Resources and Networking for Gender Equity
in Early Childhood


Gender Equity Strategies What's Power Got To Do with Children?

Glenda MacNaughton
RANGE Newsletter No 3 1995
Observation Number One
Place: Home corner in a Child Care Centre (3-5 age group)
Time: 11.O5am
Children: John, Bill, Jill, Kim, Sandra, Kate

Two boys (John and Bill) in the home corner tipping stove up. Stayed 10 seconds them moved to dress up trolley where two girls were playing. Boys lifted up their hands and went "pow pow" at the girls. The girls giggled then left. Boys moved away and followed girls. A minute or so later two girls (Jill and Kim) moved into the now empty home corner. A third (Sandra) looks over from where she is playing with lego and inches her way into the home corner. A fourth girl (Kate) drifts in. All of them are watching me writing rather than focusing on their own play. They are watching very quietly. Brief conversation with me about what I was doing (I say "writing down what all the children are playing with") and they moved over to the stove. They began to verbally negotiate roles with no one girl seeming to be in a leading role. They are discussing having a party. One girl is sat to one side by the doll's bed. She didn't seem sure what to do but watched the other girls intensely for a minute. She then picks up the bedding on the dolls bed carefully and then very precisely places it on the bed to cover the doll neatly. She worked hard to make sure that the cover was placed as she wanted it to be. During this time (a couple of minutes) she constantly glances up to check what the other girls are doing in the home corner. A new girl enters the home corner and looks around, then takes off the bed clothes and drops them on the floor. She is shouted at "No", so leaves (without picking up the bedding) and goes to the dress up trolley. The initial girl at the bed starts nursing the doll. During this time two girls (Kim and Kate) have been trying to dislodge plates from the stove for their party. They find they cannot and seek help from the caregiver. Once the plates are successfully dislodged they begin to negotiate verbally their roles with each other. "We're cleaning the home corner". Two (Kim and Kate) leave and return with dish clothes. One girl (Sandra) is busy setting the table and the other two start detailed cleaning of the home corner. The stove is wiped and the cupboard doors are all wiped. This is done with great concentration on the task at hand. Elsewhere in the room all the girls and boys are playing separately apart from one girl (long blond straight hair) who is at the mobil table with the boys. By now one girl (Sandra) has left the home corner. Others are still busy with their roles cleaning and setting the table. The girl who just left returns and they verbally negotiate what will happen next. Two boys enter (John and Bill). They are speaking very loudly and moving all around the space the girls are playing in. The girls ignore their presence and the boys leave after a few seconds. After 30 seconds the boys re-enter and John throws material from the table on the floor and leaves, followed by Bill. One girl goes to the caregiver for help. The two boys re-enter after another very short time (30 seconds or so) and using very loud voices approach the table. They both start hitting things from the table, object by object. One (Sandra) girl who has been sat at the table continues to quietly sit there. She stares intently at her hands and plays with her rings whilst the toys are being knocked to the floor. The other girls (Jill and Kate) have left the home corner. Sandra looks at me and says. "Boys just knocked it over" Me. "Do you feel happy about that?" Sandra: "No" Me. "What will you do now?" Sandra: "Do it all over". During this exchange the boys left the home corner. After about 30 seconds they foray back into the home corner. During this time the Kate and Jill have returned to the home corner and are starting to reset the table. Being watched by the boys the Kate and Jill are told: "Throw it in the air" All the girls move away and vacate the home corner totally. John starts singing a Ninja turtle song. Two other boys join John and they all start rough and tumble play on the floor in the centre of the home corner. Within a very short time span (secqnds) they have begun a hide and seek game that is moving them all around the home corner space. There is one boy at either end and one in the centre. The caregiver moves to near the dress up trolley and the Kate, Jill and Sandra immediately reenter the home corner. The boys have left. Sandra approaches me. Me: "The home corner untidy now what will about that?". Sandra: "We'll tidy it up..." and she moves off and starts tidying the home corner. All three girls in the home corner are now tidying it up. Some of the other girls and boys are sat together with the caregiver reading a story. Sandra starts a conversation with me about her mommy. Me. "What do mommies do?" Sandra, thinking for about 10 seconds: "pick things up, lots of things, even children at school, make drinks, make coffee. They don't do painting. Help daddy." Me "What does daddy do" Sandra: "Eat fruit and biscuits and drinks". By now five girls are in the home corner all listening intently and quietly to our conversation. Pack away time begins and they disperse to help "tidy up". John and Bill are arguing with the caregiver about packing away and running around the room singing Ninja Turtle songs.

