British Columbia Teachers’ Federation writes this printable page to guide teachers in using gender-neutral and gender-inclusive language in the classroom. It clearly defines gender neutral language, and offers ways to use it, as well as how to teach in a gender-inclusive manner. I like this quick reference guide, because it gives great pointers to teachers in a very succinct manner.
Emanuella Grinberg of CNN writes this article in favor of gender-neutral toys, citing that retailers are getting onboard, and so should the rest of society. Grinberg presents some fascinating facts about the history of popular toys, like Monopoly, with a 40-image slideshow embedded in the article. She also presents some recent research that supports gender neutrality in toys. I was so fascinated by her points on color-coding toys!
The GoodReads page, “Beyond Pink & Blue” is a list of gender-neutral books in children’s literature. This list is a real problem-solver for teachers looking to add more inclusive books in their curriculum, or administrators seeking to update summer reading picks. I loved the science books included by author April Chloe Terrazas!
This 2011 article, “Why Does Gender Matter?” from Dimensions of Early Childhood, takes a two-sided approach to avoiding gender stereotyping in early childhood. Authors Olaiya Aina and Petronella Cameron present basic research on gender theory, then offer ways to guide cross-gender activities and conversations. I love Aina and Cameron’s concluding statement, where they point out that gender-inclusive classrooms begin with great teacher education on the subject.
PBS presents gender perspectives of the Navajo culture, which has an overlap in the stereotypical male and female gender roles. The video is less than three minutes long, but serves as an excellent example of a completely different approach to gender. I loved learning about the beautiful Navajo festival where all the men and women switch clothing, because it’s a wonderful borderless event.
ABC7 News looks at a San Francisco elementary school that turned its bathrooms completely gender-neutral. You’ll hear from Ellen Schatz, the PTA president, who says the conversation began with several parents approaching school officials about having non-gender-specific children. It was interesting to hear how this issue is managed differently in 1st and 2nd grades, as opposed to higher grades in elementary school.
Carly-Lee Wright, a graduate student at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia, wrote her 2005 thesis on gender’s influence in primary education. You’ll be fascinated with her male and female focus research sessions, as well as detailed accounts of her interviews with teachers, students, and administration. This printable 133-page PDF is extremely comprehensive, so it was great to have the Table of Contents.
Lane Brown’s article for Christian Science Monitor explores how a school’s gender neutrality handout for teachers generated mixed emotions in teachers, administration, and parents. Brown includes excerpts from the handout, which are pretty interesting. I really liked Brown’s point that the shift of a gender neutral school environment impacts more than just parties in the classroom.