33 SES 02 A, Gendered Socialization for Science and ICT
Whilst digital transformation will be at the centre of developments in the future, the current presence of women in digital professions is marginal: Less than 10% of students in informatics in Swiss Higher Education are women (Umbach-Daniel & Baumberger, 2019). As digital transformation will be changing professions considerably and will lead to new professional groups emerging (SECO, 2017), the participation of women in the field of information technology will be crucial.
Children's interest in professions implementing digital transformation could be sparkled already at kindergarten age. Digital transformation will be shaping the future life of these children and it will be important that the children obtain competencies to envisage themselves as actively shaping digital transformation in all areas of life. Digital transformation is defined as including all processes of changing practices, organizing and designing the interplay of data, technology and users; it encompasses all areas of daily life. Also in contexts known to children, innovations of digital transformation are formative, so regarding their home, mobility, toys, food, clothing etc.
Digital transformation refers to the wider change in problem solving made possible through digitalization, thus requires not only technical skills of coding, but problem solving, imagination and cooperation (Genner, 2017). For all children, boys and girls, to generate interest for professions in the field of information technology, it is important that they encounter early role models of these professions (Turja, Endepohls-Ulpe, & Chatoney, 2009).
Gender as a socio-cultural resource available for performative acts is prevalent at all time, in ‘everyday life’ (Goffman, 1978). Gender can be dramatized (Faulstich-Wieland, Weber & Willems, 2004) or left unnoticed (Hirschauer, 1994). Gender can come to the fore in relation to gender equality (undoing gender) or difference (doing gender) (Deutsch, 2007).
The challenge of digital transformation expects children to be prepared for processes of change. They should be able to cope creatively, constructively and healthily with challenges to come (Merz, 2019). Consequently, not only digital competences in dealing with information technology - such as coding a robot - are needed. Especially social competence, creativity, flexibility and critical thinking distinguish people from machines (EKKJ, 2018). Learning environments to explore these competencies are important; the most important of these in early childhood is seen in free play. Regarding digital transformation, they appropriate digital technology in their pretend play, so playing the present as much as the future (Arnott, Kewalramani, Gray & Dardanou, 2020).
The project “we play the future” initiated guided pretend play in kindergarten to enable children to appropriate processes of digital transformation (Weisberg, Hirsh‐Pasek & Golinkoff, 2013). The aim of the present project is to extend existing corners of pretend play with the theme of digital transformation (the home corner to become a smart home corner) and to develop new corners, such as an ICT center, a robot factory, an online shop or a food laboratory.
The presentation will address the following research questions:
1) In what ways do early childhood educators support pretend play in such a way that gender is not dramatized and that girls and boys both envisage themselves as shaping digital transformation actively?
2) In what ways can doing gender, undoing gender, dramatization and de-thematization be found in children’s pretend play on the theme of digital transformation?
Innovation, creativity and new approaches to problem solving are fundamental for digital transformation. In order to build these competencies in kindergarten, pretend play is the preferred approach to learning, as play is a most promising way for learning for young children (Broström et al 2015). For exploring an educational area, as is digital education, guided play was chosen, acknowledging the important role of kindergarten teachers in order to guide the playful acquisition of competencies (Weisberg, Hirsh‐Pasek, & Golinkoff, 2013). Using the motto "we play the future!" eight different free play impulses for digital transformation were developed. The development of the free play impulses was based on scientific knowledge regarding digital transformation, play and gender as well as a consultation of experts. The topics of the free play impulses include an ICT center for repair and development, Internet of things, robotics, autonomous mobility, tracking, 3-D-printing, food technology and clothes online shopping. 15 kindergarten educators were taking part in the study and implemented the free play impulses in their kindergarten. They received an introduction in a half day professional development, covering the topics of digital transformation, gender and guided play. Relating to gender, reflection focused on interactions, highlighting the potential of undoing gender and the challenges of dramatization (AUTHOR). As for guided play, the role of the educator as a co-player and play-leader were explored (AUTHOR). Data collection included video observation, each kindergarten was visited twice in the course of four months, capturing the teachers’ implementation and the children’s play. The video data was analysed qualitatively. In a first step, the structure of the video data and sequences was listed, sequences with relevance to doing and undoing gender were sampled. Second, selected sequences of pretend play were analysed using multimodal interaction analysis (Goodwin, 2018, Montada, 2014). Furthermore, educators were interviewed about their experiences using semi-structured interviews. Interviews were analysed with content analysis (Kuchartz, 2014).
