Do kindergarten boys receive more attention than girls? Kindergartens in Kvinesdal filmed their own everyday life in order to find answers.
Kvinesdal is situated at Sørlandet, a Norwegian region where you traditionally find a low score on gender equality. It was an eye opener to Kvinesdal municipality that Statistics Norway gave them a gender equality rating as 384th out of the 430Norwegian municipalities. Kvinesdal took hold of the situation by focusing on their youngest citizens- the children. How are boys and girls met in kindergarten? May the stereotypes of adults contribute to the continuation of an old-fashioned conception of gender? KUN was assigned the task of helping the kindergartens in Kvinesdal to map the ways in which personnel relate to boys versus girls. The goal was to create awareness among the employees of their part in the construction of gender, and to assist them in reflecting on their educational practice. The result was surprising, not least to the employees themselves.
The first movie analysis showed that:
• The grownups address the boys more frequently than the girls
• Boys are more often addressed by their name
• When both boys and girls are present, boys receive most attention
• Girls are more often told phrases like ‘good girl’ and ‘you look so pretty!’
The findings were subject of interesting discussions among the employees. A common realization was reached that we all are tradition bearers and carriers of attitudes related to gender. With this vantage point the staff agreed to pay more attention to and to continue the work on the subject.
The following year KUN carried through another movie analysis in the kindergartens.
This time the picture was somehow different:
• Both boys and girls were given attention when they were together
• The grownups spent approximately the same amount of time talking to boys and to girls
The kindergarten project in Kvinesdal contributed to increased awareness about issues related to gender and children among those who influence the coming generations in the municipality.
“Through this project we were made aware of how we actually treat boys and girls in different ways. Now we are more aware of gender issues”. (Berit Ofte, board leader Rafoss Kindergarten, Kvinesdal municipality).
Publisert: 03.10.11 14:13
Sist oppdatert: 05.10.11 14:24
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