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Dissertation Help Please


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Hi All

 

I am currently writing my dissertation and suffering from confusion as my thinking is at odds with suggestions made by my mentor.

 

My working title is - Does gender stereotype affect the way children choose activities within the Pre-School setting?

 

I have done lots of literature reading but as part of the dissertation I have to carry out a small scale study that enables me to draw some conclusions and comparisons - this is what I am really struggling with.

 

I am not happy with my mentors suggestions as they are purely done on questionaires with the children. I would like to do it in the form of activities..........of some sort......then I get really bogged down and unable to think outside of the box!

 

Any help or suggestions would be really welcome......

 

Thank you......

 

Lou

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I would suggest that you go ahead with your mentor's suggestion on a small scale and see how you get on, then you have some kind of information to 'bat back' with. It will also give you time to think about another way of doing it. Plus, it will get the children used to being asked what might seem like strange questions. I remember when I was doing some research on the Mosaic principle having to ask children their opinions and thoughts and didn't get far!

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Maybe you could do that area tracking thing (is that what it's called?!) to record what the boys and girls choose to do. You could either choose areas that are more traditionally gender biased (construction for boys and dressing up for girls??) or do the whole room so you can see what the percentages are like in the less biased areas too.

 

I think if you are thinking of doing some sort of questionaire you should try and focus on simple choices, e.g. picture of 2 toys, which would you like to play with? If your questions are too complicated or abstract the child might just say anything to get you to leave them alone and it'll skew your results! Also you need to make sure that children who are of lower ability have just as much chance to answer the questions as the higher flyers as ability might also have an impact on the type of activity they choose (although it might be something that you mention briefly in your dissertation if it does turn out to be the case- it's always good to have an extra few hundred words to slot in incase you need them!).

I hope some of this is helpful, good luck :)

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I recently did a questionnaire with YR-2 children about writing - Year 2 were fine with their opinions but as I was going through the YR & 1 boys, the answers became limited to 1 word or a nod or shake of the head. By doing it that way which i thought was the best way at the time, I soon realised that there were better ways to find out what I wanted. As Cait says try it and it will give you an idea of what might work and bat back at your mentor. I like missblinx's ideas - following them around (tracking) and the cards - which do you prefer?

 

Good luck!

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Thank you so much some great suggestions to get the grey matter working, really like the tracking idea, as I would be able to then instigate some changes and redo the tracking to see if the results have changed.

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH :o

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For my dissertation, I did a parent questionnaire which added to the evidence. It would be interesting to see how parents influence the choices children make.

 

 

Hi I was going to suggest parent opinion as well through quesitonnaires, some of the children's choices might be inflenced by this. I new of one setting were the staff reported that the father of one of the boys demanded his son never be allowed to dress up, particularly in a dress it just wasn't to be done!

 

what about looking at the gender stero types in the media they are exposed to for example haven't watched it for a while myself but one my kids watched power rangers there was only ever one girl! something like that to add to the evidence.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Hun

I did the same for my dissertation just with reception age children and also included whether cultural notions affect their gender stereotypes too.

 

I used tracking observations - randomly sampling girls and boys.

 

i also set up an experiment where one child at a time was given a choice of what they played with out of a set of toys and then graphed what they went for. results with mine was very different as the children were separated into groups to do with culture aswell.

 

questionnaires were given tp parents as well- which asked what toys they have at home, what toys their child/ren played with and what was their favourite toy when they (the parent) was little. all anonymous just noting whether their child was a boy or girl and which parent answered the question (gender)

 

teachers within the school were also asked about their opinions as this adds to the notion and stereotype if you have staff who are teaching with gender ideas in mind etc.

 

observe the planning as well as you find very often there is a hidden curriculum when it comes to the planning.

 

I used books by Sheldon and Beyer

 

Hope that helps

 

:o

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I remember doing a study on gender stereotyping quite a few years ago, I looked at the influence of adverts on gender choice (build up to Christmas time).

As well as the obvious stereotypes such as girls + dolls, Boys= construction. I looked further into the presentation of the toys. Girls toy adverts had genteel, fun, smiley atmosphere with upbeat piano / bells type music ( what I call tinkerbell style music). The boys toy adverts were darker, loud, banging, thumping, dramatic atmosphere with electronic, zap, bang pow type music.

 

Think about presentation at your setting when doing the observations;

How will boys respond if construction wasn't presented in a box on the floor to access from, but it was laid out ( like girls dressing up accessories are laid out on a dressing table), on a fluffy pink cover with a Tinkerbell style music CD playing in the area.

 

Would the girls access the dressing up corner / table if it had screwdrivers, hammers, typically 'male' costumes only and Ben 10 style music playing.

 

Mix up the usual stereotypical presentation of toys and see how the children react.

 

When I did my study I cut up lots of pictures from the Argos catalogue and asked the children which toy they would choose and why........................One boy chose a truck, I pointed to a fairy dress and asked why not choose this? His reply was "AHH NO, if I choose that my sister will beat me up !!!!!!!!!! :oxD

 

Hope you enjoy your research, I remember mine with fondness, one joy of working with children is that childrens responses, thoughts and opinions can be so endearing and enlightening. :( ...............and sometimes downright funny. :(

 

Peggy

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  • 3 months later...
For my dissertation, I did a parent questionnaire which added to the evidence. It would be interesting to see how parents influence the choices children make.

 

 

Hi

 

I am currently thinking of ideas for my dissertation..which I will have to do mid next year....I was thinking of looking at outdoor play and how it relates to gender play...I was interested in your questionaiirre and wondered if it was possible to ask what kind of questions did you ask parents?

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I did my dissertation on the transition from reception to year 1, so the questions wouldn't apply to outdoor play and gender. I just asked about their experiences of and opinions on the transition and how it affected their child. I also did a child questionnaire about their opinions of year 1. Sorry I couldn't be of anymore help.

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Just wanted to say thank you very much and I got a nice solid B for my dissertation - so am very happy to have passed the degree. Just the EYPS bit to finish off now............ :o

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