The Victorian government will educate teachers not to use phrases such as “boys will be boys” as part of a $3m plan to eradicate sexism in pre-schoolers.
According to The Australian, 4000 early years state educators will receive training about gender stereotypes in the classroom.
A government tender released last week says children as young as three or four are aware of “gender expectations” and try to “fit within these gendered norms” as they start school.
The ‘gender-equality’ program has been developed as part the Labor government’s $21.8m Respectful Relationships plan to tackle family violence. It’s been widely criticised by community groups for promoting domestic violence as a male on female issue.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos told the paper that this training was important.
“The early years are an important time to start helping children develop a secure sense of self and healthy, respectful relationships — this will help prevent family violence in the long-term”, she said.
The new program will cost taxpayers $3.4m. Existing materials aimed at the foundation level cautions teachers against phrases such as “boys will be boys’’and reinforcing stereotypical labelling “boys are strong, girls are gentle”.
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