Penn State GSE Post: PreK-12 Teachers Should Ask Which Gender Pronouns Students Prefer

, Alex Nitzberg, Leave a comment

Some individuals and institutions within American academia reject the fundamental male-female dichotomy and instead promulgate preposterous non-binary gender ideology.

The Penn State Graduate School of Education (GSE) published a piece suggesting that PreK-12 educators should ask which gender pronouns their pupils prefer.

The article promotes the notion that a child’s gender might diverge from the gender recorded on his or her birth certificate: “Being thoughtful about how we use pronouns is a meaningful way to support children whose gender might be different from what appears on their birth certificate.”

The post claims that it’s a good idea to engage with young children on this issue and that doing so trains them against presuming to know another person’s gender identity:

Asking students of all ages what name and pronouns they would like you to use is a great first step. Educators in PreK–12 schools may think their students are too young for a conversation about pronouns, especially if they don’t think there are any transgender or gender nonconforming students in their classrooms. But by asking students their pronouns starting at a young age, educators can make room for students who may be exploring their gender identity and show everyone that gender identity should not be assumed.

The article contains suggestions from “Erin Cross, the Director of Penn’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center and a Penn GSE lecturer, and Amy Hillier, a professor at Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice.”

The two suggest employing gender-neutral language in the classroom by swapping phrases like “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen” for the more generic terms “folks” or “everyone.”

Be inclusive and personal: Avoiding gendered language is one of the easiest ways to avoid misgendering students. Instead of saying “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen,” try “folks” or “everyone.” Instead of “guys,” try “y’all.” Don’t address a student as “Mr.” or “Ms.” Just say their names.  

They also mention using “they,” “them” and “their” when referring to one person.

Cross and Hillier say that teachers should reveal their own preferred pronouns when asking about student pronoun preferences:

Be a model for your students: In a college classroom or professional setting, we might go around and ask everyone their pronouns. But asking younger students to identify their gender might cause transgender students to feel like they are being singled out.  

Before you ask students to share, explain that you want to make sure you are referring to everyone by their correct name and pronoun, which you can’t assume based on appearance. Model this approach by sharing your name and pronoun. Be sure to reinforce that it is okay if folks choose not to share.

To boost privacy, Cross and Hillier say that teachers can include a question about each student’s preferred pronouns on a questionnaire:

Use a form to give students more privacy: Another approach is to ask every student to fill out a form that will help you get to know them better. Questions like “What is my name?” “What do I like to be called?” and “What are my pronouns?” can fit beside questions like “Do I have a nut allergy?”

The notion that those tasked with education should propagate the patent fallacy of such gender ideology is quite ironic. The reality of the male-female dichotomy is so rudimentary that even a child could understand it. Perhaps someday the adults rejecting this elementary biological reality will understand it too.