Strategies implemented in Benji’s class will need to provide positive gender role models as well as bridging the socioeconomic divide.
Benji can incorporate elements of Gherardi’s view of the narrative in gender identity formation. Gherardi views storytelling, role playing and critical reviews of one’s performance as central in forming identity (MacNaughton, 2000). Benji can arrange a class exercise in diversity by getting his class to tell stories about what the members of their families do for a living, any special skills they have, and accomplishments in order to show a range of diverse gender images that the children can absorb. Family involvement can even be included, with parents coming into class, or sending in video, audio or written stories if they work during school hours. By involving the parents, children can learn by example that what they are learning is important (Weaver Dunne, 2001), and parents can be actively involved in reinforcing positive gender image, regardless of socioeconomic background.
With regards to a child’s socioeconomic disadvantage, a child might not be able to explore gender diversity at home as well as a more privileged student. An example of this is the digital divide, with only 49% of households in the lowest income bracket having internet access, compared with 89% of those in the highest income bracket (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). Benji can incorporate activities involving positive gender research by students on the internet at school, through group work on school computers or iPads, such as a project on a person who goes against traditional gender stereotypes. This will educate the students about positive gender expectations as well as allow them to quest...
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...quality in their classrooms. The strategies and activities discussed should provide you with the tools to take on these issues yourselves within your own class environment. This guide has proven that children can learn that people have different views and the way to being a successful and functional member of society is to possess values of honesty, justice and equality and fairness. As a teacher, there is also the need to address low socioeconomic backgrounds in class and support these children by bridging the economic divide in class as much as possible, by utilising school resources and integrating values of equality amongst all students. Children should be encouraged to call out others who bully or put down others due to their SES or gender, and know that it is not okay to insult someone based on the sex they were born, nor the bank account of their parents.
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