A new book! Understanding Gender and Early Childhood: An Introduction to the Key Debates

We were delighted to receive through the post this week several copies of our new book; we were even more delighted to see it displayed in the university bookshop. We began thinking about this book in 2016, in fact we submitted the proposal the day after we finished the final draft of our first co-authored book ‘An Introduction to Research in Early Childhood’. A good deal has happened in terms of gender issues in the last four years, including #Me Too and the prosecution of Harvey Weinstein, making us realise that getting people to think and talk about gender issues is as crucial as ever. 

Why did we write the book?

If we are honest, we mainly thought about our students as we wrote. Many have a real interest in exploring gender, often choosing it as an area for their dissertation. There are volumes and volumes written on gender by seminal theorists such as Connell that we could signpost them to, however there are few books that look specifically at gender and early childhood. We know that the ECEC setting is one of the key places that children learn about gender, so it seemed important to us that those who work with young children can examine the issues. One of these issues is the status of those who work with young children.  

Low skilled workers?

Have you been following the reactions on social media to the classification of those earning less than 23k as low skilled? Many people who earn below this threshold are highly skilled in terms of the knowledge and attributes they need to carry out their jobs effectively; we are thinking specifically about those who work with young children. This is a gendered discussion, because we know that most early years practitioners are women, and it is one that we pick up throughout the book. 

Who is this book for? 

Our intended audience for the book is anyone with an interest in gender because of their work with young children. We would argue that all early years practitioners should think about gender issues as they have an important role to play in children’s learning about ‘what it is to be a boy’ or ‘what it is to be a girl’.   We have looked at this issue in previous posts such as when adults select toys for children and the subconscious gender informed decisions they may make.

We hope you enjoy reading our book as much as we have enjoyed writing it. You can have a look at it on Google books if you would like some more details. Please let us know what you think – it’s always great to get feedback! Oh, and do keep thinking about gender……

One thought on “A new book! Understanding Gender and Early Childhood: An Introduction to the Key Debates

  1. Excellent to hear about the launch of your new book on ‘Understanding Gender in Early Childhoods …’ A subject matter and topic that is much discussed and debated amongst those with an interest in Early Childhood. This is certainly a book that will be well used by University students studying various degrees and across modules, as well as the wider community. A much anticipated book to follow on from the brilliantly accessible and well-informed ‘An Introduction to Research about Early Childhood’. The dynamic duo of Polly Bolshaw and Jo Josephidou present us again with a great edition for our book shelves! We look forward to you coming to speak on this subject matter at our Early Childhood Community of Practice soon!


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