Gender and technology in free play in Swedish early childhood education
2015 (English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 25, no 2, 137-149 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In the new Swedish curriculum for the preschool (2010) technology education is emphasized as one of the most significant pedagogical areas to work with. The aim of this article is to investigate how girls and boys explore and learn technology as well as how their teachers frame this in free play in two Swedish preschools. The study is inspired by an ethnographic approach and is based on qualitative data collected through video-taped observations and informal talk with children and teachers in two preschools. It is concluded that girls and boys learn to approach and handle technology differently, thereby confirming rather than dissolving gender boundaries. The girls more often have a special purpose in building something they need in their play, that is, they mostly engage in technological construction as a sideline. The boys, on the other hand, more often award technological construction a central part in their play; building is an end in itself. Teachers are not so active in supporting free play involving technology among the older children, nor in giving boys and girls equal opportunities to explore and use material and toys which are not gender-stereotyped. One important implication is that in-service education needs to address not only experiments and construction but also gender issues and how teachers can create equal opportunities for boys and girls in the free play.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2015. Vol. 25, no 2, 137-149 p.
Preschool Technology education Free play Gender Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117417DOI: 10.1007/s10798-014-9274-zISI: 000353406600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-117417DiVA: diva2:807981