subscribe: Posts | Comments

New help with challenging gender stereotyping


National Literacy Trust, Let Toys be Toys, poster, schools, gender stereotypingGender stereotypes close down worlds for children, limit reading choices and aspirations.

The National Literacy Trust has teamed up with Let Toys Be Toys to create a poster for teachers with top tips to challenge gender stereotyping through literacy, language and play in the classroom.

Gender stereotypes matter in school.

Believing certain things are ‘for girls’ or ‘for boys’ limits their opportunities, and can feed into bullying.

And for balanced development, children need access to a wide range of activities.

As they grow older, narrow ideas of what boys and girls are like can damage children’s chances as some boys pick up the message that learning and reading are ‘unmasculine’, and girls are less likely to pursue interests in science and technology subjects that they have ‘learned’ are ‘unfeminine’.

Research by the Institute of Physics found that gender stereotyping was a key factor in limiting the aspirations of students.

And in a recent literature review by the Fawcett Society, 45 per cent of respondents said they experienced gender stereotyping when they were children, with just over than half (51 per cent) of those affected said it constrained their career choices.

Other research, including the Drawing the Future report, found that by the age of seven children are already facing limits on their future aspirations in work because of stereotyping around social background, race and gender.

Research also shows that challenging gender stereotypes can help both boys and girls’ educational achievement, and so hopefully this new poster will be a valuable resource and help schools do this.

Teachers can use this poster:

As a stimulus for discussion in staff meetings;

To share as a resource;

To display in the staff room as a reminder for colleagues; and

To share with parents as an example of good practice.

It can be downloaded, free, from the National Literacy Trust website.

This poster is being provided as part of the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Work: Dream Big programme, which works together with schools and local businesses to support supporting Key Stage 1 pupils to develop their literacy skills, raise aspirations and challenge stereotypes.

It is based on the Let Toys Be Toys’s 10 ways to challenge gender stereotypes in the classroom.

Let Toys Be Toys also has other free resources on this topic for parents, schools and teachers, including a range of lesson plans from Early Years through Year 9.

Dr Fen Coles, of Letterbox Library, said: “The poster provides an excellent checklist as well as prompts for teachers to ensure that their classrooms enjoy reading and literacy to the fullest! … far beyond those gender stereotypes which do so much to close down worlds for children, limit their reading choices and their aspirations.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *