University of Tasmania
Modified_MawsonBarbaraMaureen1994_thesis.pdf (6.48 MB)

\Barbie and Ken - creating and sustaining the myth\" : the construction of gender in the kindergarten"

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posted on 2023-05-26, 20:59 authored by Mawson, BM
This paper reviews the core theories which have sought to describe and explain gender differences. The major tenets of each theory are considered and examined critically from a feminist poststructuralist perspective. The specific role that schools play in the construction of gender is also analysed using feminist postructuralist theory and this analysis is supported by references to a participant observation study undertaken by the author in her own classroom. The research presented in this paper sought to describe and analyse the process by which young children are positioned, and position themselves, as separately male and female, when they first enter the school system. The study was based on teacher observations and interventions as well as a survey of parent observations. The implications of the research findings are considered in relation to appropriate curriculum provision and teaching practices for early childhood classrooms. The final section of the paper looks at ways to change teachers' thinking about gender. It provides a model for teacher professional development programs which could effectively address the critical issues about gender and schools. It is argued that critical educational theory and feminist poststructuralism together provide the best principles for planning appropriate professional development programs for teachers.


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Copyright 1993 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Appendix 2 (pages 140 to 148) contains identifiable responses to a questionnaire. The appendix has been removed for copyright or proprietary reasons.

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