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Thinking About the Observation: What Can We Learn?

Power is a concept that many people feel uncomfortable with. It means to many of us the murky and problematic world of politics and business and this seems alien from our day-to-day worlds. It is more particularly a concept that many people find difficult to associate with the "innocence" of childhood. The world of politics and power seems very remote from the day-to-day world of children's play. However, power is heavily implicated in much of children's play, particularly their dramatic or imaginative play, and the operation of this power needs to recognised and addressed if we are to seriously work for gender equity.

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POWER: What Is It?

Power is a concept that is both very complex and very simple. It is simple to define but the dynamics of it in operation can be very difficult to analyse. In other words it is the ways in which power are created and maintained that can be difficult to understand. This is because the operation of power is often subtle and we are not generally trained to see it. At it's most simple power can be defined as: making people do things that are to your advantage". Children try to make people do things that are to their advantage in a number of ways. They use favors or bribes (invites to birthday parties, sharing toys, physical force (hitting, biting etc.), name calling and taunts (king Kong chant) among other things to gain power over each other. To think about power in children's play we need to ask of our observations:

Thinking about the observation above we could explore:

  1. Who has taken up a position of power in this scene?
  2. How did they gain their power?
  3. How did they maintain their power?
  4. What affected how the girls understood their role in the play?
  5. What affected how the boys understood their role in the play?
  6. What differences did the caregiver make in what happened?
  7. Who benefited from the operation of these specific power relationships?
  8. In what ways did what happen effect the creation of gender equity for the girls and the boys?

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Storylines and Power

Two very active researchers in the area of gender relations between children are Valerie Walkerdine and Bronwyn Davies (see references below). They both argue that the storylines that children use in their play are central to our understanding about how power relationships between boys and girls become established. There are several aspects of children's storylines that are important to understand.

  1. Boys and girls generally use different storylines.
  2. Girls use storylines associated with feminine behaviour and boys use storylines associated with masculine behaviour.
  3. They use different storylines because there are powerful messages that are received daily that suggest to them that boys should be masculine and girls should be feminine.
  4. Feminine storylines often relate to domestic roles and involve girls in emphasised feminine characteristics that position girls as passive, caring, etc. For example, Barbie Dolls and Little Pony.
  5. Masculine storylines often relate to adventures outside the home and involve boys in emphasised masculine characteristics that position them as powerful, aggressive, expansive and dominant. For example, Hook and Batman.
  6. The result of children interacting when they are taking part in different storylines is unequal power relations. Boys storylines mean that they feel that they have the right to "make others do as they want" and girls feel that they should be "passive". The work of Walkerdine and Davies suggests that to work for greater gender equity we need to:
    1. Learn to analyse play to see if power relationships are being created and maintained.
    2. Learn to understand who is benefiting from these power relationships.
    3. Work to ensure that boys and girls can share storylines that give them power.

How to do this?

  1. Observe the dynamicsof play.
  2. Intervene if there is an unfair distribution of power.
  3. Work hard on reading stories and talking with children to ensure that they have access to storylines that do not reinforce and emphasise traditionally male and female characteristics.

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A Final Thought

"The affirmation of boys' empathic, caring feeling of connectedness with others, and their intimate connection with life-giving would tend to decrease the need for the excitement, power and camaraderie found in youth gang fights and warfare....[the sad thing is]...that by the age of four or fine most boys have found out that an interest in babies is 'girls stuff. In order to prove that they are 'real boys' they must repress it" (Meidizian, 1991, p.116). Our challenge is how we reverse this.

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References/ Further Reading

Brown, L. (1986) Developing Thinking and Problem-Solving skills with Children's Books. Childhood Education. 63 (2), pp. 102-107.

Davies, B. (1990) Frogs and Snails and Feminist Tales. Allen and Unwin.

Harvey, J. (1988) Prejudice and the Reduction of Prejudice in Australian Society. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the of the American Educational Research Association ,New Orleans, LA, April 5-9

Meizdian, M. (1991) Boys will be boys. Penguin

Walkerdine, V. (1988) Power and Gender in the Nursery School in Counting Girls Out. Routledge.

