Gender and Literacy: A Handbook for Educators and Parents

Gender and Literacy: A Handbook for Educators and Parents

Gender and Literacy: A Handbook for Educators and Parents

Gender and Literacy: A Handbook for Educators and Parents

Synopsis

This work offers parents, educators, and librarians a practical guide to discovering the ways gender identities are constructed through literacy practices, providing recommendations for addressing gender inequities in schools and in the community at large.

Excerpt

As I set out to compose this Foreword, I consulted with a second-grade informant, Camille. Camille is an active second grader interested in a variety of sports including basketball, football, boogie boarding, ping pong, golf, badminton, and other physically active sports. In the spirit of qualitative interviewing, I asked Camille to comment on her views about gender stereotyping in her world. She said, “If a girl walks up to a bunch of boys playing tag and asks if she can play they will snap at her and tell her no, because you are a girl.”

This and many other examples affirm the words of gender scholar Karen Krasny when she notes:

One idea that resounds throughout this book it is that there is nothing neutral
about gender. Feminine and masculine codes of behavior that can look very
different across cultures and times are nevertheless so pervasive that they can
not help but shape who we are and how we act. In writing this book, I hope
to promote the idea we cannot even begin to deal effectively with gender ster
eotyping and bias until we recognize the extent to which we ourselves con
sciously or unconsciously abide by these codes. (Krasny, p. 14)

Gender and Literacy: A Handbook for Educators and Parents is a compelling and comprehensive effort to synthesize a complex array of information for educators and parents interested in the intersection of gender and literacy practices. It is inspiring and filled with a rich array of ideas designed to transform gendered social practices in ways that challenge simplistic solutions to complex social issues.

Students view themselves through the socially constructed prism of other peoples’ words and actions on the playground, in classrooms, at home, and in their communities. These “voices in the head” can reify gender . . .

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