Discussing Gender and Economic Class (2022)

Renee Almatierra

In EDUC140, “Diversity in Education,” we have a discussion about Gender and Economic Class. In this discussion, the goal is to have Early Childhood Educators examine how these two social identities affect both the children in their care and the children’s families and how they as teachers can be more inclusive in their learning spaces.


READ from your book, Anti-Bias Education

Chapter 9 (p. 121- 135)

Gender Diversity and Fairness


Chapter 10 (p. 136-149)

Economic Class and Fairness

READ 2 Articles

Article on Talking to Kids about Gender



Article on The Effects of Poverty on Learning



WATCH 3 Videos

Boys and Girls on Stereotypes 

Lessons for a gender-transformative approach in early childhood in India 

How to talk to your young children about economic and social class differences 



RESPOND to the following prompts:


PART ONE: Gender and Identity

Question One

A parent comes to pick up their child, a 4-year-old boy, who is wearing a pink skirt from the dramatic play area and is holding a baby doll. The parent is upset and tells you that they do not want their son dressing in “girls’ clothes” and playing with dolls.

What can you say to this parent about young children and gender identity and gender roles? How will you handle their concern?

Answer this question in at least 4 sentences.

Question Two

In the article ” ‘Oh, He’s a Girl.’ Talking to Kids About Gender Experience, Identity,” Samuels (2018) shows a poster of a “Gender Unicorn.”

What do you think about the poster?

Do you think this poster could be helpful in your learning environment? Why or why not?

Answer this question in at least 4 sentences.


PART TWO: Social Class

Question One

In their article, Stalin (2017) tells us that the traumatic stress caused by living in poverty can affect children’s brain development, which can make it harder for them to focus, learn the language, and regulate their emotions (p. 3).

The article also lists some things that can reduce this negative impact on children’s brain structure. What are those things and how can you use them in your learning space to help reduce the negative impact of poverty on the children’s developing brains in your care?

Answer this question in at least 4 sentences.


Question Two

On p. 140 in your textbook, it describes how children learn to value certain professions and job titles over others due to what they see in their environments. Think about your learning space for a moment. Take into consideration the following items:

  • Books
  • People’s toys (figurines and dolls)
  • Puzzles that show workers
  • Posters
  • Other items that show workers

What types of professions are being represented by these items in your learning space? Do they represent waste management workers (garbage collectors), grocery store workers, housekeepers, or restaurant staff? Why or why not?

What messages do you think the items in your learning space are sending to the children about which professions are valued and which are not? Would you make any changes to those items after doing this exercise? If yes, what would you change?

Answer this question in at least 4 sentences.


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Diversity and Social Justice – Faculty Guide (2022 Edition) Copyright © 2021 by Renee Almatierra is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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