An investigation of gender difference in four year old children's visual art experiences at kindergarten : research project report.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
This study investigates whether what children make and/or create in the visual art area of collage/construction is influenced by their gender and whether children's gender makes them play differently. The purpose of the study was to discover the similarities and/or differences with girls and boys play in the visual art area of collage/construction. Data was collected through the use of participant observer observations. The research utilized anecdotal notes and narrative descriptions to describe the visual art work that was undertaken by boys and girls playing at collage in a kindergarten. Data was coded using organisational categories. They were, engagement in the process, subject matter, talking about their work and the resources used. Once coded, data was analysed from these. Analysis revealed a tendency for both boys and girls to engage in stereotypical play in relation to both the use of resources and the final products that they made. The observation data showed a strong link between the boys' creations and risk taking themes. Boys were also heavily influenced television inspired ideas. The girls were more content with utilizing items that were readily available in the kindergarten, and made items that were safe, which I interpreted as, objects they knew the teachers would like. Findings indicate that boys can be helped to realize ways of being creative in the curriculum area of visual arts. Providing new and varied resources, that are of interest to boys and which enable them to risk take, will promote participation and will also bring boys back to play themes on consecutive days. This study may be of interest to teachers wanting to achieve gender equity within an early childhood setting. It suggests ways of making sure that the curriculum area of collage/construction is enticing for boys as well as girls.