Gender _ Piaget JC

Gender Roles and
• As we talked about before, “gender” refers
to the cultural and social meanings that
are associated with maleness and
Gender Roles
• Behaviors and traits that culture
designates are male or female
• Examples?
Gender Identity
• A person’s psychological sense of being
male or female
• Between 2-3 years, a child can identify
themselves as either boy or girl
– However, they only can categorize this by
hairstyle, clothing, and activities
• What gender?
• Why?
Trucks, dirt, aggression
• What gender?
• Why?
Social Worlds
Girls play with other girls
Boys play with other boys
They find the other gender “icky”
Boys are far more rigid in their stereotypes
– Is this true even as they get older?
Social Learning Theory
• Posits that gender roles are learned
through reinforcement, punishment, and
• How might that work?
• They found that parental reinforcement
really only plays a small role—parents
treat their boys and girls rather similarly.
Soo… what’s the dealio?
• Books
• Television
• Observation of role models
Gender Schema Theory
• Children actively develop mental
categories for masculinity and femininity.
• “Trucks are for boys and dolls are for
• Tend to make students like their own
gender better
• Labeling objects as boy or girl objects
completely influenced their memory and
perception of the object
Development in
Infancy and
Childhood: Piaget’s
Cognitive Stages
Question to ponder
Do Kids think differently than
Do freshmen think differently
than Seniors?
Piaget’s Theory of
Cognitive Development
• Jean Piaget (1896–1980) Swiss
psychologist who became leading theorist
in 1930’s
• Piaget believed that “children are active
thinkers, constantly trying to construct
more advanced understandings of the
• These “understandings” are in the form of
structures he called schemas
Piaget’s Approach
• Primary method was to ask children to
solve problems and to question them
about the reasoning behind their
• Discovered that children think in
radically different ways than adults
• Proposed that development occurs as
a series of ‘stages’ differing in how the
world is understood
• All the mental activities
associated with thinking,
knowing, and
• Children think differently
than adults
Stage 1- Sensorimotor Stage
• From birth to about age two
• Child gathers information
about the world through
senses and motor functions
• Child learns object
Sensorimotor Stage (birth – 2)
• Information is gained through the
senses and motor actions
• In this stage child perceives and
manipulates but does not reason
• Symbols become internalized through
language development
• Object permanence is acquired
Object Permanence
• The understanding that objects exist
independent of one’s actions or
perceptions of them
• Before 6 months infants act as if
objects removed from sight cease to
– Can be surprised by
disappearance/reappearance of a face
Object Permanence
• The awareness that things
continue to exist even
when they cannot be
• “Out of sight, out of mind”
Object Permanence
Stage 2- Preoperational Stage
• From about age 2 to age 6
or 7
• Children can understand
language but not logic
• Fantasy Play
1. Symbolic functioning – is that
a child uses to represent
something that is not
physically present like the use
of mental symbols, words, or
Find the two doors that are alike
Preoperational - Egocentrism
• The child’s inability to
take another person’s point
of view
• Includes a child’s ability to
understand that symbols
can represent other objects
• An understanding that
certain properties remain
constant despite changes in
their form
• The properties can include
mass, volume, and numbers.
• Number
In conservation of number tests, two equivalent rows of coins
are placed side by side and the child says that there is the same
number in each row. Then one row is spread apart and the child
is again asked if there is the same number in each.
• Length
In conservation of length tests, two same-length sticks are
placed side by side and the child says that they are the same
length. Then one is moved and the child is again asked
if they are the same length.
• Substance
In conservation of substance tests, two identical amounts of clay
are rolled into similar-appearing balls and the child says that they
both have the same amount of clay. Then one ball is rolled out and
the child is again asked if they have the same amount.
Concrete Operational Stage
(7–12 years)
• Understanding of mental operations
leading to increasingly logical
• Classification and categorization
• Less egocentric
• Inability to reason abstractly or
Concrete operational
1. Decentering – this is where a
child considers all aspects of a
problem to solve it
2. Elimination of egocentrism – kids
can begin to see the others point
of view
Formal Operational Stage
(age 12 – adulthood)
• Hypothetico-deductive
• Adolescent egocentrism
illustrated by the phenomenon of
personal fable and imaginary
Stage 4- Formal Operational Stage
• Child can think logically and
in the abstract
• Can solve hypothetical
problems (What if….
Critique of Piaget’s Theory
• Underestimates children’s abilities
• Overestimates age differences in
• Vagueness about the process of
• Underestimates the role of the social
• Lack of evidence for qualitatively
different stages
Sociocultural Perspective
• Vygotsky—children learn from
interactions with other people
– Zone of proximal development—what a child
can do by interacting with another person, but
can’t do alone.
– Critical thinking based on dialogue with others
who challenge ideas
• Piaget—focused on children’s
interaction with the physical world
• Although the parents spent $300 on
holiday toys for their 1-year old daughter,
she spent more time playing peekaboo by
sticking her head in and out of the box that
one of the toys came in. Why should the
parents have kept their money?
What activity might interest a 1 year old?
A 5 year old?
A 9 year old?
Is there anything that might interest them
all at once?

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