Reply To: Module 2 – Gender

Dara Feiritéar

In my own personal experience as a teacher in the senior cycle, I see gender stereotyping almost on daily basis, ‘from boys are better than girls at sport’ to ‘boys aren’t good at art’ to ‘girls can’t lift heavy stuff’. By the age of 12-13 it can be difficult, but not impossible to change or challenge gender stereotypes.  If we challenge gender stereotypes we can see a big change in ability and behaviour. I do see in many of our books that many illustrations in them are attempting to tackle gender stereotypes and are showing diversity. It is very important for children to know that our identities go further than traditional gender norms. I think the introduction of STEM and the continued use of drama/art in schools does great work in challenging stereotypes. In recent years, when discussing future career, I have heard of children hoping to pursue careers that would not be seen as ‘traditional’. I also think visits in school from people in our community are very important, our community policing officer is female and visits our school at Halloween to advise on the dangers of fireworks etc., the boys are often surprised, but visits like these challenge the sterotype.

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