Tiny Traditions

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Introduction: First Understanding Gender

The image of a daycare center exemplifies an area of play and education in one's mind. Here, a child can learn, interact, and revel solely by themselves or with others such as their peers or authority figures. Although child development at a young age is key, subliminal messages are hidden within developmental actions; in a site of early childhood education, indirect and involuntary messages about gender are heard and witnessed on a day-to-day basis that all children, especially infants and toddlers, are susceptible to. Toddlers and infants will recognize what defines girls and boys because of their exposure to gender as seen through the uses of gendered words, like “he” and “she”, or their toys, like dolls for girls and trucks for boys.

Society can recognize that daycare centers are an area that sparks gender socialization at a young age and is perpetuated through the child's interaction with their peers and adults around them.

In this study, I will focus on gender influences among students of a daycare center and how gender is prevalent at early adolescence. Though many scholars have touched upon the subject of gender among children, I will further contribute to this study by focusing on the child's interactions with their friends and authority figures who surround them on a daily basis. I will discuss that gender is seen and externalized through many different actions which a child encounters during their interactions with same-sex and opposite-sex peers, teachers, and teaching assistants. Additionally, my study focuses on the toddler age-group, ranging from 2 to 3.5 years old, because toddlers are more aware of their surroundings and interplay. In an early childhood educational...

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...2 (1993):151-166.

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Rankin, Baji. "The Importance of Intentional Socialization among children in small groups: A conversation with Loris Malaguzzi." Early Childhood Education Journal 32.2 (2004):81-85.

Sereno, Sara C. and Patrick J. O'Donnell. "Participant and Word Gender in Age of Acquisition Effects: The Role of Gender Socialization." Sex Roles 61.7/8 (2009):510-.

Walford, Geoffrey, and Caroline Hudson. Genders and Sexualities in Educational Ethnographies. New York, NY: Elsevier Science, Inc. , 2000. Print.

Zosuls, Kristina, Diane Ruble, Catherine LeMonda, Patrick Shrout, Marc Bornstein, and Faith Greulich. "The acquisition of gender labels in infancy: Implications for gender-typed play." Developmental Psychology 45.3 (2009):688-701.
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