Brief description of the issue
At the beginning of elementary school, young girls already have a low self-esteem and they underestimate their abilities. As for boys of the same age, they are able to find more synonyms than girls to anger, but not to other emotions. In children’s literature, male role models are often strong characters who don’t cry. These gender stereotypes within which we confine boys and girls can have a long-lasting impact on children, among these, a higher school dropout rate.
To reinforce the idea that boys and girls are equal and have the same opportunities within an elementary classroom, a UK researcher created posters with positive and equality-focused messages and asked students from a first-grade group to decorate their classroom with the posters. Four weeks later, after a few other interventions aiming at breaking down gender stereotypes with students, he saw an increase in boys’ empathy and girls’ self-confidence and self-esteem (BBC, 2018). You can download the posters below to print them and decorate your classroom, or invite students to create the posters themselves.
Click on the links below to download them!
The author and illustrator Élise Gravel also has many posters that you can print for free and that promote equality, breaking down stereotypes and acceptance of diversity.
BBC (2018). No More Boys And Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?, Outline Productions, accessible at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2017/33/no-more-boys-and-girls