Gender Beliefs in the Classroom: The Role of the Teacher

Learn new ways of considering your role as a teacher and how to implement intentional practices to best ensure a gender flexible environment.

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Description

Young children actively engage in gender construction in the early childhood classroom. Teachers play a vital role in reinforcing and challenging norms and gender discourses. 

Research suggests that early childhood educators support gender equality and exploration, yet are often unaware of their role in gendering children's experiences. This workshop will provide teachers with an opportunity for critical self-reflection and group dialogue concerning gender beliefs related to young children and the early childhood classroom. Participants will learn new ways of considering their role as a teacher and how to implement intentional practices to best ensure a gender flexible environment.

About the Instructor

Ilana Dvorin Friedman is a PhD Candidate in Child Development at Loyola University Chicago/Erikson Institute completing her dissertation on gender beliefs of teachers in Orthodox Jewish early childhood programs. She has worked at a number of educational institutions as an adjunct instructor teaching human development and early childhood related courses and has designed and facilitated professional development opportunities for teachers. Years of working in a variety of capacities at early childhood programs contributed to her interest in supporting teachers and their reflective practice, as well as engaging in research concerning the intersection of early childhood education and gender.

Objectives

This workshop will help teachers to:

  • improve critical self-reflection skills related to evaluating gender beliefs and their perceived role in the classroom;
  • consider the ways children's gender-related discussions and play could be a site for challenging or supporting gender stereotypes;
  • consider best ways to implement intentional practices to challenge gender stereotypes in the classroom