Final Seminar of the PAGES project

Lille, France, 20/03/2012


An educational approach that respects diversity and promotes equality between girls and boys.

PAGES… Like the pages of a beautiful illustrated book that adults read aloud to children to share delightful stories or incredible adventures… Many of us remember these relaxing and joyful moments offered by our educators.
But the pages of the books, so colourful they might be, spread often stereotyped and limiting visions of adults’ social roles and diversity. Without being really aware, these stories impart clichés to our children that easily become hard believes.

Gender stereotypes are still very alive in books for children (women are like this, men like that ...). This is especially worrying now that inequalities persist despite programs to raise public awareness for equality and promotion of diversity.

Books for children, as we know, are a favourite media used by adults to educate their children and convey values and cultural heritage. Children's literature industry is thriving and regarded as a guarantee of success and access to language and literacy.
In this context, isn’t it important to help the younger generation to develop its own critical intelligence
with regard to culturally inherited stereotypes, and to the images presented in the books? For us, adults, should we not learn to expand our choice when we choose books to read to children in order to propose a variety of models which opens other possible futures?
Exploring these privileged moments of shared reading to identify our own stereotypes, encourage a self-reflective process to see how believing in stereotypes may restrain our children’s potential and freedom, this is the ambition of PAGES, our European project
aimed at adults working with young children who use reading as an educational activity.

The Grundtvig program offers an opportunity to bring together six European partners, very different according to their missions, but complementary and all concerned by these concerns.
We are assisted in our work by Sylvie Cromer, University of Lille II and Magda Michielsons, President of RoSa, both gender specialists in children's literature:

Our project started on the first of January 2010 with an exploration of studies and researches on this issue.

The Grundtvig Programme aims to improve the quality and reinforce the European dimension of adult education through various cooperation activities at an European level.

Welcome to Gender and Children's books

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