Wassermann, S. (1991) Louis E.Raths: Theories of Empowerment Childhood Education Summer, pp. 235-239.

Wassermann, S. (1987) Enabling Children to Develop Personal Power through Building Self Respect. Childhood Education. April, pp. 293-294. Research Association. New Orleans, LA, April 5-9.

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Gender Equity Strategies

Unblocking gender barriers Judy Baird Back in the sixties we used to think that block play would appeal equally to timid or aggressive children, each using blocks according to his/her developmental level, needs and interests. We knew that children used blocks to express their ideas, and personalities (persistence, concentration, imagination, ability to handle frustration, judgment etc.,), motor skills, interests and social skills. We were taught that children should be 'allowed to work at their own pace, to express their own ideas, and their own feelings without adult interference' (Australian Preschool Association, undated). In the nineties we would challenge some of these cherished assumptions, Those of us who have spent time observing the relationships in the block corner have noticed the following:

  • Lack of access by girls (and more timid boys) to the block area, such children endeavoring to avoid confrontation, or being allowed to enter at certain times.
  • Domination of the block area, and often staff time, by the more boisterous, noisy, aggressive groups of boys.
  • Expansive use of space by such boys, even including the destruction of other children's buildings to achieve this.
  • Girls who do use blocks often tend to stick to smaller spaces using blocks within easy reach, construct smaller, more decorative buildings, and to pack up voluntarily, even though they may not have used the blocks (MacNaughton, 1994). Should such play dynamics be allowed to continue without adult interference? Many RANGE members think not, and have tried various strategies to increase girls' involvement in block play. These include:
    • Feminisation - making the areas more 'girl-friendly' by introducing materials which would appeal to the traditionally-feminine girls.
    • Separatism - having 'girls only' times in blocks and excluding boys at such times.
    • Fusion- combining block and home corners into one area.
    • Policing adult monitoring of boys' interference with girls' play and challenging when necessary. These four strategies have had short-term success but each brought up further problems. MacNaughton (1994) argued that this is because each approach is based upon the belief that it is the girls' fault that they are not involved in block play for reasons such as lack of interest in such an activity, and that the girls have to take responsibility for making the changes. However, MacNaughton's research has shown that because the block area was 'a space where male dominance was the norm', the boys resisted any changes made by above strategies. The girls, using traditional methods to try to avoid confrontation found alternative spaces such as the home corner where they could be dominant. This did not mean that they showed lack of interest in blocks, but rather they wanted power in their own right which they couldn't get in the block corner. Therefore, as MacNaughton says, 'if we want to change power relations we have to change children's understanding of what it means to be a normal male and a normal female in our society'. We have to help the children to experience power in other ways, and to enjoy the experience. We have also to ensure that power is more equally distributed between the sexes in our centres. Boys can be shown that their dominance is not always positive, while girls can be encouraged to be more assertive. MacNaughton challenges us to look carefully at how our children are playing, to think about the gender relations that underlie these interactions, and to determine who has the power in any given situation. Such observation and thought would tend to shake our cosy liffle worlds to a mega degree. In the busy day-to-day reality of our careers I wonder how many of us can take the time to reflect to such an extent that we are able to make radical changes to our basic philosophy. Rather, I will list some strategies I have found helpful in encouraging children of both sexes to play constructively together in the block area. Try them out and see if they work for your children. If they do I'm sure you will see that the new positive interactions which will emerge compare favorably with those negative ones you experienced previously.

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The Strategies

Decide how many children you want in the block area at a time. Make that number of cardboard 'badges' for block participants to wear. Indicate to the children that the badges must be worn when playing with blocks, and that they should be shared. If necessary you can manipulate which children can play together on various days. For example, some dominant and some passive children, or one leader and a few followers, or all non-assertive children. Observe and evaluate carefully what happens.

Tell the children that you would like to draw their building/s when they are finished. 'Complain' when they use the complicated shapes that are hard for you to draw (children being children will delight in trying to trick you, and as a result their buildings become more detailed). Write comments on the sketch about who helped and what was built, arid photocopy for each child involved. The sketch can be discussed with the group, and parents will be pleased to see things come home other than the usual creative work. Their subsequent comments to their children will encourage further progress, especially if you fill them in on why you are doing this (Derman-Sparks, 1989). Note: buildings can be labelled with names of children involved etc. And left up for parents to see and for children to continue next day, but this is not possible in many centres. Polaroid photos can be taken if you can't draw, but I have found the children are so interested in drawing they help count the blocks I have to draw, and even offer to do some or all of the drawing themselves eventually.

