Gender justice in the elementary classroom

Lisa L. Persinger, Joey Dan’elle Persinger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


How children learn about and express their gender is subject to biological influences as well as socialized learning of how to exhibit expected gender norms. How these expressions align with expected gender norms results in social responses that influence both the emotional well-being and academic achievement of the child. The ways a school’s socializing culture is at odds with the internalized self-understandings of gender nonconforming children might influence their well-being. For the purposes of this chapter, we will focus on the problematic ways schools directly and indirectly influence gender perceptions in all students. Classroom structures, teaching practices, and children’s literature are some strategies effective for addressing gender nonconformity in non-threatening ways. We will provide reflective questions for evaluating gender representations in children’s literature as well as some implementation strategies for promoting gender inclusivity in elementary classroom settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Justice Instruction
Subtitle of host publicationEmpowerment on the Chalkboard
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783319123493
ISBN (Print)9783319123486
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Children’s literature and gender
  • Classroom practices
  • Gender expansive
  • Gender nonconforming
  • Gender variance in elementary
  • Transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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