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Preschoolers’ Conceptions of Technological Artefacts and Gender in Picture Books
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5721-7719
Linnaeus University, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Växjö, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: PATT-32 Proceedings Technology Education for 21st Century Skills / [ed] J. de Vries, Arien Bekker-Holtland and Gerald van Dijk, ITEEA , 2016, p. 57-64Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Picture books are a frequent element of daily preschool activities (Damber, Nilsson & Ohlsson, 2013; Simonsson, 2004; SOU 2006:75). They are important pedagogical tools that can help children acquire an understanding of the everyday technology they come in contact with, as well as the human application of technology (Axell, 2015; Axell & Boström, 2015). These are skills that are emphasised in the Swedish preschool curriculum. In the curriculum it is also stated that the preschool should counteract traditional gender patterns and gender roles (Skolverket, 2010). However, an investigation of a selection of picture books aimed at preschool children shows that the books content is somewhat problematic. Many of the picture books provide a focus on the function of separate artefacts without any sort of context or explanation of their implications in a societal context. There also tends to be an emphasis on traditional masculine-coded technology in the books. Building and making and working with machines is depicted as a male activity. The male stereotype is essentially connected with different kinds of vehicles like cars, airplanes, motorbikes, tractors etc. (Axell & Boström, 2015; See also Holbrok, 2008). Based on these previous findings, the aim of this pilot study was to obtain an initial concept about how children’s literature may influence preschool children’s view on technological artefacts. The study was conducted through semi-structured interviews with four five-year-olds, two girls and two boys. Through a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) three overarching themes were identified: The relationship between design and function, anthropomorphic animals as users of artefacts, and gender and artefacts. Some of the key findings were that the 5-year-olds did not know what “technology” is, but had good knowledge about tools. Additionally, they did not genderise any of the artefacts included in the study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ITEEA , 2016. p. 57-64
Keywords [en]
Technology education, preschool, picture books, gender, Sweden
National Category
Pedagogical Work Gender Studies Pedagogy Cultural Studies Human Aspects of ICT
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-135416OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-135416DiVA, id: diva2:1081475
Conference
The 32nd PATT conference, August 23-26, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Available from: 2017-03-14 Created: 2017-03-14 Last updated: 2018-09-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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