Romina Muse

Deconstructing Gender Stereotypes Through Children's Picture Books

Research documents that two-year old children understand the societal importance of gender. When they step into primary school, they already know what is expected of boys and girls. What happens when children do not conform to the norm of gender expectations? Learn how children’s picture books can promote gender equality and debunk misconceptions on gender stereotypes. Selected titles and active participation are promised.


This workshop is an invitation to rethink gender stereotypes to deconstruct them in positive ways. A theoretical analysis on gender construction will be addressed to provide teachers with a framework on the subject. This will be followed by analysing children’s books suitable to explore gender stereotypes and gender equality. Finally, the audience will be invited to share thoughts and ideas.

Research has documented that by the age of two, most children understand the societal importance of gender (Martin, 2004) and by the time they enter primary school, they have a clear understanding of how boys and girls are expected to behave (Bian 2017). Classroom settings should challenge gender stereotypes and celebrate diversity. Children’s experiences and interactions inside the classroom will shape their attitudes and dispositions towards themselves and others.

Pink is for boys and A family is a family is a family are the titles chosen to plunge into gender stereotypes and equality. As picture books can expose children to important messages and new thoughts in very accessible ways, teachers can be deliberate in counteracting misconceptions from society. Pink is for Boys not only debunks absurd societal norms, but it also teaches equality among boys and girls. A family is a family is a family celebrates the broad diversity of family constellations: blended families, families with different-sex or same-sex parents, separated parents, foster parents and more. Activities to be demonstrated will range from role-plays; character analysis; plot exploration; vocabulary and picture analysis (Lewis, 2001). The aim behind each of these activities is to identify misconceptions on what is expected from boys and girls that might interfere with their social and emotional well-being.

As the workshop concludes, the participants will be invited to share their thoughts on gender stereotypes and gender equality connecting the framework with the titles and activities proposed.


Romina Muse is a teacher and researcher from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a degree in English and a diploma in Child Neuropsychology. She is the director of Dynamic English Centre. Romina lived in England where she taught Spanish and English. She has lectured on special needs; executive skills; behaviour management at national and international conferences (FAAPI; BETA; Ministry of Education)

Handout _ Deconstructing Gender Stereotypes thru Children's Picture Books_ Romina Muse _ Tesol 2021.pdf