Talk to the girls about why they don't play with blocks (preferably in the absence of boys), and together think of some solutions. Help them think about ways to be assertive, for example, friends giving each other moral support.

Make sure the children understand the limits regarding discriminatory behaviour. Intervene immediately you observe such behaviour by reminding children of the limits and challenging the perpetrator/s. Get them to think about how the victim/s feel, and explain that such behaviour is not acceptable. Offer alternative responses and comfort the victim/s (Derman-Sparks, 1989).

Both sexes need ideas of 'storylines' as described by MacNaughton (1994) to enhance their play. We can help by giving them non-sexist ideas that encourage both sexes to play together. For example: Hospitals - doctors/ nurses can be either sex. Build ambulances, hospital beds etc. from blocks, use props and uniforms to enhance play. Shops - ensure that cash registers, scales etc. are not dominated by boys. Have a car park, skyscraper with lift, lots of different shops with props. Alternatively build individual shops such as pet shops (with puppets), hairdressers or post offices. Steering Wheel- this can lend itself to being the basis of a rocket, spaceship, train, bus, fire engine etc., and both sexes can take on any role in the ensuing dramatic play. Sound effects are useful, and large outdoor blocks used inside help in this play. Building from other countries -using pictures and models the children can do a good job of reproducing the Arc de Triomphe, Eifel Tower, castles in Germany, windmills, London Bridge, etc. Remember that many of us avoid the block corner ourselves because we (girls) didn't have much experience with blocks as children. So get into it with the children and you might be pleasantly surprised with the results. Happy building.

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Australian Preschool Association (Undated) Blocks and bricks. Parent's Newsheet No 161

National Association for the References Education of Young Children.

MacNaughton, G. (1994). It's more than counting heads in block play: rethinking approaches to gender equity in early childhood curriculum, paper presented to the 20th Triennial Conference, Perth, September 17-20.

Derman-Sparks,L.(1989) Anti- Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children. Washington, D C.:
Gender Equity Strategies Tackling Gender Issues Through Literature
— Glenda Mac Naughton

The Power of Language and Literature in Creating a Gendered World View
An anecdote. K. is four years old and female. She started kindergarten in February of this year. Within a month of starting kindergarten she had decided she did not want to wear trousers to kindergarten anymore. She would wear trousers at home at the weekend but not at kindergarten. Her mother questioning her about this aroused very strong emotions. She looked very angry and upset and fought back tears as she said very dearly "They wont know if I'm a girl if I don't wear dresses". K. was almost in tears giving this response. K.'s mother talked with the kindergarten teacher and couldn't uncover any particular incident that might have led to this. Some weeks later K. was being read to at bedtime by her mother. A regular and generally enjoyable event. She was being read Peter Pan this particular evening. She knew the story but it was the first time she seen the particular book they were reading from. It was an old Walt Disney version that has Peter Pan wearing "elf' shoes with pink bows. K. noticed this and immediately became very upset with her mother. She insisted that Peter Pan must be a girl, why was her mother saying he was a boy. The strength of emotion she felt about the deception led her to say she didn't want to look at the book any more. These anecdotes can be interpretated in many ways. For me they indicated a number of important things. The kindergarten clearly can and does have a powerful effect in a short time on how one child is constructing her gender. This is very likely to be the case for other children. Additionally K. herself was playing and active role in limiting what she did (wear trousers) as a girl. Her mother could not convince her otherwise. Clearly issues to do with gender aroused very strong feelings for K. and could be seen to be an area of conflict in her life.

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What We Know about Children and Their Learning of Gender?

Firstly, despite debates about the nature of the gendering process, early childhood does seem a critical time in the gendering of young children. Research indicates that a significant amount of learning of gender is happening before six years of age. Learning about gender thus constitutes an important aspect of the young child's experiences but also lays the foundation for their understanding of gender. Child development literature indicates that the emergence of differences based on a person's sex begins very early. In fact sex-role behaviours are amongst children's first and strongest learning about the social world. The literature (Cohen and Martin, 1976; Honig, 1983; Browne and France, 1986) indicates the following general understandings about gender in early childhood. By 3 and 4 years of age children know their sex, and the play preferences, behaviour and expectations that adults expect of that sex. As children become older sex roles become more stereotyped. From an early age children of both sexes see the male role as more desirable and male activities as having more status. Within this the restricted sex role behaviour that girls involve themselves in limits their intellectual potential but this does not appear to be the case for boys. Boys are learning to be assertive and confident and develop positive expectations of their own worth. However these advantageous these differences may be they may also place limits on what it is possible for boys to explore and achieve. From an early age children also have different social experiences and experience different types of interaction with adults.

