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Thoughts about stereotyping in education

Published by i.wilson on

Home blank Forums Readiness for Academic Study Course 2019 Thoughts about stereotyping in education

This topic contains 11 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  amy.spensley 1 week, 1 day ago.

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  • #12823

    i.wilson
    Keymaster

    What were your thoughts after watching the video? How reliable do you think this information is?

  • #12826

    demi.lanham
    Participant

    I found the video really interesting. I too would describe myself as being open-minded and would want to encourage children to play with, or engage with, any toy that interests them; however I do feel slightly hypocritical making such a statement as I feel that if I had been involved in the same experiment, I may have conformed to the stereotypes too.

    It was interesting to see how the adults were choosing which toys the children should play with rather than allowing the child to explore the stimulating environment for themselves and make their own choices. It would have been interesting to see what toy each child would have naturally gravitated towards had they not have been coached by an adult. The adults’ choices all seemed to be based on the clothes the children were wearing and therefore what gender they were (or thought they were!) rather than what seemed to engage the child.

    I’m glad I watched the video as I think it will make me be more mindful when it comes to my own interactions with children, especially in education. It would be of concern to me if we allowed ourselves to purposefully miss teaching children specific skills just because they don’t fit with our idea of a social ‘norm’. Personally, I would like children to feel united by their education and not feel as though their learning and goals are defined and restricted due to stereotypes.

    In terms of the reliability, the video has come from a well known source (the BBC) however, the independent ‘experiment’ only included a small sample. I’m not sure whether the information is entirely reliable on it’s own but may be more valuable if teamed together with further supporting evidence.

  • #12838

    ella_clarex
    Participant

    Watching the video confirmed to me the influence of stereotypes and social norms on simple actions like playing with a child. Although it demonstrated that stereotypes strongly impact our actions it was evident that this conformity to social norms may be purely self-conscious as stated by one of the volunteers ‘my subconscious playing tricks on me’.

    All four volunteers described themselves as open-minded, with one volunteer stating that they were someone who has a really open mind, this belief is then however juxtaposed by their actions as all the toys chosen for the children conformed to the stereotypes of the gender the adult thought they were, with one adult even stating that they had to give “Sophie”, who was in fact a male child, little girl things. She understandably reached this conclusion as “Sophie” was dressed in clothes and given a name that conformed to female stereotypes.

    It would be interesting to repeat the experiment without any direction from the adult to see which toys the children would naturally gravitate towards to see if the child’s pick would conform to the stereotypes and social norms. It would also be interesting to repeat the experiment with younger volunteers to see if they would behave similarly or differently to older adults.

    In terms of reliability, the experiment only included a small sample, with adults of similar ages therefore reducing the reliability of the experiment as it did not have a wide enough group.

  • #12849

    rachelhough
    Participant

    I found the video really eye-opening as it specifically showed how conformist we really are as a society as realistically in the early years; clothing and or the toys presented with the child do stereotype the child in the years when it really isn’t obvious what gender the child is. This video really presented that gender really isn’t important in the education and broadening of children’s minds as the adults admitted to giving the female children toys that didn’t include spatial awareness which could leave those children unenlightened in that subject compared to boy children of the same age.

    It was interesting to see the sample admitting they believed themselves to be ‘open-minded’ when dealing with the children and blaming their actions on their ‘subconscious’ as this can be blamed on the effects on the normative social influence society is outputting. The actions of the adults was constrasted with their beliefs as all the toys that were chosen for the children conformed with the stereotypical gender the children’s clothing showed them. It would be interesting to see the children’s natural instincts when it came to choosing their own toys in this scenario without the input of other adults present, as this would show the true intentions of whether gender really does determine the toys children are more interested in.

    This experiment is reliable in terms of coming from a well known and regularly relied on source (the BBC,) however due to the fact the sample is very small and relies on adults of very similar ages this does affect the reliability of the experiment as it is a form of ageism. For more reliability it would be best to evaluate the reaction of younger and older ages to see if the reactions are similar to those presented in the video.

  • #12865

    lucia.lastiri
    Participant

    I think this is an interesting topic in the sense that we can see how gender stereotypes still affect how we treat individuals even as children. However, I find that these kinds of experiments are repetitive and demonstrate similar information about our inherent gender bias, especially when there is such a small pool of volunteers as this can’t truly represent the views of an entire society which could have changed in this modern era.

