Kristy Tubbs Gender Studies in a Contemporary Classroom ARE 6905 12 April 2011
Purpose To further explore gender studies in relation to drawing. Compare previous gender style studies to current results to understand shift or lack thereof in gender style perceptions. Assess results to determine what influenced the shift of student perspectives in drawing.
Questions • Will using the same or similar narrative (Tuman) produce the same results now as it did then? • Was unable to contact Dr. Tuman after several attempts. • Is there a shift in perspective of gender identification from the Tuman study to present? • Do social factors influence the meaning of a child’s drawing?
Methods Participants-35 Students 2nd Grade-35 The characteristics of this education community are those the same as previous study (i.e., teachers, parents, administrators, elementary curriculum, school facilities, resources and activities). Variables in the each characteristic I believe will moderately change the end results.
Procedures “Fighting” and “Helping” Students will be asked to create a pencil drawing of what they perceive fighting and helping to be. Students were asked for their name and grade level. Students may not work together and will have a testing folder as to not glance at anyone else’s paper. Students have 30 minutes in their regularly scheduled 30 minute art class to complete both pictures. Teacher will then assess the drawings into 4 categories: emotional conflict, aggressive conflict, personal assistance, or societal assistance.
My findings…. • In Feinburg’s original study, girls portrayed “fighting” in terms of emotional conflict between friends or family, and “helping” in terms of personal assistance. • Boys practically remained the same in terms of “fighting” • 14 out of 16 boys portrayed aggressive behavior in terms of “fighting” • 15 out of 17 boys portrayed more personal helpfulness than social. • Girls leaned more toward these original tendencies, but surprisingly the numbers were not profoundly different. • 8 out of 19 girls drew aggressive fighting pictures. • 3 out of 19 girls drew social helpfulness.
My thoughts…. • Compared to Feinberg’s previous study, I do believe there is a shift in perspective of young people today. More so with girls than boys of what is acceptable. • Girls are socialized more similar to boys now. • Athletics • Style • Music • I believe the reason for the boys drawing more personal helpfulness in their pictures is because of the school demographics. At MVA we teach and focus on character everyday and how it effects us as people later in life. This has a powerful effect in the classroom for the gender socialization process.
Results Kai Age: 8 “I am fighting to see who wins” Olivia Age: 8 “Fighting”
Results Melanie Age:9 “Helping” Taylor Age:8 “Helping”
Results Summer Age:9 Guys on street fighting afterschool” Reef Age:8 “Fighing”
Results Murdoc Age:7 “Helping” Alia Age:7 “Helping is Good!”
Results Antonio Age:7 “Fighting” Matria Age:8 “Picking up trash: Helping”
Procedures Re-imagined Tuman narrative During their regular scheduled art class, students will be read a narrative and asked to illustrate what they liked best in the story. Drawings will be evaluated informally for evidence of conceptual content. The structure of the evaluation will be informal in the areas of masculine vs. feminine.
Narrative Early one Saturday morning Katie and Jack sat at the breakfast table looking bored. Katie stirred her cherrios while Jack blew bubbles in his milk. Jack was trying to focus on his soccer game that afternoon, but soon got frustrated and heaved his strawberries and whipped cream at his sister. Sure, it was a bad choice, but it made him laugh! Upset, Kate ran to find her mother to tell her what happened. Katie’s mom said, “ You may invite some friends over today since Jack will be gone. You can have the whole house to have fun!” Katie liked this idea. After all, she hadn’t had a sleep over in ages. She marched to the phone and promptly called her friends. Jack had a busy day ahead of him. He wanted to be ready for the soccer game so he busied himself with packing his backpack with his gear. After, he made his way to the kitchen to pack some of his favorite snacks: a turkey and cheese sandwich, green grapes, chocolate chip cookies and a gatorade. Jack planned on taking his bike to the game, so he made his way to the garage. In the garage he realized his bike had a flat tire and hastily decided to go to his soccer game on his skateboard. On his way he did trick jumps on the curb.
