In Greece, in 1979, the procedures for the institutionalization of mixed education began, which, however, was finalized in 1985 (Law 1566/85), with the formal recognition that pure girls' and boys' schools reproduce educational inequality between the sexes.
Gender stereotypes, that is, the stereotypes of the sexes and their roles, contain various characteristics for the ways in which individuals think and express themselves, act and feel or dress. They also contain characteristics for the roles and profession they follow, depending on their division into "women" and "men". Essentially, these are preconceived ideas or representations that attribute in a simplified way properties to individuals, properties that determine their behavior or reactions, e.g. "Men do not cry", or "girls are sensitive and coquettish". Stereotypes do not remain the same nor are they the same all over the world. They change depending on the historical, social, political and economic conditions. Despite the significant changes that have taken place in recent years in the relations between the two sexes, these stereotypes still exist today and affect people's perceptions. Stereotypical ideas about "masculine" and "feminine" qualities consider these human characteristics to be innate.
Related research conclude that educational practices influence the development of educational inequalities by gender and can encourage and perpetuate prejudices about gender discrimination. In the school curriculum, gender equality is not a separate learning unit. In recent decades, through the cooperation of University Institutions or other state, efforts have been made to produce supportive educational material to introduce gender issues in the educational process. Material that is developmentally appropriate for the age of the child and can be used by teachers of the respective levels of education. Indicatively we will be referred to the material created by the University of Ioannina, material that includes theoretical and practical information addressed to kindergarten teachers and teachers. The Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) of the Ministry of Education and Religions, in the school year 2016-2017, inaugurated the institution of "Thematic Week", with aimed at informing and raising awareness of members of the school community (students, teachers, parents)in various thematic fields. One of the axes was the field "Gender Identities", where actions could be implemented on issues related to gender equality, prevention of gender-based violence, gender stereotypes, etc. But none of the above is part of the compulsory teaching time and their implementation is left to the will of the sensitized teachers. In the Kindergarten the actions can be integrated in a work plan, in the Primary School in the framework of the Flexible Zone and in the Secondary Education in the implementation of a project.
The Fairy Tales project proposes actions targeting young children, teachers, parents and the general public, to promote gender equality, to prevent gender-based violence. The suggested practices can be incorporated into the pedagogical practice, to reconstruct gender stereotypes, while at the same time encouraging young children to build healthy relationships based on appreciation and respect. The novelty of the Fairy Tales project to introduce the theme of equal opportunities for women and men in Primary Education, (preschool age - Kindergarten and in the first grades of Primary School), is that it uses classic children's fairy tales, popular with children aged 5-7 years which are a factor in shaping their beliefs and attitudes about life.
The teaching modules developed in the context of the Fairy Tales project, as a tool for the development of critical and creative thinking, promote prevention against violence and discrimination as the key tool for promoting gender equality. Within the framework of the project, actions are proposed that have as main messages to the children:
- Women and men, girls and boys are equally capable and their knowledge equally valuable
- Women and men, girls and boys are different, but this is a reason for cooperation and not a reason for discrimination
- Every person is unique, different and precious!
- Every child is unique, different and precious!
- The control, submission and enforcement of one sex to the other is not acceptable and leads to violence.
- It is important for women and men to be equally involved in the care of their home and family and to have equal time for themselves.
- Women and men should be paid equally for the same work.
- There are good and bad strangers, we consult parents or before we trust them.
- When girls and boys are equally involved in decision making, no one their will not findεθεί at a disadvantage.
- Children, women and men have the right to live without violence and to have equal opportunities to realize their personal desires.
- Children and women are more vulnerable groups and more often become victims of violence and based on this fact special protection and support is required.
The institutional framework governing the operation of Primary Education, and in particular of the Kindergarten, the elaboration of issues and the implementation of work plans emphasizes the collaborative learning. The methodology for the implementation of the activities of the teaching units of the project is close to those used in kindergartens, both in terms of the structure of the content and the duration of the implementation of the activity. This also allows the smooth introduction of activities in the context of existing pedagogical practices. The use of fairy tales as a basic material for working with children, gives children space to express themselves through a familiar environment, to develop and enrich their speech, to process the social roles of both sexes, to perceive stereotypical or non-stereotypical images, to talk about violence and abuse. The symbolic character of the fairy tale, which participates in the actions, provides the child with the necessary distance from the topic of discussion, as the activity is realized using the story of the characters of the fairy tale and not the personal experiences of the children. Knowledge is built through interaction with the natural and social environment and contributes to the formation of a healthy personality and an active citizen are two of the main goals of preschool education in Greece.
An important part of the Fairy Tales project, in addition to working with children, is the active involvement of kindergarten teachers and parents. The project envisages the training and awareness of kindergarten teachers and parents on issues of gender equality, stereotypes and prevention of gender-based violence. In this way it provides a holistic approach to the issue, as it includes in the implementation of the actions the main actors of the socialization of the child in terms of gender: the family and the Kindergarten.
Education, as an institution of socialization of the individual, must promote and contribute to the achievement of gender equality, to raise awareness and prevent violence based on gender or gender segregation. The teaching modules of the project for working with preschool children, strengthen the effort of teachers and / or parents regarding the building of healthy relationships based on appreciation and respect for the opposite sex, from an early age.
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In Greece, the principle of equal treatment and gender equality is established by the 1975 Constitution. In particular, Article…
The first contact with the stereotypes of classic fairy tales took place in early 2019, after the fairy tales had been selected.…
Children through their family, the dominant body of socialization, acquire their gender identity through the imitation of…