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Gender Beliefs and Embedded Gendered Values in Preschool
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4221-3464
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Early Childhood, ISSN 0020-7187, E-ISSN 1878-4658, Vol. 48, no 2, 225-240 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to explore practitioners' gender beliefs and how gendered values are embedded in Swedish preschool practice. The research question is: What beliefs about gender and the associated values, can be identified in practitioners' talk when they discuss gender issues? The study is informed by Bronwyn Davies' theoretical ideas that gender is socially constructed and her concepts of category maintenance and transgression are discussed. Data were analysed from 10 semistructured group interviews with practitioners in eight Swedish preschools. A content analysis was conducted that identified two main categories of beliefs, duality and gender-neutral beliefs. Primarily, the practitioners believed in gender neutrality whereby preschool is an arena in which traditional gendered behaviour are not promoted. However, value dilemmas embedded in the practitioners' gender beliefs also emerged. One dilemma concerned ideas that gender is primarily a social construction versus ideas that gender is determined by biology. Another dilemma was related to the implementation of curriculum goals whereby, on one hand, practitioners struggled to influence children not to subscribe to gendered stereotypes and to promote gender equality and, on the other hand, to take the child's perspective into account but work to influence non-gendered participation. Additionally, while boys were encouraged to embrace femininity, girls were paradoxically encouraged to reject femininity. It remains important to research values about gender in preschool education and to increase practitioners' awareness of their gendered practices in classrooms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 48, no 2, 225-240 p.
Keyword [en]
gender beliefs, values, preschool, category-maintenance, transgression
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-50803DOI: 10.1007/s13158-016-0162-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-50803DiVA: diva2:912271
Available from: 2016-03-16 Created: 2016-03-16 Last updated: 2017-01-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf