Grainne Murphy

From Junior Infants right up to 6th Class I believe that gender stereotypes can be very evident in our schools. From younger children playing with separate ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toys to older children playing separate ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ games on yard – eg. Boys playing soccer and girls playing volleyball. I believe that Aistear and how this is facilitated can have a very positive impact on younger children and challenge their beliefs on gender stereotypes. A situation that I have often seen in the classroom and throughout the school is asking for ‘strong boys’ to do jobs that involve lifting things, moving tables and chairs etc. As teachers, and often without meaning to, we  play into these gender stereotypes, so it is vital that we are self-aware and discourage things that enable these stereotypes. To teach about gender inequality I would use a lot of discussion-based activities to challenge children’s thoughts. I would also use the fantastic lessons outlined in this module.

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