IJSSH 2015 Vol.5(12): 990-997 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2015.V5.93

Roots of Math in Preschool Play Activities: Gender Still Does Matter

I. Smetackova
Abstract—The main activity in the preschool period is play, which stimulates development in cognitive, social, motor and identity areas. Play and toys contribute to gender socialisation – by the means of play, children form and present their notion of gender structure of the society and their position in it. The gender polarization of play activities brings long-term consequences for children performance, achievements and interests in different areas. One of the effects can be the quit low women´s inclination toward mathematical and technical fields in adolescence and adulthood (despite of more equal talents for such areas distributed among girls and boys). Therefore it is important to pay attention to early childhood experience with toys and play activities associated with math and construction. Paper presents the study including 453 preschool boys and girls who were observed during playing and interviewed. The real preference of toys, verbalized preference of toys and gender labeling of toys were compared. The results show that preschool children consider toys as deep gendered artefacts. The gender borderline creates cars and dolls. The ways how children play with those toys are discussed with regard to development of mathematical and technical skills.

Index Terms—Toys, gender, maths, preschool age.

I. Smetackova is with the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Charles University, Czech Republic. Contact: Rettigove 4, 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic (e-mail: irena.smetackova@ pedf.cuni.cz).

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Cite: I. Smetackova, " Roots of Math in Preschool Play Activities: Gender Still Does Matter," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 5, no. 12, pp. 990-997, 2015.

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