Class Ideas

Thinking about Gender through an Interview with a Male Childcare Worker

Author:Yoko Nishimura-Parke

Topic/Goals:Comparison、Global Issues、Link with Outside of Classroom、Perspective、Self, Family, and Friends、Social Environment、Social Life


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Students will read the interview with a male childcare worker and reflect on attitudes regarding gender roles and how they are changing in Japan. Students will also discuss about the changes in gender roles in the learner's country and the merit of gender-equal society.


• Learn about the childcare worker’s jobs and daily schedule.
• Discuss gender roles in childcare.
• Learn new words such as イクメン、イクボス, and discuss what changes in Japanese society these words reflect and imply.
• Discuss the merits of gender-equal society.

Target Senior high school level or higher
Japanese Level Advanced
What to prepare


1. Questions to help students' comprehension
a) Why did the students interview Mr. Horiguchi?
b) Why did Mr. Horiguchi become a childcare worker?
c) Create a schedule table of Mr. Horiguchi's day at work.
d) What does Mr Horiguchi do while the children are taking their afternoon nap?
e) What is the difficulty that Mr. Horiguchi is having?
f) When does Mr. Horiguchi feel happy?
g) Explain Mr. Horiguchi's opinion about men participating in child rearing.
h) What does Mr. Horiguchi think of the father's role in a family?

2. Discussion points
i) What do you think are the advantages of children having a male childcare worker?
j) New terms "iku men" and "iku boss" are used in Japan recently. What changes in Japanese society do these words reflect?
k) What do you think of the father's role in a family? Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Horiguchi? Explain your reasons.
l) Is it typical for fathers to take care of children in your country? Or is it considered unusual?

3. Creative tasks 
m) Below is a list of occupations randomly selected. Men and women are equally represented in some occupations, While some might be represented more by either men or women. In other occupations, either men or women are more predominantly represented. In your country, which occupations engage mainly men and which engage mainly women?
Make a table of three columns: gender neutral, men, and women. Feel free to add other occupations that you can think of.

小学校の先生 Primary (Elementary) school teacher; 中学高校の先生 High school teacher; 大学の先生 University professor; けいさつかん Police officer; バスのうんてんしゅ Bus driver; お医者さん Doctor; 歯医者さん Dentist; シェフ Chef; かいけいし Accountant; ファッションモデル Fashion model; ヘアードレッサー Hair dresser; ITかんけい IT worker; かんごし Nurse; せいじか Politician; エンジニア Engineer; べんごし Lawyer; そのほかのしごと Other

Look at the jobs dominated by men. Imagine what would happen if those jobs were engaged in equally by women. What changes or merits would you expect from a better balance?

How about the contrary? What changes or advantages would you expect if more men were engaged in women-oriented jobs?

n) Was your kindy (preschool) teacher (preschool childcare worker) male or female? Do a class survey. Write a report to 魏庭萱 (ウェイ ティン シュエン) さん、張伊 (ジャン イー) さん、and 鄒芳蓮 (ゾウ ファン リェン) さん about the results of the class survey. Include your thoughts about the trends among young people and the changes happening in your country.

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