Pre-service teachers' views of the child - Reproducing or challenging gender stereotypes in science in preschool

Annica Gullberg, Kristina Andersson, Anna Danielsson, Kathryn Scantlebury, Anita Hussénius

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17 Citations (Scopus)
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We report how 47 pre-service teachers during their preschool placement in Sweden identify events related to gender and emerging science. We analysed their reflections on the situations with Gee’s Discourse analysis. Two dominant discourse models were identified: the Discourse Construare, where pre-service teachers assumed that children have potential interests in a variety of subjects, and the Discourse Essentia, where children were regarded to have a stable core identity. In the latter discourse, the pre-service teachers’ task would be to encourage the children to be who they are. The analysis found a connection between pre-service teachers’ views of the child and whether gender stereotypes were reproduced or counteracted. The Discourse Essentia is in conflict with the goal in the Swedish national curriculum that all children should learn science. We discuss how the different discourses affect whether children are stimulated or inhibited in their emerging science activities and interests. Based on the results from an analysis of answers reflecting the Discourse Construare, we have designed a model illustrating a process for gender-aware teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date26 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2017


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