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Gendering and the Early Childhood Centre

The early childhood centre is important in young children's gendering because: 1. It is often the first institution outside of the family that children are involved with. Whilst debates about the effects of this experience abound (Weikart, 1988) it is clearly a place in which children are involved in creating social understandings of their world (Katz, 1988). Research indicates that it is an institution which can and does contribute to the gendering of children. 2. It is an institution that has been identified in research as operating in ways that recreate traditional sex role stereotypes and in ways that are sexist (Coombe 1988; Davies 1988; Dunn and Morgan 1987; Browne and France, 1986; Greenberg, 1986; Ebbeck 1985 and Heathington, 1981). Much of this research indicates that the contribution of literature to sexism within early childhood services limits the life experiences of boys and girls and restricts their ability to maximise their own potential.

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Creating Change – Language and Meaning

The elimination of sex-role stereotyping in materials, stories, poems, songs and in classroom practices has been the central theme of much of the work both in Australia and overseas (Perritt, 1988; Taylor, 1988; EOC, 1986; Aspinwall, 1984; Elliot, 1984; Cohen and Martin, 1976;). Language is key to our creation of meanings as socially constructed individuals. Learning occurs through a dialectical relationship between the child's active search for meaning and the social and physical world in which the child is acting. Knowledge of the social world relies on interactions with adults. Monacadu elaborates on this point: "Social knowledge is gained from other human beings, It relates to knowledge that one could only have from other persons who have handed on a culture. Social knowledge cannot be constructed by the child, because it is a result of arbitrary conventions among human beings. ..Languages, artifacts, symbols and signs of one's own and other's cultures are essential knowledge that a child must receive from other people" (Monacadu, 1984, p.21). Children are influenced by the nature of the expectations placed on them to behave in particular ways as boys and girls. In particular the language they learn and the meanings given to the words boy and girl, male and female and the symbols they learn to associate with them, though literature, songs and stories will be key in their gender learning. But they also interpret these expectations in their own ways and make their own choices about which of the expectations they will conform to. Smith states this clearly: "Children do not react passively to adult encouragement of stereotyped sex roles. The work of Kohlberg, Lewis, and Maccoby supports the notion that children possess and use their observations to construct a set of roles which they then use to govern their own behaviour" (Smith, 1982, p.32).

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Learning Sexism Through Language and Literature

The emergence of gender identity and roles arguably intersects with a exposure to and learning about stereotyping for young children. It also intersects with the emergence of involvement in and with sexism for young children. Sexism can be defined as a series of attitudes and practices, institutional and personal, based on the belief that a person's sex determines what they are capable of, what they should do, what they are worth and how they should be treated. For young children the development of sex stereotyped behaviours, actions and knowledge can be understood as a practical outcome of sexism within the wider social, cultural, economic and cultural milieu. From an early age children are limiting their vision of themselves and other people and the way they act for themselves and with other people on the basis of gender. Many writers argue that the reproduction of sex stereotypes are a critical part of the process of continued exclusion of women from economic, political and social power. Michel (1986) expresses this belief in the following extract: "...stereotypes are used as an excuse for maintaining this group in a position of inferiority (economic, cultural, social, political, etc)...It is understandable that sexist stereotypes persist in contemporary societies. In all cases, they serve to legitimize, justify and exacerbate women's positions of dependence, subordination and inequality in society; on an international scale..." (p.17) A major outcome of sexism for women is the restriction of their life opportunities and life experiences. There is still considerable pressure on young women to limit their range of options in adult life to those of wife, mother and unpaid carer. Education for girls and young women is different to that of boys and young men. Evidence indicates that girls receive a different quality of education to boys and many girls underestimate their own capacity for achievement and including the range of occupational choices they believe is possible in their future. The subjects they choose often restrict later career choices and training options in further education. The ways in which the nature of education operates to restrict the visions girls have of their own future and their own capacitates has been well documented. The following quote is indicative of some of the keys processes that operate in schools to perpetuate sexism. "The bias inherent in school readers and texts and in school practices based on unexamined and unjustified assumptions about the differences between females and males, and the teaching of sex-specific behaviours and expectations have been documented. Girl's educational choices and aspirations have been shown to be closely related to messages in the media and school materials, and in traditional school arrangements" (WPEG ,1984, 1 & 2). This bias has been documented widely in many studies (Michel, 1986). The consequence for women is that when they do take up paid employment they are often in low status and low paid occupations when compared to men. Many of these occupations have no significant career structures. Many are traditionally seen as female occupations, such as the caring professions. When young women do enter tertiary education they predominate in the humanities, education and paramedical schools (WPEG, 1984).

