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From my experience of teaching in a mixed junior school, I have observed students playing with a range of toys. Some have selected a range of colours as their favourite colour from a young age. From teaching Aistear and observing Golden Time, students have constructed a range of accessories in free play. They are encouraged to express themselves through their imagination and share their ideas with others if they wish to do so.
From my experience this year, students are happy to volunteer to act out dramatic scenes from books, as either female or male characters. Some methodologies such as ‘hot seating’ or ‘role on the wall’ may encourage students to look deeper at character traits and personalities. Yet, it is important for students to know that gender equality is not the same all over the world. It is important for students to be aware of gender stereotypes and to develop a sense of agency. This encourages students to relate to others and to develop their own self-esteem.