Developing Critical Literacy Skills: Exploring Masculine and Feminine Stereotypes in Children's Literature
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
"Children’s literature is an ideal resource for helping children develop critical literacy skills because it encompasses tales, poetry, novels, comic strips, documentaries and activity books for a diverse range of learners. Further...books for children of all ages are infused with the cultural values of society and contribute to the transmission of ideologies from one generation to the next. Given that equality of the sexes is one of the foundations of our democractic society, it is important to support students in developing their critical literacy skills by considering the values and ideologies inherent in the representations of femininity and masculinity in books written for children. Children’s books mirror the values and images transmitted to children by adults. They act as vehicles for passing ideologies from generation to generation....By carefully examining collections of literature from various persepctives, researchers have been able to identify and describe the ideologies inherent in representations of gender."
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