Early Childhood and the Gender Lens

Getting It Right from the Start

“I am writing to express my appreciation for the set of Early Childhood trainings that the Gurian Institute provided this spring for our Early Head Start infant-toddler teachers, home visitors and content managers. This was one of the most valuable professional development experiences my staff and I have been involved in!”
– Carolyn Sola, Director, Early Head Start, Eastern Washington University

The Need   

  • Parents intuitively sense that boys and girls are different, but know little about nature-based gender differences.
  • Children are learning from the moment of birth – what they learn depends a lot on the environment within which they live and grow.
  • Parents need support in learning positive strategies for dealing with challenging behavior.
  • Teen parents are not developmentally ready to handle the challenges of parenting their children without good support systems.
  • Fathers and positive male role models are too often absent from families.
  • Program staff working with parents are not trained in how boys and girls grow and learn differently.

The Opportunity

  • Early Childhood communities are focused on high quality care and developmentally appropriate practices.
  • Current brain research offers expanded opportunities to understand the differences in the social and cognitive development of boys and girls..
  • Early education programs like Early Head Start are receiving more attention and resources so that they can help families give children the best possible start on the road to success in school and life.
  • Parents are in search of culturally sensitive ways to connect with their children’s learning to give them the best possible start.

The Gurian Institute Solution

  • The Gurian Institute teaches parents and early childhood educators about the neurobiological and biochemical make-up of boys and girls to assist them in nurturing the development of their children in the context of their family and culture.
  • Gurian Institute materials and trainers help instill a sense of collaboration between the home and early childhood programs.
  • The Gurian Institute provides customized professional development for early childhood educators, with strategies that align with the current program values, performance standards and curriculum.
  • The Gurian Institute provides planning that works with your current needs and develops a plan that is comprehensive, systemic and sustainable.

“Staff response to this training was overwhelmingly positive! They immediately put the information they learned to work in their parent meetings, socialization events, classroom experiences and home visits. Thank you for this valuable professional development experience. This has increased the capacity of our program to provide meaningful, individualized services to girls and boys alike! You are welcome to share my thoughts with other people who may be interested in learning more about what the Gurian Institute Trainings can do for their staff.” – Carolyn Sola

Carolyn Sola - Eastern Washington University

Comments by Director Carolyn Sola after an Early Head Start training with her staff at Eastern Washington University.

This was one of the most valuable professional development experiences my staff (infant-toddler teachers, home visitors and content managers) and I have been involved in.

Michael’s keynote was captivating. He brought together information from neurobiology, anthropology, education psychology and sociology to provide a solid science-based foundation for thinking about child development.

The two-day training was a perfect follow-up to the keynote. It covered some of the general patterns of differences between the development of boys and girls beginning prenatally and continuing through maturity.

The training was highly-interactive and was accessible to all participants regardless of their prior level of child development knowledge.

The staff response to this training was overwhelmingly positive! The immediately put the information they learned to work in their parent meetings, socialization events, classroom experiences and home visits.

This training has increased the capacity of our program to provide meaningful, individualized services to girls and boys alike.

Contact the Gurian Institute at info@gurianinstitute.com for information on how a professional development plan can be designed to meet the needs of your organization and the families you serve.

Early Childhood and the Gender Lens - GURIAN INSTITUTE