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Schemas: The difference between boys and girls?

March 7, 2018

I have started to increasingly use this blog to document my thoughts and ideas; it has become somewhat of a journal and personal learning journey.


Today, as I reread some of the book 'Understanding Schemas and Emotion in Early Childhood' by Cath Arnold and The Pen Green Team, it got me thinking about schemas and gender.


Arnold talks about how many researchers believe gender is socially and culturally contructed but there were some noticeable gender differences when it came to exploring schemas; some through this study (boys are more interested in doing and girls are more interested in having) and some from a previous study (some schemas are more common dependant on gender). Arnold notes that this cannot be generalised without a larger study taking place but it is an interesting concept; especially when I have experienced and pondered on these points myself.


Something I have noticed clearly when observing children in my setting is that the majority of the boys have a trajectory schema; some of the girls do too but it is not as apparent nor is it on the same scale. With the trajectory schema often, I have found, comes the rotation schema which got me thinking about my son, a football mad ball of energy. Is it any wonder that football appeals to him so much when we can see its links to the trajectory and rotating schema? Furthermore, I thought about the connecting and transporting aspects of football which also links with his obsession to role-play superheroes, take risks, dig in the mud and constantly run around; whether socially and culturally constructed or not, these are typical traits of a boy. This leads me to a couple of questions.


1. Do boys have an innate urge to explore trajectory, rotating and transporting schemas; thus fuelling their interests in things such as superheroes and sport?


2. Do girls naturally enjoy exploring positioning, enveloping and containing schemas; therefore playing a role in gender misconceptions that women should be in the kitchen?


I don't know and those questions are a little tongue in cheek, but, it is a rather interesting topic to delve into. What are your thoughts?


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