Educators reported, that all children were interested in the free play on digital transformation and that they took care to not emphasise gender. First results of the sequence analysis highlight the challenge and the potential of the free play impulses to ensure active participation of all genders. • In the home corner, internet of things has been installed. The girls playing the family called the ICT center, a boy is coming to the family home in the role of the IT specialist in order to repair the smart fridge. He phones the educator in her role of fellow IT specialist. The educator says: ‘I pass you to [name], she is just here and will check it on the system’. • The educator joins the ICT center, where two girls and two boys sit and play with the cardboard laptops and tablets. One boy says ‘I have installed something new’ and points to his tablet. The teacher asks ‘What did you install?’ The boy explains that one could hold the tablet at the fridge and this would initiate an order of food needed. The second boy also explains the app he installed. One of the girls seeks to participate and suggests there could be a technical problem. The educator does not include the girl in the conversation. The examples illustrate the role of the educator in leading the play. Based on multi-modal conversation analysis the moments of taking a turn are of interest. In the first example, the educator selects the girl to carry on the conversation. In the second example, the two boys and the girl self-select, however, the educator only interacts with the two boys. The discussion will address the challenges of promoting gender equality in the area of digital education in kindergarten.
Arnott, L., Kewalramani, S., Gray, C., & Dardanou, M. (2020). Role-play and technologies in early childhood. In Z. Kingdone (Ed.), A Vygotskian Analysis of Children's Play Behaviours: Beyond the Home Corner (pp. 76-93). Milton Park: Routledge. Broström, S., Sandberg, A., Johansson, I., Margetts, K., Nyland, B., Frøkjær, T., ... & Vrinioti, K. (2015). Preschool teachers’ views on children's learning: an international perspective. Early Child Development and Care, 185(5), 824-847 Deutsch, F. M. (2007). Undoing Gender. Gender & Society, 21(1), 106-127. EKKJ. (2018). Kinder und Jugendliche 4.0: Thesen der EKKJ zum Einfluss der Digitalisierung auf Kinder und Jugendliche. https://www.ekkj.admin.ch/themen/digitalisierung/ Faulstich-Wieland, H., Weber, M. & Willems, K. (2004). Doing gender im heutigen Schulalltag. Empirische Studien zur sozialen Konstruktion von Geschlecht in schulischen Interaktionen. Weinheim: Juventa. Genner, S. (2017). Digitale Transformation: Auswirkungen auf Kinder und Jugendliche in der Schweiz - Ausbildung, Bildung, Arbeit, Freizeit. Zürich: Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften. Glauser-Ismail, N. (2018). Kompetenzförderung im Freispiel Spielgestaltung und Spielbegleitung am Beispiel MINT. Bern: www.je-desto.ch. Goffman, E. (1978). The presentation of self in everyday life (p. 56). London: Harmondsworth. Hirschauer, Stefan. (1994). Die soziale Fortpflanzung der Zweigeschlechtlichkeit. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 46(4), 668–692. Kuchartz, U. (2014) Qualitative Text Analysis: A Guide to Methods Practice. Los Angeles: Sage Merz, T. (2019). Die eigentliche digitale Transformation für die Schule steht noch bevor. In EKKJ (Ed.), Aufwachsen im digitalen Zeitalter. Bern: id-k Kommunikationsdesign. SECO (2017). Auswirkungen der Digitalisierung auf Beschäftigung und Arbeitsbedingungen – Chancen und Risiken. Bericht des Bundesrates in Erfüllung der Postulate 15.3854 Reynard vom 16.09.2015 und 17.3222 Derder vom 17.03.2017. https://www.seco.admin.ch/seco/de/home/wirtschaftslage---wirtschaftspolitik/wirschaftspolitik/digitalisierung.html#76287912 Turja, L., Endepohls-Ulpe, M., & Chatoney, M. (2009). A conceptual framework for developing the curriculum and delivery of technology education in early childhood. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 19(4), 353–365. Umbach-Daniel. A- & Baumberger, B. (2019) Ingenieur-Nachwuchs Schweiz 2019 Zürich: Inch https://ingch.ch/download/379/Bericht_2019.pdf Weisberg, D. S., Hirsh‐Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2013). Guided play: Where curricular goals meet a playful pedagogy. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7(2), 104-112.
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