Four thousand teachers in Australia are to be put through a training program specially designed to help them root out sexism in pre-schoolers.
The regional government in Victoria is developing a course to help educators spot children who “enact sexist values, beliefs and attitudes” from the age of four.
According to The Australian, the new project will cost taxpayers $3.4million AUS ($2.6million US).
A tender document released by state officials cites research showing that kids are already operating within “gendered norms” at pre-school and need “anti-bias” strategies to help educate them out of it.
The document said:
As young children learn about gender, they may also begin to enact sexist values, beliefs and attitudes that may contribute to disrespect and gender inequality.
Professional learning will increase the capacity of early childhood educators to understand and implement respectful relationships and gender equality into their program delivery.
It will build the capacity of educators to use reflective practice to critically evaluate their work with children using anti-bias approaches specifically regarding gender bias.
Sex and gender-focused education in Australia has become a highly contentious issue in recent months.
As Heat Street previously reported, public school teachers in the neighboring state of New South Wales were formally banned from teaching gender theory.
As a result of the ruling, there will no longer be lessons describing gender as a “social construct”, or classes on the “infinite possibilities” of gender, illustrated by a character called the Genderbread Man.