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Gender Differences in Preschool - Essay Example

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Gender differences are a widely debated topic. It is one that everyone seems to have their own opinion on. This paper looks at the whether preschool boys and girls are treated differently by their teachers, and the possible implications and explanations for any differential treatment observed…
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Gender Differences in Preschool
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Gender Differences in Preschool

The third type of attention, non-specific positive interactions, refers to any miscellaneous attention given to a student that does not neatly fit into the other categories, which includes encouragement and compliments among other types on interactions. The fourth type of attention, praise, refers to when the teacher verbally points out when a student in engaged in a favorable behavior. The last type of attention, command, refers to any verbal interaction initiated by the teacher which directs the child's behavior in a certain way. Command does not include verbal interactions in the context of discipline. Child misbehavior was also observed and noted.
Dobbs, Arnold, and Doctoroff found that teachers do treat boys and girls differently in regards to attention. They found that while there was no difference in the amount of physical warmth and praise that teachers gave to boys when compared to girls, there were differences in the other types of attention. Teachers tended to command boys more than girls, while they also tended to reward and engage in non-specific positive interactions with girls more than boys. There may be some explanation for these findings. First, while boys received more commands from teachers, they were also observed to misbehave more often than girls. It was observed that teachers gave more commands to students who typically misbehaved, even when they were not misbehaving. A possible explanation may be that the teacher is trying to prevent future misbehavior. If this is true, then behavior is in fact the mitigating factor in commands, and not gender.
The difference noticed in the frequency of rewards given...
This essay stresses that the difference noticed in the frequency of rewards given to boys in comparison to girls may also be contributed somewhat to misbehavior. It was found that while girls receive rewards more often than boys, girls who misbehaved received rewards more often than girls who did not misbehave. At the same time, boys who misbehaved received rewards more often than boys who did not misbehave, although this was still less than girls who did not misbehave. A possible explanation may be that teachers use rewards for acceptable behavior in order to wean children off of misbehaving. This explanation does not completely account for the observations, since non-misbehaving girls still received more rewards than misbehaving boys. At best, misbehavior can be used in conjunction with gender to explain this observation.
This paper makes a conclusion that teachers tend to touch children of the same sex as themselves more often that different sex children. There may be many factors at play here, such as the teacher feels more comfortable touching children of the same sex, or that the teacher can relate to children of the same sex more readily. At the same time, it was found that male teachers tended to use a helpful touch far more often with girls than any of the other touching types, whereas female teachers did not favor one type of touch over another. A possible explanation for this may be that the male teachers are operating on the stereotype that females are dependent on males, and therefore need more help than males do. ... Read More
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