A School Where Boys Learn to Dance and Girls Learn to Yell!
Stockholm: Some pre schools of Sweden is setting a role model for the society. They do not categorise activities for boys and girl. They dont even call them as boys/ girls or guys/ girls. They not just treat them alike, but encourage them to engage in activities which the society has tabooed as "for the other gender".
They encourage boys to paint, pay in the play kitchen, try crafting with clay. They teach the girls to scream, to yell, to say 'no', to walk in the snow. They encourage the parents to stop dressing up kids in blue and pink.
The government supports such 'gender-neutral' mode of education. The children at these schools do not show a strong preference for playmates of the same gender, and are less likely to make assumptions based on stereotypes. Yet, the scientists found no difference at all in the children’s tendency to notice gender, suggesting that may be under a genetic influence.
Sweden’s experiment in gender-neutral preschools began in 1996 in Trodje, a small town near the edge of the Baltic Sea. The man who started it, Ingemar Gens, was not an educator but a journalist who dabbled in anthropology and gender theory, having studied Swedish men seeking mail-order brides in Thailand. Newly appointed as a district “equal opportunity expert,” Mr. Gens wanted to break down the norm of stoic, unemotional Swedish masculinity.
Preschool struck him as the right place to do this. Swedish children spend much of their early life in government-funded preschools, which offer care at nominal cost for up to 12 hours a day starting at the age of 1.
Two schools rolled out what was called a compensatory gender strategy. Boys and girls at the preschools were separated for part of the day and coached in traits associated with the other gender. Boys massaged each other’s feet. Girls were led in barefoot walks in the snow, and told to throw open the window and scream.
As per the government reports, number such schools are increasing rapidly.
(Source: The New York Times)