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Susie Heywood and Barbara Adzajlic on Challenging Gender Stereotypes in the Early Years

The focus of this interview is on children reaching their full potential and how this is impacted by gender stereotyping, using information from Susie and Barbara’s book: Challenging Gender Stereotypes in the Early Years.

Barbara explains how children’s knowledge about gender typically develops over time. We go on to discuss how gender stereotyping could affect children’s mental health; practical strategies for improving pedagogy and how to support parents and the wider community.

We also find out about the Gender Friendly Nursery programmes that they set up in Glasgow and some gender-friendly pedagogy from around the world.
· January 13, 2023

Susie Heywood and Barbara Adzajlic are public health professionals with over 15 years’ experience working on topics such as mental health, gender-based violence, suicide prevention, behaviour change and inequalities.

Together they co-created the Gender Friendly Nursery, a programme of training and accreditation supporting early learning and childcare establishments to address gender equality as part of their roles with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. They have also co-authored a fantastic book Challenging Gender Stereotypes in the Early Years, which we will discuss in the interview.

Susie and Barbara now work together to offer guidance, support and training to organisations wishing to improve their practice in relation to gender inequality

The focus of this interview is on children reaching their full potential and how this is impacted by gender stereotyping. We start by discussing the quote from Susie and Barbara’s book and how gender stereotyping can affect this: Ultimately, as well as removing the unfair limits on children’s potential, we want to help them to become great citizens and brave and powerful allies.

Barbara explains how children’s knowledge about gender typically develops over time. We go on to discuss how gender stereotyping could affect children’s mental health and where to start if you’ve never considered this aspect before.

Susie and Barbara have some practical strategies for improving pedagogy and how to support parents and the wider community.

We also find out about the Gender Friendly Nursery programmes that they set up in Glasgow and are still going strong. We finish by considering some gender-friendly pedagogy from around the world.

Links:

You can get the book from Routledge: https://www.routledge.com/Challenging-Gender-Stereotypes-in-the-Early-Years-Changing-the-Narrative/Heywood-Adzajlic/p/book/9780367766504
Or from Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3saRCBa

The Jack and Ali book, which Barbara referenced can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silencing-Self-Across-Cultures-Depression/dp/0199932026

The Gender Friendly Nursery information: https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/253686/gender-friendly-nursery-support-pack-dec-2018.pdf

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