Parents News Now

Swedish Preschool Provides Genderless Environment

The Egalia preschool in the Swedish city of Stockholm is attempting to defy gender stereotyping by keeping all gender-specific references--including the pronouns "his" and "hers--out of the classroom.  According to an article from KIAH news, children are referred to as "friends," rather than by gender-specific pronouns.  Construction toys are placed next to toy kitchens to discouraged gendered play, and classroom books feature homosexual couples, single parents, and adopted children.  From KIAH:

There are no Snow White, Cinderella or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes. [School director Lotta] Rajalin, 52, says the staff also try to help the children discover new ideas when they play.

"A concrete example could be when they're playing 'house' and the role of the mom already is taken and they start to squabble," she says. "Then we suggest two moms or three moms and so on."

Do you think preschools are where gender stereotypes start?  Would you send your child to a school like Egalia?