Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Tony Monk

Abstract

The aim of this research was to study the effect of gender-rule on Year Six students' graphic representations completed during a visual transformation task. The influence of gender on learning has become a significant issue in primary schools and research in the area is needed to inform teachers about gender differences. The significance of the issue relates to the equality of opportunity for girls and boys in the classroom. Drawings are of significance because they provide teachers and parents with a glimpse of the developing child in terms of his or her creative and mental growth, feelings, emotions and world-view. Drawings may not only become a vehicle for exploring gender-roles, but they also illustrate characteristics of these roles that arc significant to the developing child. For teachers, being aware of the gender related meanings represented in children's drawings could lead to a better understanding of an individual child and of the class as a whole. A Year 6/7 class with 19 students located in Perth's metropolitan area was used for the Research. Children in this class ranged in age from eleven years to thirteen years and three months. The research required the students to complete observational drawing and visual transformation tasks. These drawings were collected and analysed using an inductive approach to qualitative research. The drawings were analysed according to four criteria: subject matter, expressive power, degree of detail and narrative content The results were supported by brief written responses received in answer to the statement 'My drawing shows ... '. This allowed the children to make a statement about the content or meaning of their drawings and to make further comments. The findings of this study illustrate that gender-role does have an influence on children's graphic representations with girls preferring to draw animals and boys producing drawings of caricatures. Boys also demonstrated higher expressive capacities and detail in their drawings and they also tended to produce more drawings containing narratives. Although the proposed sample was relatively small, the findings of the study may be used as a basis for further research in the area of children's drawings.

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