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Inclusive Education

Project

Gender and
Diversity
By Amber Kennedy
101144619
Inclusive Education
Project

Contents
Scenario ............................................................................................................................................................. 3
Discussion .......................................................................................................................................................... 3
General information ...................................................................................................................................... 4
Critical issues and Implications ...................................................................................................................... 4
Modifications in the classroom ..................................................................................................................... 5
Lesson Plan ........................................................................................................................................................ 5
Reference List. ................................................................................................................................................. 10
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Scenario

David, the teacher in the kindy room was greeting children as they came in on Monday morning, when Brock
arrived at 7:30am, he was greeted by David. David said, ‘good morning Brock how was your weekend?’ Brock
was so excited to tell David all about his experiences over the weekend. Brock excitedly said, ‘my dad took
me to the music instrument shop, and he bought a violin for our house and I got to play it’ David said to Brock
‘was this your first time at a music store?’ before Brock could answer Lucy and Mia said, a violin, that a girl’s
instrument.’ Brock said, ‘it’s not, anyone can play it. Lucy said ‘oh, no I saw a band once with my mum and
she told me only girls could play the violin. Brock looked disappointed and turned away. David observed this
and asked Lucy, ‘did your mum say why only girls can play the violin? Lucy replied with ‘no’, David then said
maybe we could look at some instruments in class and all the different people who play them? Lucy seemed
excited, brock turned to David and said I would really like that.

Brock is currently exploring his gender in other aspects of his life and the teacher believe that Lucy and other
children have noticed this and have been bulling him about the choices he makes in his play. Children have
commented on the socks he wears, brock loves to wear princess socks because he thinks they are pretty.
Children have also commented on him playing in the dress ups with the girls, the girls often exclude Brock,
and this is beginning to be noticed by parents.

The teacher has been looking for a common interest in which he is able to explore gender with the children.
After the conversation in the morning the teacher has found a common ground to explore gender and the
roles associated with gender through musical instruments.

Discussion
What is inclusion and why is it important, inclusion can be defined in both a general sense and an educational
sense. Regarding the general definition, ‘Inclusion in its most general sense refers to the right to active
participation and achieving equity in all aspects of daily life’ (Hyde et al 2010, p.5). Inclusion in education
however ‘is based on the philosophy that schools should, without question, provide for the needs of all the
children in the community, whatever their background, their ability or their disability’ (Foreman & Arthur-
Kelly 2017, p.16). This gives a clear foundation of why inclusion is important in an educational setting.

Inclusion is closely linked with diversity and diversity comes in many forms some of which include; age,
gender, personality, ethnic/cultural background, socioeconomic status, cognitive ability, language ability,
physical skills/ability, different learning styles and sensory differences (Hyde et al 2014). Diversity comes in
all different shapes and sizes, as educators we need to be aware of this and have a clear understanding of
how to cater for these individual needs in an inclusive environment (Foreman & Arthur-Kelly 2017). All
teachers now days can expect to have diversity of students in their classes. ‘For classrooms to be optimal
learning environments, teachers need to understand the diversity of their students, and provide programs
and learning conditions that cater to that diversity’ (Foreman & Arthur-Kelly 2017, p.3).

Gender its self is nor an impairment or disability however the environment we create when enables or
disables one to choose what they should play with or who they should play with, can be (Foreman & Arthur-
Kelly). Gender should be something we are able to choose freely and express without pre-dispositions, who
says that a girl can only play with dolls and a boy must play with trucks? Challenging these ideologies is why
gender is so important to be educated on (DEEWR 2009).
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The term gender refers to the sex of an individual, most commonly being referred to as male or female with
reference to social and cultural differences (Foreman & Arthur-Kelly 2017). Gender covers a range of
feminine and masculine characteristics which surround physical and emotional development amongst
individuals (Martin & Buble 2010). It is important to understand the difference between how an individual
identifies with their gender verses their physical sex (The English oxford living dictionary 2017). The term for
individuals who do not identify as a gender is ‘non-binary’ or ‘genderqueer’, where they obtain identities and
characteristics outside of the feminine and masculine traits (Martin & Ruble 2010).

General information

According to current literature, gender roles involve an intertwined network of society values, religion,
cultural expectations, ethnicity and social classes (Woolfolk and Margetts 2013). This suggests that pre-
disposed ideologies of gender impact how a child believes they should act, who they should play with and
what they should and should not play with. Creating an environment where children cannot explore their
gender can be detrimental to one’s identity (Hyde et al 2014).

Development of gender identity has an ever-growing scope from physical to emotional development, also
including cognitive development (Foreman & Arthur-Kelly 2017). One of the most relevant phrases in
teaching is ‘know your students’ this is particularly relevant because knowing your students will guide your
teaching practices to be accepting of difference and to acknowledge on, an ongoing basis that every child is
unique, developing at different stages all the time (Oswalt 2008).

