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diversity gender gender stereotypes picture books teacher training

Exploring Pre-Service Teachers’ Perspectives: Gender and Gender Representation across Human Protagonists in Picture Books

Taraneh Matloob Haghanikar , Shan Jiang , Sara Tomek , Lisa M. Hooper

Gender is ever present in education preparation, school materials, curriculum, and school systems. To improve our knowledge about different facets of .

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Gender is ever present in education preparation, school materials, curriculum, and school systems. To improve our knowledge about different facets of gender and the extent to which the depiction of gender has changed over time in picture books, there is a need to dig beneath the surface of questions about gender representation in picture books. Given that in-service teachers have proximity to approximately 75 million K-12 students, how in-service teachers think about gender, gender representation, and their own experiences with gender socialization have important implications on how K-12 students think, act, and feel about gender. In this study, we focused on teachers’ responses to a semester-long assignment about the selection and review of picture books. Specifically, we captured teachers’ perceptions on gendered images evidenced in picture books and to what extent there are changes (i.e., economical, emotional, physical, political, and social) in the central character throughout the book. We also explored if perceived changes were different based on the gender of the characters. Teachers reported four types of changes among the characters in the picture book. Emotionally changes in the books’ central characters emerged as the most commonly reported change among our participants.

Keywords: Diversity, gender, gender stereotypes, picture books, teacher training.

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