Early Childhood Education Is Supplying The Children 's ' Marketplace ' During Identity Development

858 WordsJul 23, 20154 Pages
When an educator enters a classroom they do so with tools aimed towards giving students an education. Along with a degree is a copy of the Australian Curriculum ([AC], 2015) and the Early Years Learning Framework ([EYLF], 2015); however, what is important for the educator to perceive is that an important part of early childhood education is supplying the children’s ‘marketplace’ during identity development. According to Siraj-Blatchford and Clarke (2004, p. 23) the effects of gender, culture and socio economic status overlap with other formative developmental categories in a complex way to shape a child’s identity. Or as Malaguzzi writes “we can never think of each child in the abstract” (1993, p. 1). By understanding and respecting issues of diversity and difference, educators are able to create an ‘environment as third teacher’ (Reggio Emilia approach as cited in Strong-Wilson & Ellis, 2007, p. 41) and write a curriculum that encourages children to explore and develop an identity based upon every aspect of their lives. After all it is what the children do within those environments that matter (Robson, 2004, p. 205). From birth to the classroom a child is exposed to gender specific clothing, toys, games, and décor. However, it does not stop at childhood; educators are also exposed to those same gender specific stereotypes, so much so that it has become pervasive and ingrained. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) (2013, p. 3) discuss the impact of gender stereotyping as: a
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