Breaking gender stereotypes, roles, and expectations in the elementary classroom using children's literature.
The purpose of this thesis is to analyze gender stereotypes, roles, and expectations in society and use children’s literature in the elementary classroom to break these expectations. The reality of society is constantly changing and positive role models are needed to encourage young children to be confident in themselves as they grow older. Starting in the elementary classrooms, teachers should present opportunities for children to learn how to grow and participate as active and respectful citizens. As positive role models, teachers should address many different social constructs, in this case, gender stereotypes, to their students and create a community within the classroom that is built on mutual respect and acceptance. Starting with gender stereotypes and breaking these expectations, students can grow to become active citizens for change and acceptance in their own communities and society as a whole. Using children’s literature is a reliable way to introduce the topic of acceptance and help erase some gender stereotypes.