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Gender 

INTERCULTURAL EXPERIENCES AND HOW THEY CAN LEAD TO PARENT-EDUCATOR PARTNERSHIP CHALLENGES

Some children were mainly exposed to just one gender in care situations. Some cultures believe childcare is an exclusively female occupation. Children who grow up in this environment may hesitate or sometimes outright refuse to accept the help of a male educator. Some children may react seemingly inappropriate towards him, having experienced the attention of male relatives solely on special occasions. Other children might show signs of withdrawing around a male educator. If a child knows the father figure to be the only one ultimately in charge of every family member, they might ignore instructions coming from a female educator in a mixed teaching team. For a child of this cultural background, the implicit rules are clear. Instructions should be followed if they are voiced by a male person. This can cause stressful situations because the child must adapt to a very different classroom structure. 

In some cultures, children are expected to behave, act and play in certain ways depending on their gender. It can be confusing for parents and children that all children are expected to participate in all activities. The concept of offering similar learning experiences to both boys and girls might cause reluctance due to feeling insecure. Some children might not have had any learning experience in certain regards. Educators should be aware of that and offer a very low threshold apart from what might to be expected at that age to give this child a chance to catch up with peers.  

During the introduction of families who apply for the kindergarten, it should be made clear that both male and female educators take care of children from an early age. Also, the concept of actively encouraging girls to explore the building/construction area of the room and to participate in physical exercise and boys to participate in role-play, etc. are to be explained to the families before starting kindergarten.
Books and displays showing positive gender roles and diversity are to be in the classroom, and both male and female educators are expected to have active participation in the kindergarten helping acclimate the child, and the parents.

Some children also have to get acquainted to educators of the other sex and parents should trust both sexes to take care of the children equally. Some parents find it distressing that a male educator will provide care situations like diaper change to their children.