When we look at theorists, Kohlberg suggests that by the age of 6 children understand gender consistency,
they are aware that they have one gender which does not change for the continuum of their life (Woolfolk
& Margetts 2013). However, also mentioned is the small number of children that struggle with their gender
identity. These children may continue to struggle with their identity through adulthood (Woolfolk & Margetts
2013). This potentially stems from the fact that children are pre-disposed to gender stereotypes before they
come to school, most children are exposed to defining gender roles before 18 months old (Foreman & Arthur-
Kelly 2017). This happens through things like nursery rhymes, media. Watching children’s cartoons and other
‘kids’ shows. Even if a child is not directly watching or listening to these things they are still able to impact
them.

Critical issues and Implications

There are minor differences in the cognitive processes for both genders, in relation to language, emotional
and social development. The ‘Broca’ the brain’s syntax centre, is responsible for providing humans with the
capacity to articulate our thoughts and process them into actions of writing and speech tone/delivery
(Heilman & Scholes 2013). The Wernicke, the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for the
comprehension, understanding, speech, processing specific elements of dialect and converting thoughts into
language (Heilman & Scholes 2013). According to research done by Heilman & Scholes (2013) females Broca
and Wernicke develop and mature at a faster rate when compared with males.

Inclusivity and engagement have a long history in educational settings as being issues that surround gender
(Hyde et al 2014). If we create gender barriers and set expectations of children that do not allow them the
readily explore, we are diminishing the possibility for inclusion and engagement through a variety of avenues.
However, if as teachers we create opportunities for children to explore without judgement or stereotyping,
we are allowing for ‘plasticity and learning to flourish in a positive fashion’ (Hyde et al 2014).
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Some common phrases that are still used by teachers much like ‘Boys will be boys’ (Hyde et al 2014) are the
kind of phrases that contribute to stereotyping. As teachers it is our responsibility to support children in their
road to discovering who they are, each child is different, regardless of gender. Not every boy will be the same
and neither will every girl (Nagel 2012). Therefore, it is important for teachers to understand that yes there
may be potential gender differences in the brain which can be seen in behaviour and aspects of learning
however, through contemporary practice that recognises these differences and does not stereotype them
an inclusive and engaging approach is achievable (Foreman & Arthur-Kelly 2017).

Modifications in the classroom

To effectively accommodate/modify for this diversity in the classroom some teaching strategies need to be
considered. Some strategies that could be used in association with this scenario are as follows; Classroom
organisation: creating a space where Brock can explore his identify, without judgement or stereotyping.
Consider the seating arrangement of the classroom and how this might affect his social interactions and
overall inclusion. Modelling, in the play experience, modelling could include ensuring that all children are
respected. Being apart of the experience not just as an observer but a participant that can contribute more
knowledge and context when challenging situations arise. Challenging stereotypical views by having those
whole class discussions, using YouTube videos and real-life people to challenge the way children think
regarding gender. Other strategies include identifying at risk children and providing ways to challenge gender
ideologies through engaging with parents and families to learn more about each child and their background,
culture and current needs.

To effectively implement these strategies there are support networks available for both educators and
parents (DEEWR 2009). There are resources including YouTube and Books that establish a great pathway to
further understanding gender.

Lesson Plan

Lesson plan used previously in Developing a Play curriculum EDCU 1014

Making Music

CONTEXT:

Whole class

4-year-old children in an Early Years Learning Centre.


15 children, 8 girls and 7 boys
1 teacher, 1 ECW, 1 ISS (3 educators)

This class is a kindy room of 15 children, the room is set out in an open plan that allows for children to
move through the space with ease. there are designated areas for craft, role play and relaxation etc
however each space moves into the next creating an open flowing space for children to engage in
meaningful play experiences
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Play plan experience

5 children involved in the play experience


1 non-Binary child (brock, 4-years-old)
Lucy 4-year-old girl
1 teacher in this play experience area

April, middle of term 2.

Early Years Learning Framework will be the curriculum document that guides this play experience.

All children have prior knowledge, but on different levels. All children have listened to music before, 5
children have an understanding of instruments through family, 3 students have been to a music shop
before, 5 children not had experience with musical instruments.

Medium term plan. Observation through children’s interest, which was communicated to the teacher
through a group conversation when the child arrived at the centre that day.

LEARNING INTENTION: LEARNING EXPERIENCE:

I want the children to enhance their creative The children will be making instruments and listening to
development, communication language and various cultural music as a background resource that can
literacy skills, knowledge and understanding be managed by the children.
of musical instruments and develop a sense They will create their instruments using materials they
of cultural traditional music and instruments. have collected from the grounds, this will link to the
I will aim to develop children’s observation of the child making noises with various
understanding of gender diversity by materials, conversations between children.
exploring a range of instruments and the
different kinds of people who might play The play experience will set up in the outdoor classroom
them. Children will also be communicating to allow for noise and collaboration between children.
with peers and educators about their During morning group time, the play station will be
processes. discussed to ensure children remember the correct way
to use scissors and to address safety when using the
equipment. The children will then can explore the Play
Station freely.

