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Facts for youngsters: Contextualised technology or fragmented artefacts? A study on portrayals of technology in picture books from a gender perspective
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: PATT 29 Plurality and Complementarity of Approaches in Design and Technology Education, Marseille, France, April 2015 / [ed] M. Chatoney, Marseille: Presses Universitaires de Provence , 2015, 42-48 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Technology is a field with strong connections to the female/male dichotomy and children's gender stereotyping starts as early as the age of two (Berner, 2004; Nisbet, Pendergast & Reynolds, 1998; Turja, Endepohls-Ulpe & Chatoney, 2009). According to the Swedish Curriculum for the Preschool, the preschool should strive to ensure that children ”develop their ability to identify technology in everyday life, and explore how simple technology works” (Lpfö98/2010, p. 10). The preschool also has a goal to actively counteract traditional gender roles and patterns (Lpfö98/2010, p. 4). An important part of children's activities in preschool relates to picture books. A government investigation states that the preschool, through its activities (among them ”reading aloud”) is an arena where societal norms can either be preserved or challenged (SOU 2006:75). Books about cars, airplanes, boats etc. often serve as an introduction to human applications of technology. Based on these, children start to identify and categorize the technologies they encounter in everyday life.

The aim of this study is consequently to investigate the technological content from a gender perspective in a selection of picture books, more specifically; how do the books content preserve or challenge preschool children's view of technology and gender? Preschools use books from libraries in their daily activities, therefore the empirical material in this study is derived from the library section ”facts for youngsters”. A thematic analysis was employed to discover the dominant themes within the books. The result of the study shows that there is a focus on how separate artefacts function but no detailed explanation on how these artefacts are connected or what kind of implications they have in a societal context. There also seems to be an emphasis on traditionally masculine coded technology. This study will serve as a basis for a comparative study between two preschools, one where gender and technology is a prioritised goal and one where it is not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Marseille: Presses Universitaires de Provence , 2015. 42-48 p.
Keyword [en]
Technology education, preschool, picture books, gender, Sweden
National Category
Specific Literatures Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117939ISBN: 978-2-85399-994-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-117939DiVA: diva2:812340
Conference
The 29th PATT conference, April 6-10, Marseille, France
Available from: 2015-05-18 Created: 2015-05-18 Last updated: 2015-05-18Bibliographically approved

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Axell, Cecilia
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Learning, Aesthetics, Natural scienceFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Specific LiteraturesSocial Sciences InterdisciplinaryPedagogy

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