Narrative Continued… Back at home, Katie was well under way with three friends: Alice, Nessie, and Josie. The girls rummaged through an older sister's closet and played dress up. Alice put on a cute black dress, high heels, red lipstick, blush and blue eye shadow! This gave Katie an idea to put on costumes and have a parade. Nessie found a fun astronaut costume complete with a huge white suit and dome helmet. Josie came out looking like a princess wearing an old prom dress with lots of lace and frills. Katie found her mother’s wedding dress and carried a huge bouquet of multi-colored roses. After a yummy lunch of fresh fruit, lemonade and sandwiches, the girls giggled over a fluttering butterfly so hard they rolled right out of their chairs. This led to practicing gymnastics up and down the yard. Somersaults and cartwheels everywhere! Kate and Alice even used the swing set to pretend they were flying. Soon, they heard a faint, “Meow Meow” from the bushes. Out poked a little nose from the flower bed. “A kitty!” the girls shrieked! “She must be lost,” Nesie said. “ Oh no”, replied Josie. The cat quickly scattered into the garden shed. The four curious and concerned girls followed. Inside, they discovered 5 new baby kittens! Together, they snuggled with the kittens. Jack returned home for dinner. His mother yelled so loud upon his return that people in China must have heard. Jack was covered in mud from head to toe with cuts all over his legs and arms! There he stood triumphantly. When asked why he looked like a pig his response was quite the tale. He told his family that the clock was counting down the last seconds when he scored the winning goal! Jack also told them that the other team’s goalie was not very happy. He was 300 lbs and jumped on top of him! Jack punched him to get him off! A big fight broke out between the teams, and the whole field was covered in a cloud f smoke. Both Katie and Jack were very exhausted after their long day of adventures!
My findings… When given a conceptual theme content choice for drawings, the majority of girls and boys choose subject matter “appropriate” to their gender. 1 boy out of 13 drew a more feminine picture from the narrative. 5 out of 18 girls drew more masculine pictures from the narrative.
My thoughts… There is a slight shift in perspective of gender identification. More so with girls than boys. The girls that drew more of the masculine pictures from the narrative are ones that I know to be more athletic and exposed to more “boy activities”. Only one boy created a picture that was from the feminist perspective. He is involved in music, drama, cheerleading. Social factors do influence the meaning of a child’s drawing. The differing treatment of boys and girls influences expectations.
Results Sara 2nd Grade “Kate’s Mom’s Wedding Dress” Liana 2nd Grade “The five lost kittens”
Results Antonio 2nd Grade “Jack the mudpig” Andrew 2nd Grade “Skateboard tricks”
Results Kai 2nd Grade “Cool Tricks!” Nora 2nd Grade “A hot day in the sun”
Results Murdoc 2nd Grade “Pack the Backpack”
Implications • There are more similarities between boys and girls than differences. • As teachers, we all have expectations of what a lesson should turn out to looking like in the end. Many lesson plans can be analyzed and labeled as “male” or “female” in the content or approach. But what if those factors were neutral? How then could students be influenced in terms of gender? • Yes I am implying I will be researching a new topic in my classroom! • I plan on using my research results to assist me in redesigning my approach to lessons. • Teachers (myself) should be more aware of how we treat boys and girls in the classroom. Differing treatment and socialization limits the possibilities for boys and girls.
What I Have Learned…. I am now committed to being an active teacher versus a passive teacher. Research really is as simple as choosing a small idea, and from it create new knowledge and information to implement. In order to teach effectively, I must understand my students inside and out. Social influences and individual differences can be incorporated into the classroom to create an effective curriculum. I have learned that through research in your field head on (in your classroom) develops you everyday. The more I began researching gender in my classroom, the more aware I became of my curriculum. There is construction to be done this summer in order to share masculine and feminine lessons for maximum student engagement. Most importantly I have learned not to be scared of research. In order to be a great teacher, I must research. I only need to match a means of data analysis to a method.
Review of Literature Gender Matters in Art Education Martin Rosenberg & Francis Thurber 2007
Review of Literature Understanding Gender: In Society, Schools, and the Art Room Where meaningful differences seem to exist between the sexes, how much of it is biological? How much is a product of socialization? Socialization is the lifelong process by which society defines us as individuals. Why do we focus so much on the differences between boys and girls, rather than the similarities that cross gender lines? Do people exaggerate differences and ignore similarities because they accept the basic idea that boys and girls are very different kinds of people? These are the questions psychologists as well as others have begun to ask. These are also important questions for teachers because their assumptions about gender can affect how they teach and treat boys and girls in a classroom.
Review of Literature Gender Expectations: How we treat boys and girls • People begin to treat boys and girls differently at birth. • “Do you want a boy or a girl?” • Studies have shown that parents have differing expectations and practice differing treatment of male or female babies. • There is a huge impact of the different treatment of boys and girls, particularly when it happens every day. • Powerful effect in the classroom for the gender socialization process • Evidence demonstrates that the differing treatment and socialization of girls and boys limits the possibilities for both. • Girls often are described with good behavior, desire to please, and general attention to assigned tasks—this works against them in obtaining equal, quality attention from the teacher. • Boys have been strapped into an emotionally repressive “boy code” which grants them lack of success in emotional and behavioral growth.
