Children as young as three years old often catch their teachers off guard with matter-of-fact assertions and questions related to gender: “Dolls are for girls!” “Boys can’t like pink.” “Girls don’t play sports.” “Why does Maria have two daddies?”
The Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of Miami-Dade/Monroe is partnering with YES Institute to prepare early childhood professionals to respond to these scenarios in an age appropriate way. In educational sessions with YES Institute, ELC participants learned current research on gender, and engaged in role play exercises based on practical challenges they encounter everyday in schools.
“In 30 years of teaching, I’ve never had any training around these topics, and it’s so relevant to what we see in our classrooms.”
“I learned new skills to be able to talk to parents when their little girl wants to play with trucks and LEGO toys instead of dolls and the kitchen set.”
“Exceeded my expectations! It got me looking at the language I use so I can avoid setting harmful stereotypes for youth.”
Thank you, ELC, for your commitment to ensuring safe, open education and play for all children. Your leadership will provide a model for other coalitions throughout the state.