelong learners with her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. One person can make a difference, and Leanne did just that. She will be sorely missed.