Black Delfin, A. (2022). Evolving Views: Gender Discourses and Young Children. Education Thinking, 2(1), 41–57.
Sex and gender
As early childhood education is often approached through learning domains, this narrative review of literature traces some of the background theoretical work of the social/emotional learning domain, specifically looking at theoretical contributions in the area of the self, identity, and gender. Early childhood education is grounded in the developmental perspective. As such, two aspects of children’s early development within the social/emotional domain (the biological and the sociological), are examined. The research question prompting this review asked how adults’ understanding of gender discursively influences young children’s development of gender and identity. This narrative review seeks to qualitatively synthesize the chronological progression of theoretical explanations of gender emerging from research since 1966. It is recognized that the literature on gender is wide and that the sources and theories included here may not be exhaustive but do attempt to be comprehensive and provide a thread back over the last six decades spanning to the present that shows the evolving perceptions of gender. In looking at the thread of evolving perceptions about gender, it becomes evident that older generations (i.e., the adults of a given time) theorize and develop explanations and understandings regarding gender, and it is the younger generations (children of the given time) that enact the discursive information in each generation’s evolving perceptions of gender. Thus, how society, and particularly adults in society, view and treat gender has a profound effect on how children take up and enact gender. Future research may emerge out of feminist new materialism, where the materiality of gender signifiers, shared spaces, and embodied presentation stand to be examined as to their place in evolving views of gender.
Annabelle Black Delfin is an Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University and Western New Mexico State University. Additionally, she is an Education Consultant at University of New Mexico. Dr. Black Delfin’s background is in early childhood education. Her research areas include symbolic representation, gender and identity, cognitive development, and autism. Dr. Black Delfin can be reached at email@example.com. ORCID#0000-0001-6343-5528. This literature review is derived from a recently defended dissertation: Black Delfin, K. A. (2018). Discursive Constructions of Gender in Early Childhood Education: A Feminist Poststructural Analysis. Doctoral Dissertation. New Mexico State University.
McFarland, C. R., Friedrichsen, C., Tao, H., & Friesen, M. L. (2022). Working Together for Soil Health: Liberating Structures for Participatory Learning in Extension. The Journal of Extension, 60(2), Article 2. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.60.02.02
Liberating Structures (LS) provide a user-friendly toolkit to shift group power dynamics and allow all
stakeholders to contribute. We explored the novel use of LS in soil health extension to conduct high-engagement
events with diverse stakeholders. Our goals were to promote social learning, networking, and to encourage innovation. Soil health themes emerged highlighting specific practices, and the necessity of addressing broader scope
issues of education, economics, and policy. Participants reported increased knowledge of soil health, professional
connections, and forecasted participation in soil-health-promoting activities. Participants also expressed a sense of
community, expanded perspectives, and appreciation of the co-development process.
Acknowledgements: “This project was funded by the Washington State Soil Health Initiative (SHI). The
SHI is funded by the state of Washington and was created to address knowledge gaps, better understand
linkages, and provide better guidance to stakeholders related to soil health.” This work was supported by
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS NACA #58-3064-8-002), an agreement with the
University of Idaho. This research was a contribution from the Long-Term Agro-ecosystem Research
(LTAR) network. LTAR is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture. This work was also
supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture[Hatch project 1014527]. "Support was
also provided to MLF by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project 1014527."