Sarah Muldowney

I teach in a DEIS 1 school in the subarbs of Dublin. Gender stereotypes are very prevalent in the classrooom in both the junior and senior classes. I have seen when teaching infants that toys are stereotyped as biys or girls toys, or during AISTEAR when a girl in the group has to be the nurse. When I asked why, I was told because girls are nurses and boys are doctors. In the senior classes, I have seen gender stereotypes again come up regarding professions, where girls will be teachers and nurses and boys with be footballers and business men. I have also seen gender stereotypes regarding physical appearance. Having a girl in the class with shorter hair and seeing others refer to her as a boy, simply because of a haircut.

Development education can help to combat these stereotypes and one methodology that I think is easy to include in your teaching would be to include diverse and inclusive materials in lessons. For example, through stories and the use of images shown to portray a topic.

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