This research investigated the existence and nature of the differential treatment of boys and girls in day care teacher-child classroom interaction. Using the INTERSECT Observation Form, the study sought to determine the type, amount, and distribution of interaction that takes place between a male or female teacher and male and female children in day care classrooms.
The study sample consisted of 28 teachers--14 male and 14 female teachers in licensed day care centers located in an urban setting and their 268 students--134 boys and 134 girls. The oldest toddler class (2-3 years old) and/or preschool class (3-4 years old) for each teacher was observed twice over a three week interval.
Teachers in day care classrooms most frequently employed praise (36 percent of the total interaction in classrooms with female teachers and 29 percent of the total interaction in classrooms with male teachers) when giving feedback to the children. The second most prevalent type of feedback was given remediation (26 percent of the total interaction in classrooms with male teachers and 25 percent of the total interaction in classrooms with female teachers). Acceptance and criticism remarks were seldom employed by female and male teachers alike when responding to the children.
Boys engaged in more interactions with their teachers (male and female) than the girls, were criticized more than the girls for misbehavior, and were remediated more than the girls for inappropriate behavior.
The girls and boys self-segregated on the basis of gender in their selection of classroom activities, seating arrangements, and play groups. The children tended to sit beside their friends who were usually of the same sex.
This study concluded that (1) teachers in day care classrooms interact with boys and girls differently, (2) the differential treatment of boys and girls exists in the type, amount, and distribution of interaction between teachers and children in day care classrooms, and (3) teachers in day care classrooms interact with children in many of the same ways and display many of the same sex differences as teachers in preschool, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary classrooms.
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 49/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Curriculum development|
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