Principles of a Gender Inclusive Classroom
Gender inclusive classrooms are physically and emotionally safe spaces where students are not limited by their gender (or perceived gender) or by any of their other intersecting identities.
Gender inclusive school climate will encourage social justice and activism. There will be an emphasis on community and the positive aspects of differences. The school will prioritize voices of non-dominant families, performers, students, teachers and staff. Emotional safety is as much a priority as physical safety. The school will have the majority of their bathrooms labeled "all gender".
Teachers in a gender inclusive classroom recognize the limitations of the gender binary (boy/girl) and help students examine and understand gender in more complex ways. Instead of being "gender blind" (not "seeing" gender), gender inclusive teachers think critically about how the dynamics of gender play out through their day and their curriculum. Teachers must be aware that gender does not exist in a limiting binary and they must actively encourage children to explore all interests regardless of gender. Gender inclusive teachers will dismantle harmful stereotypes and discrimination.
Students in a gender inclusive classroom understand the limitations of the gender binary. They are aware of the wide variety of gender identities and expressions that can exist. Students are able to think critically about gender stereotypes, assumptions, and are able to engage in discussions about gender. They understand the importance of personal agency and are actively involved in decision making and responsibility in the classroom.
Students look out for and stand up for each other. They are encouraged to take on activist roles inside and out of the classroom setting.
All families will be represented in a gender inclusive classroom. Diverse family structures will not be simply an afterthought, but will be discussed, celebrated and represented in the curriculum. Students will have a critical eye for picture books, songs, activities that only represent "traditional" families.
Families of children in gender inclusive classrooms will be informed, involved and included. Their input will be valued and their opinions heard, even if these differ from the norm. In communicating with families, teachers and schools will be understanding and compassionate.