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Creating Changes

What we read to children matters for a number of reasons:

  1. It does help create, maintain or reinforce ideas about what it means to be a girl or a boy. Ayers and Ayers (1989) undertook a study that looked at what happened when children were exposed to non-traditional sex roles in picture books over a four week period. They found that they were unable to reverse existing sex role stereotypes in kindergarten children. Children actively held on to their existing views of the roles of girls and boys and men and women. A similar study lasting for six weeks found that it was possible to change gender role perceptions (De Lisi and Johns, 1984). A particularly interesting finding from the study was that children developed positive attitudes to characters that were brave, strong, clever and adventurous, irrespective of the sex of the character. They had negative attitudes to the sex that was depicted as nurturant, timid and tied to the home. Once again children were developing their own understandings about what should be valued. Clearly this must be seen within a wider context of how caring and homemaking is valued within a given culture. However it does indicate that merely introducing non-stereotyped books will not necessary contribute to a restructuring of gendering.
  2. Stories provide children with a key part of their imaginative play story lines.These story lines become critical in the extent to which children can and will play with each other and how the play is shaped once they do.When children play with each other a great deal of the time is spent writing storylines and agreeing on storylines for their play. If a child attempts to play with another child and they can quickly establish a mutually understood story line then the play often flourishes and develops and works to bond the children's friendships.
  3. If a child attempts to play with another child and there is no agreed and mutually understood story line the opposite will happen. This has significant implications for play between girls and boys. For instance: girls and boys often have learnt through their identification with central characters in stories very different story lines. When they come to play with each other it is hard to enter into each others imaginative world. The world of TV enhances these differences.
  4. Stories establish characters of power and influence the ability of boys and girls to equally experience feelings of power in their play.

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Possible Ways Forward

  1. Develop a carefully balanced literature programme that enables boys and girls to: equally experience power through identification with strong characters, share story lines in their play with each other, develop a sense of the diversity of ways it is possible to be, act, feel and experience being male and female.
  2. Consciously vet all books for bias and sexism.
  3. Actively discuss with the children those books which are most sexist and why.
  4. 4. Take a positive step towards eliminating sexist books from your library - throw out the worst, change the words in those where this is possible.
  5. Talk with parents about what they read to children.
  6. Share with other teachers and assistants the books you think should be valued for thier non-sexist content.
  7. Ask booksellers for non-sexist literature - enough requests might help increase the number of suitable books available.
  8. Above all, make a commitment to be aware of the influence literature has on how children understand what it means to be, think, act and understand being male and female - how it can enrich their understanding or limit their understanding.
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References and Resources

Browne, N. and France, p. (1985). Only Cissies Wear Dresses: A look at sexist talk in the nursery. In G. Weiner (ed.) Just a Bunch of Girls: Feminist Approaches to Schooling. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Browne, N. and France, P. (1986) Untying the Apron Strings: Anti-sexist provision for the Under Fives. Open University Press.

Davies, B. (1989). Frogs and Snails and Feminist Tales. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

George, F. (1990). Checklist for a Non-sexist Classroom. Young Children. Sept. pp. 57-60.

MacNaughton, G. Mortimer, J. and Parish, K. (1986). Working Together: Good Practice Guidelines. Greater London Council:London.

Office of Preschool and Child Care - Curriculum Guidelines for Children 3-5 Years of Age. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printer. Section on Gender Equity.

Perritt, R. (1988). Girls and Boys An Australian Early Childhood Association Resource Booklet. AECA: Canberra.

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