Deirdre O’Brien

Having been an Infant teacher for a number of years, Aistear was a major part of my classroom and day to day school life. Our first theme every September was ‘Home’ and this included a role play corner to reflect same. It was always during this theme that I found gender stereotypes to be present. Outside of the normal selection of who would play Mammy and Daddy. The girls always leaned towards cooking and childcare while in this area, while the boys generally ‘went to work’ and many chose to ‘mow the lawn’ using our small plastic lawnmower. Don’t get me wrong, it was not always like this but I would say this scenario was reflected 90% of the time. The idea that boys and girls can do the same things is very important and I think development education methodologies could really help to combat these stereotypes. The slide on stereotypes in the presentation was striking for me as often toys are given simply based on gender and this is what I noted in my own classroom during play time. I really enjoyed ‘Lessons 2 and 3’ from the slides as it tackled the assumptions, we make about people based simply on their gender and the roles which we assign boys/girls. I will use this activity in my future practice.

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