Graduate Research Papers

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Open Access Graduate Research Paper

Abstract

Gender differences exist among different aspects of children's development (such as social, cognitive, and emotional). Children's narratives have been used as a common assessment tool (Libby & Aries, 1989; Wang & Leichtman, 2000) to learn more about gender differences. Knowledge of existing differences enables educators to individualize their teaching for boys and girls in order to benefit their development. The present study focused on gender differences in the following areas of American children's oral narratives: characters, emotional tone, structure, content, and language. The participants of the study were 14 kindergarteners and first-graders (7 boys and 7 girls) between ages 6 - 6.5, recruited from a university laboratory school and public elementary school in the Midwest. Each subject was presented four oral story starters during two individual interviews (two story starters each day). Findings of the study indicated that boys tended to tell significantly more stories that reflected a threatening atmosphere, while girls told significantly more stories that involved an aggressive mood. Among other findings of this study, which were not found significant, were boys' tendencies to tell more imaginary stories and girls' tendencies to tell more stories with stronger links to reality. In terms of structure, girls' narratives were found to be longer and included more simple sentences.

Year of Submission

2006

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education

Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Department

Division of Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Rebecca K. Edmiaston

Second Advisor

Penny L. Beed

Comments

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Date Original

2006

Object Description

1 PDF file (v, 67 leaves)

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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