The children will be provided space, time and resources


to create their instruments. Resources such as pictures
of instruments, will be provided as a guide for children
who have limited background knowledge of instruments
and to provide children with a range of cultural diverse
instruments.

To ensure that all children have the opportunity to take


part and make meaning from this experience there will
be an option for those who don't enjoy making to
investigate the sounds they can make with their own
body like clapping, clicking, mouth noises, stomping feet.
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For those children who don't find interest in making


music using their body or making their own instrument
there will be simple instruments such as a tambourine
for them to engage with.

Once children have created their instrument, they will be


able to share it with the class if they choose to. Next the
teacher will talk to the students about how everybody
made something different, drawing on the similarities
and differences of some. If a majority of boys have made
the same instruments and girls have done the same,
then a video of both boys and girls using all different
instruments can be used to further convey the meaning.

EYLF/AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM: ASSESSMENT:

Outcome 2 - children are connected with formative assessment


and contribute to
 Observations, learning stories, jotting
Children respond to diversity with respect:  Photographs used to create a photo story of the
2.2 experience
 Videos of children who make the instruments,
Children will use their prior knowledge to draw them or play with them. this will allow for
reflection after the experience
support a basic understanding of diversity
 Anecdotal note taking
 Child voice about their experience, what they
Children will be exploring their liked and didn't like about the experience this
understanding of culture by exploring the will allow educators to draw on the learning that
experience. has occurred
 Learning Journals to keep monthly progress.
Children will ask questions and include
different types of learning resources to
support their knowledge.

Outcome 4 - children are confident and


involved learners

Children develop a range of skills and


processes such as problem solving, inquiry,
experimentation, hypothesising, researching
and investigating. 4.2

Children will explore hands on by using the


materials to craft their own instruments.

Children transfer and adapt what they have


learned from one context to another. 4.3
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Children will include their prior knowledge


and visual interpretation using the imagery
to make meaning.

Outcome 5: Children are effective


communicators

Children interact verbally and non-verbally


with others for a range of purposes. 5.1

Verbal conversations heard and lead by the


children.

Conversations verbal and non-verbal lead by


educators to support assessment and
children curiosity.

Verbal instructions prior to the experience


including safety guides.

(DEEWR 2009)

RESOURCES REQUIRED:

Scrap materials, musical instruments (on hand if children need), sticky tape, scissors, pictures of
instruments, iPad for music, paint and other craft materials such as glitter, sequence and textas for
children to decorate their instruments. Natural materials, like gumnuts, leaves, small stones, sand and
coloured water. Paper and pencils will be placed on a separate table for children who wish to design
their instrument first. There will be no gender specific materials.

The play experience will be set up over two tables, one table will be the ‘resource table’ which will have
all the materials spread out in an inviting and stimulating way that encourages children to have a look at
what is on offer. Neither tables will have chairs set up, this is to encourage all children to come and have
a look and if they are not interested there are other options. Chairs will be available for those who wish
to sit.

DIFFERENTIATION: FOLLOW UP EXPERIENCE:

 creating ample opportunities to To extend this play plan the teacher could provide a
explore using different cultural diverse range of dress ups so the children could engage
resources in socio-dramatic play.
 no gender specific roles
The children could also create a band or play their
The children can engage through verbal and instruments to a song of their choice and perform it to
non-verbal cues to explore to create a their parents or other staff and rooms within the early
musical instrument using natural and learning centre.
sustainable resources.
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This experience will provide children with The teachers could invite parents who play musical
opportunities to explore culture without instruments into the early learning centre and get them
have a specific role. to play their instrument, or organise a band to into the
Children can construct their own piece, using centre.
the materials.
The children may engage with other peers
and educators through verbal questioning, Each of these experiences could be intertwined with
sharing, visual imagery, videos and discussions of the roles within the experience to further
educate children on gender diversity.
constructive feedback from educators, peers
and families.
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Reference List.

Department of Education, Employment and Work Place Relations (DEEWR) 2009, Being belonging and
becoming, Early years learning framework, Viewed 25/04/2018, <http;//www.education.gov.au>early-
years-learning-framework>.

Foreman, P & Arthur-Kelly, M 2017, Inclusion in Action, 5th edn, Cengage learning Australia.

Heilman, KM & Scholes, RJ 2013, ‘The Nature of Comprehension Errors in Broca's, Conduction and
Wernicke's Aphasics’, Elsevier, vol. 12, no.3, pp.258-265.

Hyde, M, Carpenter, L, & Conwa, R 2014, Diversity, inclusion & engagement, Oxford university press,
Australia.

Martin, CL & Ruble, DN 2013, ‘Patterns of Gender Development’, NCBI, vol. 61 no.1, pp.353–381.

Oswalt, A 2008, mentalhelp.net, Early Childhood Gender Identity and Sexuality, Viewed 6 June 2018
<https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/early-childhood-gender-identity-and-sexuality/)>

Woolfolk, A and Margetts, K 2013, Educational Psychology, 3rd edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, New
South Wales.