Written in 1979, When I Grow Up: The Early and Middle School Years was ahead of its time, focusing on teaching sexual equality. Dr. Michelle Kavanaugh wrote this guide for all developmental levels and the adults working with the students. This book has age-appropriate activities covering education levels from pre-k through late adolescence. This guide was designed to help children recognize and overcome barriers, including sexual stereotyping. Dr. Kavanaugh believed every child deserves an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. When I Grow Up is a book to help children form a positive self-concept and open-mindedness.
Looking at Maslow’s self-actualization theory, this book offers thoughtful discussion into identity. By helping children reach full humanness, they will have freedom from sexual, cultural, and racial boundaries. When I Grow Up recognizes the roles of parents and media and has activities designed for adults. Volume 2 discusses the roles of high school students and young adults.
When I Grow Up can be used to historically look at an educational guide, with one activity titled, “The Year 2001.” Adults can also gain insight to see how some roles and activities still hold relevance today. The book looks at psychological characteristics and behaviors, even explaining female and male chauvinists. The goal of this book at the time was to provide every child with open-mindedness and opportunity. The premise of this book remains valid. When I Grow Up addresses discrimination and the belief that children can reach their full potential, regardless of the situation.
Green Dragon Books