Teachers’ Influence on Children’s Selection and Use of Play Materials in Kenya
Gender socialization has an impact on children and any gender stereotyped verbal comments or activities assigned to children by those in charge are bound to influence the attitudes children have of themselves. This exploratory study therefore set out to investigate among 36 Kenyan preschool teachers if they hold gender-stereotyped views and if they communicate these views to children during selection and use of play materials. To collect data, an observation schedule was used. T-tests were then performed to find specific intergroup differences. Teachers were found to influence children in a gender stereotyped manner with more influence being exerted on boys than on girls. This influence on the children may encourage the children to adopt gender roles that are not always fair to both genders. This study therefore advocates for the encouragement and training of teachers to adopt an androgynous gender role attitude. In this way teachers may also encourage this same attitude in preschool children.