All children are affected by the messages they receive about gender: from the way colors are gendered (blue is for boys, pink is for girls), to the ways we encourage youth to pursue activities and academic subjects consistent with society’s notions about gender. Children and youth are flooded with these messages and school is no exception. Our work has shown that all children benefit from discussions that focus on and challenge these messages and that gender-inclusive schools create a more effective learning environment for all students.
As we continue to work with young people, parents and schools nationwide on strategies for gender inclusion, we are pleased to find that many schools are excited about approaching gender more intentionally. Over the next two weeks, we will continue posting new stories on this page from young people, parents and educators who shared their strategies and successes for more gender inclusive schools.
Gender Spectrum offers trainings to schools interested in working on gender inclusion. Click here to receive more information. Also, parents, educators and teens can check out our online community The Lounge, and ongoing online discussion groups on our events page.
Approaching gender with kids can be challenging – but it can also be immensely rewarding and fun! Our resources can help you develop many fun activities for and with children, including:
- You can see the 2016 documentary Creating Gender Inclusive Schools. The film is available for free viewing only until the end of September, so check it out while you can. You can always see the trailer and purchase the documentary here. You can learn more about gender inclusive schools in this newGender Spectrum video.
- See our new video with three educators describing gender in their schools.
- Parents, teachers and others can use this overview on “Talking to Young Children About Gender.” It’s a great resource to prompt fun conversations with all kids! Teachers will love this tool for “12 Easy Steps for Gender Inclusion.”
- Check out our video with three young people talking about gender at their schools.
- You can listen to “A Tale of Two Preschools,” a story of one Mom’s very different experiences with two preschools around gender and her child.
- See our new two-part video series with researcher Allison Gill on “Health Risk Behaviors Among Gender Expansive Students.”
- Hear our series of “Helpful Hints for Parents: Working With Your Child’s School:
- See this new video with three educators answering challenging questions about gender.
- The Gender Support Plan is a document that creates shared understanding about the ways in which a student’s authentic gender will be accounted for and supported at school. See our slideshow and audio describing the plan and how it is used, and download the document.
Gender Spectrum has many more resources and tools for parents on working with schools, and for educators who are looking to introduce gender inclusive work in their schools. Teens and young people can also get help from Gender Spectrum on ways to advocate for yourself (and with others!) at school.