ERIC Number: ED429711
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Examination of Preschool Teachers' Biased Perception on Gender Differences.
Hyun, Eunsook; Tyler, Mike
Using the theoretical framework of hermeneutics and guided by the conceptual framework of Developmentally and Culturally Appropriate Practice, two studies examined how preschool teachers perceive young children's gender differences in relation to the pedagogical considerations. Participants in Study 1 were 121 early childhood educators attending workshops on gender differences in the classroom. The teachers produced 113 different words to describe preschool boys and 98 to describe preschool girls. A wider range of behaviors were described for boys than for girls and there was a higher level of agreement on the three most common descriptors for boys (active, loud, aggressive) than for girls (quiet, talkative, sensitive). Teachers perceived boys to have more of the qualities of constructivist learners than girls, and more initiative and capacity for independent learning. Study 2 examined the meaning attached to these descriptors by others. Thirty-one early childhood practitioners completed surveys regarding the positive/negative nature of each descriptor and perceptions of children described with the most common descriptors for boys or for girls. The findings suggest that the female teachers tend to be less appreciative of boys' ways of playing, and constructing and using knowledge than those of girls. While many constructivist learner qualities are identified more often for boys than girls, overall the teachers' perception of the boys' group was as less "teachable" and "easy to work with" than the girls' group. (Contains 45 references.) (Author/KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).