    I definitely think that the way children learn is affected by how adults respond to their gender, especially when they are still learning through play as most adults would provide certain types of toys for a girl or a boy. Adults are prone to assuming the gender of a child based on their clothing, hence why it was switched in the video, and this is what I think affects personal play between a child and an adult. It was even pointed out in the video that the volunteers playing with the ‘girl’ did not offer toys that “teach spatial awareness or physical confidence”, and how using these kinds of toys can change the brain’s development in only 3 months. Before children are introduced to an education establishment and play most of the time with their parents is when I believe this gender bias is most influential as adults impose their subconscious ideas of what types of toys children will enjoy playing with.

    Although this is a clear demonstration of ‘nurture’ being more influential than ‘nature’, I believe that this gender bias is challenged once children begin to socially play with other children when they begin school. Learning through play is very important in the initial stages of a child’s development, and once a child has a wider variety of choices in what they can play with they will choose toys that don’t all conform to one gender or another. School environments don’t aim to segregate children’s play, therefore making it easier for all children to develop skills such as spatial awareness and physical confidence which the video associated with male-dominated careers such as maths.

    I don’t think that stereotypes provided through toys at an early age is the biggest factor for individuals growing up and conforming to gender stereotypes within career choices and personal interests. The examples that are set by the media and by popular social figures greatly affects teenagers who want to fit the ‘social norm’, certainly much more than playing with certain types of toys which as I have said isn’t as biased in schools.

    I would say that this information is reliable to an extent, it is only from 2 years ago which is quite recent and the BBC is known to be fairly unbiased and is overall a reliable news source. However, as I mentioned earlier this is such a small pool of volunteers that the experiment might not be as informative as possible, since there is a much higher percentage now of less traditional families such as gay couples who adopt that have a smaller likelihood of imposing such strong gender stereotypes.

  • #12871

    stephanieschiller
    Participant

    I thought the video was really interesting, especially after doing a module on Sexism in A Level psychology. I agree with the idea that stereotypes can affect the way in which we respond to one another, and the way in which children may respond to their education. We, as humans, cannot avoid stereotyping each other, as much as we may try to, as we have ‘schemas’ implanted in our minds, which act as shortcuts to our memory. It may be that we have developed these shortcuts in which tell us that ‘boys’ may play with ‘boys toys’ and visa versa. However, within the sexism module I studied, it was proven that there is ‘Gender Difference’ and ‘Gender Bias’, and that there is significant differences between the two. For example, Gender difference (Alpha Bias) is usually where there is significant differences between Males and Females which affect the way we may respond to them , such as the way those people in the video responded to the children. However, there is also a Gender Bias (Beta Bias) , in which we ignore the differences between them and treat them as if they are the same. Although this may cause an error during research, this may not be a problem in circumstances such as this one presented in the video.

    I do believe that I do try to avoid such stereotypes, however I do also think that I would also automatically respond in a similar way to which the people in the video did. This does makes me feel a little bit anxious, however I know a lot of other people would respond in this way. As society begins to develop and grow I do believe we should try to block out such stereotypes, especially within education, as it can play a big part in how children develop as they grow up and lead to these stereotypes being continued throughout their lives. If we can remove stereotypes in education, we may begin to remove them in society!

    In terms of how reliable the information is, the study has been conducted by the BBC and this is a famous news channel. This can both add to how reliable this is, as they would potentially be hesitant to make such a challenging topic appear fake, but at the same time they could also become quite bias. However, there has been a similar study conducted, which I did research during my time at Sixth Form. The 1978 study by Smith and Lloyd, showed that adults reinforce stereotypes from a young age ( 6-9 months) by selecting ‘gender appropriate toys’. This study was similar to the one in the video, however the volunteers were also asked their expectations about the child’s motor performance, and it was found that parents/adults had higher expectations for males. This study does reflect that the information in the video is reliable, however we do not know the exact conditions in which these studies were conducted.

    I apologise if this became too Psychology-based, however Gender and stereotypes were a major area of interest for me throughout studying psychology!!

