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TOPIC AND RATIONALE
Gender stereotyping is a topic we find all around us and without exception in early years settings. There is a set of notions about how girls/women and boys/men are expected to behave in society, therefore is very difficult not to transmit those ideas in Early Education. Often we find children which already have implemented a gender role and behave based on our assigned sex. I have chosen this subject because I am aware, as I have to deal with that every single day, of how gender stereotype affects people. I believe the best way to fight this issue is through education and promoting gender equality in early childhood settings.
At my placement I have already seen several situations where girls dress in pink as they consider is their favorite color, draw and wish to be princesses and would like to be ballerinas when they grow up. Boys spend all the playground time playing football or using their imaginary gangs, dressing in dark colors or not allowing girls playing in the building construction area claiming that is not a game for them. Being personally affected and observing this conduct in young children at the childhood practice setting and in the nursery where I work, was my motivation to write about this interesting topic, which in some situations touch children subtlety, and in others can trigger a negative impact affecting in many ways their being.
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
My target is to find out if gender equality is promoted in early years settings.
RELEVANT THEORIES AND APPROACHES to children’s learning and development and links with knowledge acquired through the HNC
HOW TOPIC LINKS TO CHILDREN’S INDIVIDUAL NEEDS, RIGHTS, AND INTERESTS
Gender Equality is at the core of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which outlines in a few articles the relevance of the equality rights for all children independently of their gender. The Article 2 is directly related to the topic chosen and promotes non-discrimination. The Article 12 and 13 determinates the respect for the views of the child and their freedom of expression. Both of them encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings freely. Those right are important in the subject because their voices can be taken seriously if they feel affected by gender discrimination. The Articles 28 and 29 talk about rights and goals of education. Those articles promote education with the respect of the human rights including themselves, addressing gender discrimination and supporting equality among girls and boys. Finally, we have to have into consideration Article 4 which states that governments have to create systems and laws to promote and protect children rights, enabling all the above rights possible. Here a summary of the articles mentioned are shown:
• Article 2 – “The Convention applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background.”
• Article 12 – “Every child has the right to express their views, feelings, and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life.”
• Article 13 – “Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.”
• Article 28 –“Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.”
• Article 29 – “Education must develop every child’s personality, talents, and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.”
• Article 4 – “Governments must do all they can to make sure every child can enjoy their rights by creating systems and passing laws that promote and protect children’s rights.”