Boys are better at math!
Girls are better at reading!
Boys shouldn't play house, or cooking or cleaning. They should play going to work, or fireman, because they need to move around more. Boys will be boys!
Girls aren't as strong as boys, and they are the ones to grow up and have babies, they need to learn how to nurture, and keep a house.
You can't be smart and pretty. You can't, you can't.....
Let's be honest there are a LOT of stereotypes about young kids, and how they should play, and who they can grow up to be, and roles for each gender. And it can be annoying, it can be used to justify behaviors, but it can also create disparity in learning.
What does that mean, disparity in learning? A simple way to say it is unequal opportunities, and unequal success. If you are told you aren't going to be good at growing potted plants, and you are shown books of people like you killing potted plants, and you hear your grandparents talking about no one in your family can grow potted plants; then you tend to not have any interest in the subject. You know it's not for you, and you will be terrible at it, and you will fail, so why try?
The same thing occurs with stereotypes of learning, even though we know that math, and reading are learned skills. And we know that to master a skill we need to practice it. It's a brain thing, not a gender thing. We see that kids start out with a more level playing field, we do see differences as they get older, and go through the school system.
And it's not the gender, it's assumptions, and it's the opportunities, and it's the unsaid biases (sometimes that are said out loud also). We need to understand that these are skills, that are taught and practiced. When you spend more time reading - you are a better reader. When opportunities are created for students to read more, they are better readers. Same with math, and science, and social studies ect.
We know what's not working, and testing it further isn't going to solve the issue. Providing kids the opportunities to excel in skills, and to have fun doing it, works. It can be providing kids a "carrot" read X number of books, and get a pizza party. Or we also know that when we have a girls club, and a boys club, and they are given opportunities to try, learn, and succeed, that we often see different results.
Often it's less about needing a new way to "teach math" (I'm looking at you common core) but instead about removing the assumptions and the stereotypes; and then providing a place to practice. You wouldn't expect the school basketball team to go win the championships and never practice. How can you expect the students to win scholarships in academics, without the extra practice focus?
And don't even get me started about how boys and girls grow up to be men and women, that live in houses, and need to eat, and keep it clean; and often have children of their own, that they have to raise.
Safe and happy travels!
Have you checked out Over The Bay Pre-K yet? It's a virtual Pre-K Classroom and it's affordable too!
We know the key to success starts way before school, and Pre-K to the end of Third Grade is the significant foundation for learning success.
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