Gender in Early Years: Ideas into Action
The 3rd National Men in Early Years Conference took place on Tues 10th July 2018, aiming to promote gender awareness in the Early Years and explore practical solutions for tackling common issues in society as well as in practise. The conference was hosted the Bristol Men in Early Years (BMIEY) Network in partnership with Bristol Learning Cities.
Early Years Educators, Professionals, Academics, Students, Policy Makers and all those with an interest in challenging both gender imbalance and stereotypes were invited to take part and engage on the day. For us, one of the most significant challenges is the restrictive gender stereotypes we place on our children. Through exploring how children’s ideas around gender are formed in their early years, we can try and counteract the dominant cultural constructions that divide boys and girls and create unhealthy outcomes.
We also wanted to challenge the low status attributed to the profession. It is crucial we value the period in which children develop their own set of values and beliefs about themselves and society. We believe we can achieve this through policy and practice informed by research.
Why, then, do we still not give the profession the status it deserves? How can we effectively tackle the gender imbalance in the workforce at just 2% male? What do we need to do to remove these restrictive stereotypes we place upon boys and girls? What difference can this make in wider society?
BMIEY works to transform the way we think about gender in the early years and promotes the value of a diverse workforce as role models for children. We want to encourage evidence-based practice and promote gender flexible pedagogy."
What delegates had to say...
Thank you, what a privilege to have been able to participate in today and meet so many amazing people.
I enjoyed the rich, diverse and enthusiastic group of professionals brought together to discuss, debate, and be inspired. Thank you, an inspiring day. Need to keep going - such important work!
I really enjoyed the Keynote speeches by Graham and Lucy, I found the workshops very interesting - Fab Conference, so interesting. Thank you!!"
I will share with the Early Years team with a view to looking at how to attract more men. Also produce something to support settings to evaluate the environment, language etc. I will look in to this more and keep it on the priority list.
Thought provoking revival of ideas and opportunities to make positive change. Good ideas/insights shared.
"It will re-ignite my commitment to promoting gender flexible practice as a lone male worker"
Key message were inspiring and the reminder about the importance of gender equalitY and being gender neutral
"It will re-ignite my commitment to promoting gender flexible practice as a lone male worker
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