    I cant wait to read other responses!!!

  • #12873

    afroberts16
    Participant

    I found the video really interesting and eye opening, as it highlighted the subconscious stereotyping even open minded people can reinforce.

    The gender aspect of the education section of A Level sociology was something I was thoroughly passionate about. It brought to my attention, like the video, how gender stereotypes present in children’s toys, clothing etc can massively affect how adults act and treat children, consequently impacting on how children view themselves and their future aspirations. Learning about gender domains and how stereotypes can create an image of male or female ‘territory,’ which can lead children to later choose subjects that they feel fit these gendered stereotypes, highlighted how prevalent the issue can be. Therefore, I took from the video that it’s hugely important that adults don’t consciously or unconsciously reinforce these stereotypes, through their interactions, body language or speech, because it could potentially negatively impact children’s entire educational experience.

    In terms of the reliability of the video, whilst the BBC is a national news outlet, its authenticity can be questioned due to it being a media source, intentionally projecting a particular message.Also, the information from the video may not be wholly reliable because not only is it based on a single experiment, we cannot generalise that stereotyping will affect all children in the same way.

  • #12874

    laura.lowther
    Participant

    I found this experiment to have a very interesting concept and it also made me really think about how the societies and communities we live in can have a big impact on our views.

    I feel that viewers watching this video may think that the adults within the experiment are small minded, however in the grand scheme of things it is impossible to blame them for their approach in today’s world.
    Social media has such an influence on every aspect of this world- from television adverts for children’s toys, children’s tv programmes/films and even in children’s books. So much of what we see everyday paints a picture of ‘pink is for girls, blue is for boys, dolls are for girls, cars are for boys’, and because so much of that is out there not many seem to question it and it becomes lodged in people brains.
    Each of the volunteers mentioned that their choices for the children just seemed automatic, and that’s because of the stereotype they have been led to share.

    During the video I personally saw none of the children show any preference to any particular toys, but instead I noticed that they became interested in what the adults were providing them with and leading them towards. This highlights that children are not born with an automatic conception of what to play with or what to like, instead they follow the lead of others around them and specifically in this case, the adults around them.

    In terms of the reliability of the information, the BBC is generally known as an accredited source which definitely helps its case. However, I would argue that using only a small number of adults (presumably from roughly the same area which may have an effect on their ideas/views/presumptions) may damage the reliability. Successful experiments in all forms tend to use a much larger pool of volunteers/subjects which widens the results and gives a much more reliable overall conclusion.

  • #12900

    mercedes.lawrie
    Participant

    I found the video really interesting and quite surprising, as it clearly shows the stereotypes surrounding girls and boys toys, and it also shows that people subconsciously stereotype. I also find this topic really interesting, as there seems to be ‘set’ girls toys and boys toys, which is not necessary or beneficial. It’s eye-opening to see that the way a child is dressed affects how they are treated, as for example the boys wearing the girls clothes were always given the pink and soft toys, as they are stereotypically known as ‘girls toys’. It was also interesting to see the volunteers reactions when the experiment was explained to them, as it showed that they were either consciously or sub-consciously being stereotypical.

    ‘Girls’ toys and ‘boys’ toys are usually very different, as they are aimed at a certain gender. However, in the video it seemed that none of the children showed a preference to certain toys, which would suggest that toys do not need to be separated into different genders.

    I believe this experiment is reliable as the BBC is a national news reporter, and research will have been carried out into the issue before carrying out the experiment. I also think the experiment is reliable because it was repeated multiple times. However, there was only a small sample size, and it is also not clear on how long each adult was given with the child, as for example if they were given longer they may have played with more of the toys.

  • #12909

    Sophia.hull
    Participant

    I found the video really interesting, especially with how people, like myself, like to think that we’re open minded with regards to gender and how people learn to perceive themselves, when in fact we aren’t, and I would have probably done the same without thinking about it. This video will definitely make me think about how I act next time I am with children.

