Profile photo of Dr. Josh Thompson (he/him)

Dr. Josh Thompson (he/him)

Professor Early Childhood Education

Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Office Location: EdSouth 204

Office Hours: By appointment

Phone: 903-886-5537


Professional Vita

Girls and Boys need to talk with Men and Women

Gendered conversations help children learn more ways that language works

NAEYC Annual Conference, Saturday, November 23, 2019, Nashville, Tennessee

Josh Thompson and Lindsey L. Wilson, Ph.D. (University of Washington)


Naomi Shihab Nye,“The Words Under the Words”

from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

(Portland, Oregon: Far Corner Books, 1995).

Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye.

for Sitti Khadra, north of Jerusalem

My grandmother’s hands recognize grapes,

the damp shine of a goat’s new skin.

When I was sick they followed me,

I woke from the long fever to find them

covering my head like cool prayers.

My grandmother’s days are made of bread,

a round pat-pat and the slow baking.

She waits by the oven watching a strange car

circle the streets. Maybe it holds her son,

lost to America. More often, tourists,

who kneel and weep at mysterious shrines.

She knows how often mail arrives,

how rarely there is a letter.

When one comes, she announces it, a miracle,

listening to it read again and again

in the dim evening light.

My grandmother’s voice says nothing can surprise her.

Take her the shotgun wound and the crippled baby.

She knows the spaces we travel through,

the messages we cannot send—our voices are short

and would get lost on the journey.

Farewell to the husband’s coat,

the ones she has loved and nourished,

who fly from her like seeds into a deep sky.

They will plant themselves. We will all die.

My grandmother’s eyes say Allah is everywhere, even in death.

When she talks of the orchard and the new olive press,

when she tells the stories of Joha and his foolish wisdoms,

He is her first thought, what she really thinks of is His name.

“Answer, if you hear the words under the words—

otherwise it is just a world with a lot of rough edges,

difficult to get through, and our pockets full of stones.”

What happens when we speak with children? How do men in early childhood use language in different ways than their female counterparts? This interactive skill building session explores communication differences between men and women when talking with young children, and how children use language to build equity and diversity into their view of the world.

NAEYC Advancing Equity in ECE #EquityinECE 

Key messages of the new position statement: 

1. All children have the right to equitable learning opportunities that help them achieve their full potential.
2. All early childhood educators have a professional obligation to advance equity.
3. Early childhood educators need support to fulfill their mission.

Action items to help EC educators implement Equity in ECE #EquityinECE

Build awareness and understanding of culture, personal beliefs, values, and biases.
Uphold fundamental principles of fairness and justice.
Embrace each child’s unique strengths.
Work to eliminate structural inequities that limit learning opportunities for both young children and the educators who support them.
Challenge the use of outdated or narrowly defined approaches and use a range of research based approaches to support each child’s
Engage in continuous learning by seeking information from families and communities about their social and cultural beliefs and practices.
Stay up to date on research on child development and cognitive science.

Men in Education Network (M.E.N.) Interest Forum 

The Men in Education Network Interest Forum supports the leadership of NAEYC members, both men and women, to recruit and retain men in early childhood education. The forum members also exchange ideas and share strategies. Our work supports the mission and goals of NAEYC. Our greatest effort is making NAEYC more inclusive We have three main goals:

COMMUNICATION within and outside NAEYC that men are essential to the healthy development of children and more men should be working with young children.
RECRUITMENT More concerted efforts need to be made to recruit more men into the field. ECE should be ready to welcome men into the field.
RETENTION and NURTURANCE Those men already working in ECE programs need to be encouraged and supported to stay in this profession

Girls and Boys Need to Talk to Men and Women and All: Gendered conversations help children learn more ways that language works

Five points to consider:

* Language is gendered - in many cultures, how women speak differs from how men speak.

     Deborah Tannen (2005). He Said, She Said: Gender, Language, and Communication.

               Status and Connection - Gender-specific language rituals

* Language comes to us through play - and play is typically gendered.

     Patricia Kuhl (2010). Linguistic Genius of Babies

     Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff (2014).

     Frances Carlson. (2011). Big Body Play: Why Boisterous, Vigorous, and Very Physical Play is Essential to Children's Development and Learning. 

     Marie Masterson & Holly Bohart. (2017). Serious Fun: How Guided Play Extends Children's Learning.

* Language works changes with development

     Ages and Stages, P.L.A.C.E.S. for development

     Gender reveals: "It's a ....!"

     Montessori Planes of Development

* Language exists in relationship

     Alice Honig. (2016). Secure Relationships: Nurturing Infant/Toddler Attachment in Early Care Settings.

     Janet Lansbury. (2014). Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting.

* Language relationships exist in families

     Betty Hart & Todd Risley (1995) Meaningful Differences & (1999) Social World

     Dana Suskind (2015) Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain | Tune In - Talk More - Take Turns

     Nursery Rhymes

     Mike Hall & Josh Thompson. (2020). Blueprints for Dads: Monthly Podcast for New Dads.

Disclaimer: This site may contain links to web sites not administered by A&M-Commerce or one of its divisions, departments, units or programs. A&M-Commerce is not responsible or liable for the accuracy or the content of the linked pages.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!