Review of Literature Gender Differences: What does the research really say? • Differences in social behavior • Studies show men to be the more aggressive and dominant in situations. However, women are also capable of aggressive and dominant behavior. Society deems the acceptable behavior for each. • Differences in Cognitive and Perceptual Skills • Psychologists tend to have a biased assumption that males and females are fundamentally different. More time is spent searching for the differences, and not the similarities. • Everyone accepts that there are some physiological differences: women are capable of having children, live longer, are smaller, more body fat, half the upper body strength as men, and mature faster. • Boys and girls have a wide range of abilities and behavior which are no dictated solely by gender. • Studies on Gender and Art Education • Factors other than the sex of the student may account for differences. • In 1998, Dr. Brewer’s research suggests that differences in student performance may also be tied to whether a student receives formal and substantive education in art making.
Review of Literature Children’s Drawing as a Sociocultural Practice: Remaking Gender and Popular Culture Olga Ivashkevich Studies in Art Education, 2009
Review of Literature “When studying children’s drawing, it is important not only to understand the relationship between their daily verbal interactions and visual meaning making in different sociocultural contexts but also to grasp the complex array of sociocultural factors that influence the meaning construction manifested through graphic activity”-O. Ivanshkevich Developmental approach to children’s drawings have shifted from the universal step-by-step evolution of graphic forms to more visual realism that account for social influences and individual differences. In this article Ivanshkevichreconceptualizes children’s self-initiated drawings as a socioculutral practice interwoven with peer interactions, daily activities, and participation in popular culture.
Review of Literature Children “are unavoidably expressed and defined through their relationships with material commodities, and through the commercially produced media texts that permeate their lives”(Ivashkevich, 2009). According to a an analysis of Sternheimer (2003), children are a victim to media advertising. The media is very much enter twined with all aspects of young peoples lives today and represent “collective hopes and anxieties, reinforcing beliefs as well as bringing social issues to our attention” (Ivanshkevich, 2009). This acts as a social mirror which reflects both adults’ and childrens’ needs, desires, and power struggles. TV shows-including The Simpsons, Fairly Odd Parents, or Teen Titans Go! Portray children as independent and knowledgeable, thereby erasing the boundaries between adults and children.
Review of Literature Realities of Contemporary Girlhood • Since the beginning of the 1990s, girlhoods have shifted dramatically toward a more active and emancipated female stance. Not only are girls expected to become wives and mothers, but also to perform academically, athletically and personally. • Media texts are said to feed these aspirations through a variety of strong, proactive, and smart female superheroes (Power Rangers, Powerpuff Girls). • Not always accessible to every economic background. Those who can not afford TV, how do girls see themselves? • Expectations of a girls’ appearance is often contradictory. While encouraged to reveal their bodies with short skirts, girls are also required to be modest because exposure threatens to undermine the idea of a god, sexually unassuming girl. • According to who? The media.
Review of Literature 9 month ethnographic investigation of two 10-year old girls, using informal interviews and observations, explored the girls’ self-initiated drawings, interactions, and related daily practices in various locations such as school, recess, camp, and home. One important aspect of this study was its illumination of the preadolescent girls’ image production as a sociocultural practice, a complex process of negotiating and resisting the dominant ideas of feminity presented in popular culture. Most of the drawings Maria and Jessie produced were those that revolved around beauty, fashion and body image (normal in Western culture).
Review of Literature However, embedded in daily interactions between two contemporary preadolescent girls was the unexpected tool of resistance. One drawing stands out from the rest in that it reveals the girls’ awareness that boys may judge girls on appearance, and the may need to compete for attention. Yet both girls did not take for granted this society female position. Instead, it became a subject for teasing and overt resistance. The importance of this study was finding that the images the girls produced were rarely self-explanatory. They could easily be misread or judged based on the visual. However, based on their interactions with each other, the images took on a entire new meaning.
Why is this important? By understanding media influence we can better access the effectiveness of instruction. Lesson plans are sharing masculine and feminine for maximum student engagement. If sociocultural influences dictate a student’s artistic development, how do we use that to our advantage?
Review of Literature Analysis of Gender Identity Through Doll and Action Figure Politics in Art Education Anna Wagner-Ott Studies in Art Education 2002
References Ivashkevich, O. (2009). Children’s Drawing as a Sociocultural Practice: Remaking Gender and Popular Culture. Studies in Art Education, 51(1), 50-63. Rosenberg, M. & Thurber, F. (2007). Gender matters in art education. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications, Inc. Tuman. D.M. (1999). Gender Styles as Form and Content: An Examination of Gender Stereotypes in the Subject Preference of Children’s Drawing. Studies in Art Education, 41(1), 43-64. Wagner-Ott, A. (2002). Analysis of Gender Identity Through Doll and Action Figure Politics in Art Education. Studies in Art Education, 43(3), 246-263.