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Primary/early years dissertation.. HELP PLEASE! :)

(4 Posts)
amanda1991 Mon 12-Oct-15 17:23:30

Hi, I'm currently on my third year of a degree in Primary education and have to come up with a proposal for my research project/dissertation..Very scary! I work as a teaching assistant in a reception classroom, and was considering looking at something to do with how gender stereotype affects children's choice in play within the classroom (maybe focusing on influences from adults?) That's kind of as far as my idea is going..!
I considered questionnaires with the children from my class, with pictures of different toys and getting them to choose which they would like to play with. I also think its important to look at the impact of the adult, possibly sending questionnaires to parents (not exactly sure what questions I would ask? any ideas would be great) and maybe interviewing teachers to find their views. I also wanted to do some sort of observation in the classroom, possibly just setting out some different typical gender bias things such as the pink dolls house and the dinosaurs, and seeing who goes where. Not sure if this is an observation that would need to be done multiple times, or on 2 different classes to make it more reliable.

As you can see, my ideas are all over the place and I can't seem to pull them together anywhere. ANY advice or suggestions of what might work would be amazing!! My deadline for my proposal is looming and im becoming increasingly stressed! xx

bigbluebus Mon 12-Oct-15 18:46:11

I'm not a teacher but it does sound and interesting study to me - especially given the number of threads about this subject on MN.
Will you be just looking at infant age children or will your study look at what happens with Junior age children to see if the behaviours change as they get older and are more likely to be influenced by peer pressure?

sky1010 Mon 12-Oct-15 18:49:11

I've written a piece exactly like this at postgrad level, PM me.

VegasIsBest Sat 17-Oct-15 21:52:31

Sounds interesting. Have you read anything on research methods yet? A good book on that will help you to formulate your question clearly and think about alternative approaches to research.

Your university will probably ask you to consider ethical issues in your proposal. Interviewing children may be difficult. You might want to get early advice on that in case you need to offer alternatives eg interviewing parents rather than kids.

In terms of your question you might want to think about influences at different ages. For example my kids started out with gender neutral lively toys from the early learning centre. That all went to pot when they were at infants and got lots of gender specific toys (action men, guns...).

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