Year 1 challenge fairy tale stereotypes

A vegetarian fox and a courageous princess emerged when Year 1 IGS students challenged fairy tale stereotypes recently.

The students have been exploring fairy tales and fairy tale characters. As an extension of their learning, students were encouraged to dress up as their favourite character.

“Most fairy tales revolve around the good versus evil battle, where the good always find ways to overpower the bad and emerge victoriously,” Head of Year 1 Jessica Slater said.

“However, many of the stories reflect former times. Attitudes prevalent when they were written can seem very outdated today.

“The stereotypes presented in fairy tales can be limiting for children today, reinforcing perceptions of male and female roles that have evolved since the tales were first written.

“Fairy tales can play a powerful role in shaping children’s perspectives about themselves and others, such as how males and females are ‘supposed’ to behave.”

Ms Slater said it was important to select books that represent our diverse world.

“We want children to be able to recognise themselves and others in these stories, to learn from and be inspired by the acts of braveness and kindness that are performed by characters irrespective of their gender or appearance. And we want to challenge their preconceptions,” Ms Slater said.

Students enjoyed reading tales that challenge stereotypes and created their own unique characters as well.

“We dressed up as characters who defy traditional roles. Meet the vegetarian fox and the courageous princess who does not need to be saved nor married, the kind and caring stepmother, and the prince who likes to garden and read.”