Sunday, 28 November 2021 09:19 GMT

5 Ways to Address Gender Stereotypes in the Classroom


(MENAFN- Robert Everett)

Gender identity is the personal experience of a person's own gender. Before children reach the age of 3, most of them can already label themselves either as a girl or a boy. When they reach the age of 4, they will already have a more stable sense of gender identity. 

 

During this age, children start learning gender-role behaviors. From there, things get even more complex. As a teacher, it is important to create a space open to everyone so that you can avoid gender stereotyping.

1. Assign roles and responsibilities randomly

Assigning roles and responsibilities mean a lot to students, especially children. For instance, if you need one of your students to carry books or any other object, don't always request a boy to do this. 

Remember that girls are also as capable, and sometimes even more capable of helping out. It would also be a good idea, especially for the first few times, to encourage the girls to volunteer actively. Start by choosing one of the girls a few times then gradually moving towards assigning boys and girls for tasks like this alternately. 

You can apply the same concept when assigning roles and responsibilities to older students. Mix things up so your students don't fall into the trap of "normal" gender roles. 

2. Use inclusive language

In the past, people often segregated the population into girls and boys or female and male. Today, as we have become more aware, we now see gender as a social construct. 

As such, your classroom should become a place wherein your students will leave social norms at the gate and they will become anything they want to be. Using gender-neutral phrases is a better way to addressing your whole class instead of using terms that cause gender bias.

3. The best free essay examples

Whether you're teaching young children or college students, you can use study time to address gender stereotypes too. This can be part of your students' education. For younger children, do this through stories. 

For older students, you can assign them gender roles essay topics to write about. If you discover that your students find this task challenging, you can advise them to go online to read free essay examples. By looking through samples from WritingBros, your students will get a lot of great ideas. 

4. Provide your students with a safe space

Your classroom (and the rest of the school) should be a safe environment where students can explore and learn. Some might make unconventional choices and when they do, you should support their decisions and provide assurance that it's alright to be different. 

This encourages a culture of acceptance at an early age. Sometimes, you might find boys who want to wear pink clothes and this might bother other teachers or parents. Or one boy might want to wear a "girl's costume," which their parents don't approve of. As a teacher who wants to eliminate gender stereotypes, you should support your students' choices. When they feel like your classroom is a safe space, they will have a stronger willingness to learn.

5. Use age-appropriate strategies

In most cases, children in the primary grades have started to learn about gender identity and have also started "gender-typed play" where they segregate themselves into all-boy and all-girl playgroups. During these formative years, children learn stereotypes about traits, activities, skills, and toys associated with genders. 

Elementary-aged children start attributing certain qualities to women and men. For instance, they associate specific academic subjects and occupations with each of the genders. Children at this stage also continue to segregate themselves based on their genders.

Adolescents, on the other hand, start feeling self-conscious about their physical appearance. They feel more pressure to conform to cultural gender norms. You will have students who display intolerance to cross-gender behaviors and mannerisms. Older teens are more flexible when it comes to mixed-gender friendships and gender stereotypes become more common. 

Despite this, they still want to learn expectations based on their gender, especially in sexual and romantic situations. You should know these things so that you can come up with strategies for dealing with gender stereotypes no matter what age your students are in. 

Conclusion

Most cultures consider gender a binary concept where a person is either female or male. When a person doesn't follow the norm, acts out of their expected gender, plays a role that isn't "normally" associated with gender, or identifies with a gender that's different from what's expected by society, these people will face discrimination. By following these methods, you can help break these stereotypes through encouragement and by teaching your students all about accepting differences. 

Author’s Bio:

Robert Everett works for a media agency and looks after the online and offline marketing campaigns for A-list clients. He’s a wonderful writer and editor as well and contributes part-time to a writing agency in the academic field. His free time is for gaming with friends, swimming and shooting writing tutorials for his audience. 


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Robert Everett

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