Celebrating its fifth year anniversary, Brookwood’s 4 to 14 Speaker Series: Parenting Elementary School Kids is pleased to welcome writers of note who will once again speak to parents on issues of parenting, raising healthy children, and navigating the ups and downs of family life. Mark your calendars for our second speaker of the 4 to 14 anniversary season, on February 10, 2016, for an evening with Dr. Jennifer Bryan who will discuss the topics of gender, sexual identity, and helping our kids navigate gender stereotypes. Tickets are $10 and are now on sale.
Dr. Bryan’s work to educate involves both teachers and parents. “We need as many thoughtful and informed adults as possible involved in supporting the healthy gender and sexuality development of our students. The partnership between home and school is critical in this effort, and educational programs about gender and sexuality diversity specifically designed for parents and caregivers invite greater family involvement,” she says on her website.
In 2001, Dr. Bryan – who earned her BA in Creative Writing at Princeton, her Masters and Doctorate in Counseling Psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College, and studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Education – began offering specialized gender and sexuality consultation to PreK-12 schools. Continually expanding and refining her programs over the past 13 years, she has published a comprehensive text . Her conceptual and pedagogical models related to gender and sexuality in educational settings continue to evolve, keeping pace with the profound and rapid social changes occurring every day in the culture at large.
As we work to help our children develop mindsets free from stereotypes, Dr. Bryan points out that developing an awareness of gender and sexuality diversity issues is really learning about helping kids understand themselves and others. It’s about identity, relationships, and helping kids get along with each other.
“In truth, parents want and need to know more. They are losing the fight against inescapably 'gendered' marketing, and they are overwhelmed by the highly sexualized media their children engage with on a daily basis,” she writes.
Dr. Bryan and her Team Finch consulting group's mission is to “ Support those who want to better understand the role of gender and sexuality in PreK-12 Education.” She believes, “with increased understanding of gender and sexuality diversity, schools can build safe learning communities, create inclusive curricula, and teach students 21st century skills for living and serving in our complex world.”
Believing teachers are in a position to create environments that validate more than just one way to be, support for teachers and their important work is a key element of Dr. Bryan’s consultancy work. Team Finch “provides knowledge and support to educators who strive to create safe, inclusive, learning communities for children, adolescents and young adults. Addressing gender and sexuality in pedagogically and developmentally appropriate ways fulfills the core educational promise of equity for all."
By working in partnership with Brookwood School teachers, Brookwood hopes that parents will explore the many ways in which to encourage children to take responsibility for their own success in school and in life. Attending parent/teacher education events like the 4 to 14 Speaker Series program a way to share a common understanding of the latest child development research.
Located on the Beverly-Manchester line just minutes from Route 128, Brookwood School is a co-ed day school for students in grades Pre-K through 8. The address is One Brookwood Road, Manchester, MA.