Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2020, Page: 1-7
A Study of Children's Perceptions of Gender Identity and Stereotype in Public Pre-Primary Schools in Nairobi County, Kenya
Juliet Muasya, Department of Educational Communication and Technology, School of Education, College of Education and External Studies, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Isaac Muasya, Department of Education Foundations, School of Education, College of Education and External Studies, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Received: Jan. 24, 2020;       Accepted: Feb. 13, 2020;       Published: Mar. 6, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20200901.11      View  510      Downloads  241
Pre-primary education is a critical period when children develop, understand and express their gender identity and stereotype. Thus, pre-primary teachers should provide a rich learning environment with materials and equipments to guide and support children as they continue to explore their gender identity and stereotypes. The current study explored ways in which children perceive gender identity and stereotypes. In depth interviews were used with 20 children (10 boys and 10 girls), randomly sampled from 10 public pre-primary schools in Nairobi County. Data was analysed using themes in line with the study objectives. Findings reveal that the influence of teachers and mothers has an impact on how both boys and girls perceive their gender identity and stereotype. In particular, masculine and feminine characteristics, play materials and equipments, enhances children's gender identity and stereotypes. In conclusion, it is important to note that in order to bridge the gender gaps experienced by boys and girls, it is critical to deal with gender bias, stereotype and discrimination during the early years of a child's life. Relevant policies and programmes should be put in place especially in teacher education in order to empower teachers to help children deal with gender stereotypes.
Gender Identity, Gender Stereotype, Feminine, Masculine, Perceptions, Pre-primary, Preschool Children
To cite this article
Juliet Muasya, Isaac Muasya, A Study of Children's Perceptions of Gender Identity and Stereotype in Public Pre-Primary Schools in Nairobi County, Kenya, International Journal of Elementary Education. Vol. 9, No. 1, 2020, pp. 1-7. doi: 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20200901.11
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sullivan, A. (2009). Hiding in the Open: Navigating Education at the Gender Poles: A Study of Transgender Children in Early Childhood. Ann Arbor, MI: Pro Quest.
Halim, M. L. Ruble, D. LeMonda, T. and Shrout, P. E. (2013). Rigidity in Gender-Typed Behaviours in Early Childhood: A Longitudinal Study of Ethnic Minority Children. Child Development 2013, July-August, 84 (4), 1269-1284.
Breneselovic, D. P. and Krnjaja, Z. (2016). Discourses on Gender in Early Childhood and Care (ECEC) Setting: Equally Discriminated Against. Journal of Pedagogy, 7 (2), 51-77.
Chofla, S. A. (2016). Preschool Education Roles in Creating Supportive Spaces for Gender Exploration and Expression, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies, Walden University.
Chartschlaa, S. A. (2004). External Influences of Children’s Socialisation to Gender Roles, Unpublished Honours Thesis, Liberty University, USA
Piscalho, I., Cardona, M. J. Ura, M. Tavares, T. C. (2011). To Address Gender Equality since the Preschool Education: Research and Practices, Unpublished research paper.
Solomon, J. (2016). Gender Identity and Expression in the Early Childhood Classroom, Influences on Development within Socio-Cultural Contexts. Voices of Practitioners, Teachers Research in Early Childhood Education (pp 61-72), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Michigan, USA.
Jacobson, T. (2011). Introduction: Understanding our Gender Identity: Connecting the Personal with the Professional. Jacobson, T. (ed). Perspectives on Gender in Early Childhood, Red leaf Press, USA. 1-21.
Fagot, B. I. and Leinbach, M. D. (1985). Gender Identity: Some Thoughts on an old Concept. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 24, 6894-688.
Halim, M. L. and Ruble, D. (2010). Gender Identity and Stereotyping in Early and Middle Childhood. Chirsler, J. C. and McCreary, D. R. (ed). Handbook of Gender Research in Psychology, Springer Science and Business Media, 495-524.
Singh, D. (2012). A Follow-up Study of Boys with Gender Identity Disorder, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, USA.
Brannon, L. (2004). Gender Stereotypes: Masculinity and Femininity-Stereotype Trap, Newsweek, November, 2000. Brannon, L. (Ed) Gender: Psychological Perspectives, (159-185) (4th Ed), Pearson Company, USA.
Pohjolainen, L. and Westendorff, A. (2014). Towards a More Gender-Sensitive Early Childhood Education, Developing Critical Practice through Participatory Workshops, Unpublished Thesis, Bachelor of Social Services, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
American Academy of Paediatrics (2015). Gender Identity Development in Children (Unpublished document).
Chi, J. (2018). The Importance of Gender in Early Childhood Teacher Education, Brookings Institution, Washington DC, USA.
Abril, P. Cremers, M. Duncan, N. Golubevaite, L. Krabel, J. Lilaite, A. Nordfjell, O. B. Raudonyte, J. and Romero, A. (2008). Gender Loops: Toolbox for Gender conscious and Equitable Early Childhood Centres, Hinkelsteinsteindruck Sozialistische GmbH, Berlin, Germany.
Aina, O. E. and Cameron, P. A. (2011). Why Does Gender Matter? Counteracting Stereotypes with Young Children. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 39 (3), 11-19.
Goble, P. Martin, C. Hanish, L. and Fabes, R. (2012). Children's Gender Typed Activity Choices Across Preschool Social Contexts. Sex Roles, 67 (7-8), 435-451.
Zucker, K. J. (2005). Gender Identity Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 467-492.
Daitsman, J. (2011). Exploring Gender Identity in Early Childhood through Story Dictation and Dramatization. Teacher Research in Early Childhood Education, 6 (1), 1-12.
Tocu, R. (2014). The Development of the Distinction between the Gender’s Appearance and Reality: A Study on Romanian Preschoolers. Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences, 159, 268-272.
Meier, D. R. and Henderson, B. (2007). Learning From Young Children in the Classroom: The Artand Science of Teacher Research. New York: Teachers College Press.
Levtov, R. (2014). Gender Inequalities in Curriculum and Education: Review of Literature and Promising Practices to inform Education Reform Initiatives in Thailand, Gender Equality and Development, Women’s Voice and Agency Research Series 2014, No. 9, World Bank Report.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Research Methods. (3rd Ed), London: Sage.
Muasya, J. N. (2016). Using Qualitative Methods to Explore Students' Perceptions of the University of Nairobi's Institutional Culture, Kenya. International Journal of Gender and Women Studies, 4 (1), pp. 1-8.
Rubin, H. J. and Rubin, I. S. (2005). Qualitative Interviewing, The Art of Hearing Data. (2nd Ed), London: Thousands Oaks, CA. Sage.
Bigler, R. Hayes, A. M. and Hamilton, V. (2013). The Role of Schools in the Early Socialisation of Gender Differences. Encyclopaedia on Early Childhood Development, December, 2013.
Tansey, S. (2009). Playing Fair-Gender Equity in Child Care. Putting Children First. The Magazine of the National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC), 31, 14-16.
Baig, A. B. (2015). Exploring the Contribution of Teaching and Learning Processes: Constructing Students Gender Identity in an Early Years Classroom of a Government Girls Primary School in Pakistan. Journal of International Women's Studies, 16 (3), 1-15.
Pardhan, A. (2011). Influence of Teacher-Student interactions on Kindergarten Children's developing Gender Identity within the Pakistan Urban Classroom Culture. Early Child Development and Care, 181 (7), 927-948.
Browse journals by subject