    I think the video proves that we have a subconscious that presumes pink is for girls, and blue is for boys, the experiment shows four volunteers, who all reacted to the child based on what they were wearing despite believing that they were open minded, I believe this is because of how we were brought up as children. I believe that our society has recently gone through a change, where things that weren’t as accepted 20 years ago now are, which stands the same for stereotyping girls and boys. For example, girls football is now broadcasted on major television channels, but this happened for the first time this year which shows just how long it has taken us as a society to become accepting of girls playing football and to actually value it enough for it to be broadcasted. I would be interested to see if different ages of volunteers would change the results, I would predict that younger people would have a different result to the one on the video.

    Whilst watching the video I noticed that the toys laid down for ‘girls’ tended to be pink, dolls and animals, whereas the boys toys tended to be blue, red and green. The boys toys were also more brain stimulating, for example the sorting cube, where you have to put the correct shape in the correct hole. Toys like this make a childs brain stimulated and develop key skills, whereas a girls toy, such as a fluffy pink rabbit does not help to develop the same skills as sorting cube, but helps to develop their imagination when they play with them. For this reason, I also believe that ‘boys toys’ put boys at an advantage in the early years of education.

    I also noticed that the volunteers were much more physical with the children that they thought were boys, they often picked them up and put them onto the toy car, whereas with the girls they were much more delicate; they let them sit on the floor and picked up the toys to give to them. This reflects the idea of boys being ‘rough and tumble’.

    With regards to whether the video is reliable or not, I would like to say yes it is. Like it has previously been said, the BBC is a national news outlet and is also associated with the UK Government so it is unlikely that they would want to publish false claims that would tarnish their reputation. One disadvantage to the experiment is the small sample size that they used; four volunteers which I imagine would have been from a similar area, this puts into question; if the volunteers were from different areas would they have different views that would have resulted in different results? I believe that because of the small sample size, similar ages of the volunteers and potentially similar views that the experiment could not be generalised to other people outside of their age range and geographical area.

  • #12910

    amyellis
    Participant

    Personally, I found the experiment very interesting with regards to stereotyping in education as it portrays how our society affects our actions and thoughts.

    Despite the adults thinking that they were open-minded, their actions were contradicting. They subconsciously chose toys that were stereotyped to that specific gender rather than allowing the child to explore the toys themselves and choosing the ones that they would naturally go for. It was also interesting to notice how the girls’ toys were pink and fluffy, embodying the image of a stereotypical girl being innocent and cute whereas the boys’ toys involved construction and puzzles which reflect the stereotypical boy image of strength and power. Encouraging the children to play with gender-stereotyped toys, restricts their freedom to be themselves and begin to establish who they are.

    It has not only been beneficial for the volunteers but, for myself also. It has influenced me to allow them to be themselves rather than what society expect them to be. Ultimately, the child and their education is the priority therefore, they need to be happy. As a society, we should not be assuming every girl will enjoy drawing and being creative; we should not be assuming every boy will be thrilled during P.E lessons and because of this, we should allow the children to explore for themselves and respect their likes and dislikes regardless of their gender.

    In terms of reliability, the BBC are a popular news source with high reliability and accuracy. To an extent, I agree with this information however, this experiment was only completed involving two children therefore, the sample size was too small. Every child is different meaning not every child would have reacted in the same way.

  • #12919

    amy.spensley
    Participant

    I found this video interesting because naturally we all stereotype, most of the times without realising. When a baby is born everyone gets either pink or blue balloons, which is sad as the baby is basically being told they have to like either pink or blue, naturally they won’t. When a child is playing they will gravitate towards the toys they like, whether that’s a doll or a train. but when a child is as young as the children in the video, the practitioner will prompt the child on which toys they “should” be playing with, which is not making the environment inclusive as you aren’t supporting equality, but stereotyping instead.
    We stereotype because the generation before us stereotyped, it’s a pattern and that’s where we have learnt it from. It is now a habit what we cant get out of, however if we change the way we look at toys and genders, the children we teach will be aware that trains and dolls are girls and boys toys. This teaches the children Equality and inclusive practise while also making the children open-minded to which toys they play with.
    This information opens your mind on how we stereotype but it may not be reliable. While it shows the experiment on how young babies are with practitioners, it would have been good to see different ages and toys. For example, what toys would a practitioner put out for older children, what would the children go towards without any adult company too. They could try different ways of seeing how stereotyping has taught children. The video comes from the BBC which is a reliable source as they are well known and recent as it was put up in 2017.

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