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Nursery School and Gender Construction

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  1. Methodology
    1. Sources of information and field site
    2. The methodological tools
    3. Fieldwork's difficulties
  2. Findings
    1. Differences in the way children are playing
    2. Differences in teachers' expectations and behaviors regarding boys and girls
    3. Interactions and socialization as tools of the gender construction

I chose to study the links between nursery schools and gender construction because I wanted to show how this institution plays an active role in the representations children have of their social role as boy or girl. As my research is mostly about the toys and the games of the children in the context of the school, I decided to move between the various classrooms, in order to observe the children during their "free time" as much as possible, and their interactions with the teachers. I also chose to study some of the more supervised activities because it allows me to look at the so-called "differences" between the qualities of the boys and the girls, and how the teacher influences, and even sometimes creates them. I think it is only at this point that my experience on the field changed my question, because I do not take into account the fact that even in more supervised activities there is something which can be part of the gender construction, especially in the teacher's behaviors and comments.

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