Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Jenny Graham
Last updated: July 11, 2019
NATIONAL COLLEGE OF BUSSINESS ADMINISTRATION& ECONOMICS MULTAN SYNOPSISGender Representation in English Textbooks atPrimary Level MASTER OF PHILOSOPHYINLINGUISTICS Maimoona BibiCELL: 0300-3378049Email:meerab.
[email protected] SUPERVISED BY:Prof. Alamdar Nabi Sb Abstract In all educational institutions textbooks areused as a guide to teach language.
Language is one of the pragmatic mediumto represent gender ideas .Gender biased course books might affect the learnerin a negative because images of gender representation in textbooks affect learner’sperception of what a man or a woman is .The aim of this thesis is toinvestigate whether writers and publishers take the gender issue intoconsideration while publishing the textbooks. In order to address this issuethe research is focused upon the analysis of five English textbooks at primarylevel approved by Punjab text book board. In this research mixed method will beused to collect data and different categories will be selected for contentanalyzed. ChapterSummary The following is the breakdown of the present research indifferent chapters.Chapter1: This chapter deals with the introduction andimportance of the topic “Gender Representation in English textbooks at Primarylevel.Chapter2: Backgroundof the study and the relevant literature review are the part of this chapter.
Chapter3: In this chapter the research methodology, the process ofdata collection and analysis will be elaborated.Chapter4: This chapter provides the information aboutthe data collection through the research method. Chapter5: The results are drawn on the basis of factsfound through data collection. Findings are discussed according to researchquestions. Chapter 1Introduction Textbooksare the most powerful instruments in shaping children’s belief, attitudes andvalues (Sumalatha 2004). If we read books or see pictures in the books we arealways confronted by images of men and women consciously or subconsciously.These images, whether it is known or not, may have an important impact uponpeople’s lives and how people create their identities.
In the same way, the language used in the textbooks create a lasting impressionand shapes the ideology of the users andis some ways may influence how people perceive themselves and the world, it isinteresting to see how is portrayed gender in textbooks at primary level. Therefore, in order to add to theliterature, the main idea of this thesis is attempting to see how gender isrepresented in textbooks throughdifferent roles, activities, jobs and by using different adjectives. 1.1GenderGender points out the set of socially and culturallyformed roles and relationship, characteristics, opportunities, attitudes,beliefs, behaviors and values that society assigned to the two genders on adisparity ground. Gender is an attained status that is being taught. It mayalter with the passage of time and modify generally within society and outsidesociety. Gender is relational and points out notonly to ladies and gentleman but also their mutual association. (Health Canada,2000b.
Gender is a wider and multi-faceted concept. Gender roles are relativesto their cultures and societies. These roles of males and females differimmensely among societies and social groups within a culture 1.
2 SexAccording to World Health Organization, sexis a biological characteristic which differentiate human beings as female ormale. While these sets of biological properties are notequally restricted, since there are persons who enjoy both, they inclined to classifyhumans as males and females.(World Health Organization,2002) 1.3 Gender and gender identity constructionAccordingto West and Zimmerman (1987), it is suggested that gender is not a set oftrait, a variable, nor a role, but the product of social doings of some sorts.The distinct roles and behavior might cause gender inequalities (WHO, 2014). Different scholars have already propoundedvarious theories attempting to explain how gender is constructed. And it isbelieved that people would learn about gender and construct their own genderidentities through various social agents, such as, family, peers, schools, media,and so on . As one of the major social agents, school plays an extremelycrucial role because students are spending a lot of time at school.
School becomes an important context wherestudents observe, imitate, acquire, rationalize, and reinforce their attitudestowards gender. Chapman (2008) highlighted the negative impacts, relating togender, that education may bring about. According to Chapman, bias is embeddedin textbooks, lessons, and teacher interactions with students. This type ofgender bias is part of the hidden curriculum of lessons taught implicitly tostudents through the everyday functioning of their classroom (as cited in Jou,2010).
Hence, in order to achieve gender equality, it would be beneficial ifmore attention could be paid on studying how schooling affects students’attitudes towards gender.1.4 Gender and TextbooksAsmentioned above, school is an important social agent affecting students’attitudes towards gender. Many researchers and scholars showed their interestsin analyzing how education influences students’ understanding about genderroles. Textbooks have been studied by different researchers throughout theyears, because textbooks are always the main teaching and learning materialsadopted by teachers. Also, apart from the teaching and learning during lessons,students also spend a lot of time on reading textbooks for revision afterschool. More importantly, students tend to consider textbook as authority, theyrarely challenge the knowledge and values embedded in textbooks.
Sincetextbooks are such influential to students, it is worth to investigate thegender representation in textbooks, analyzing if there are underlying gendermessages or values embedded which contribute to the formation of genderstereotype.1.5Statement of the problemThis dissertation aims to look at therepresentation of gender and gender roles in English textbooks used in primarylevel. This type of investigation is important because teachers need toconsider what the choice of a certain textbook might entail, and the issuesthis might bring about. Teachers also have to make learners aware of theseissues and help them towards becoming critical respondents to texts. Myhypothesis is that the representation of gender and gender roles in Englishtextbooks reflect the development of society towards equality between men andwomen.
1.6 Objectives of the study The main objective of this study is to examine the gender representationin English textbooks used in primary level. Institutions play an important rolein the growth of learners and these are not only places for formal educationbut also places where students learn about their historical bounds, culturaland social identity .It is a fact that materials used in educationalinstitutions are historically regarded as credible and honest source oflearning, The teachers gain this knowledge without judging its authenticity .
Sothe objectives are: · To identify how represented male and female characters inEnglish textbook class 1 to 5. · To assess what jobs/professions are assigned to men and womenin English textbooks class 1 to 5· To check the free time activities of male and femalecharacters in English textbooks class 1 to 5 · To identify what types of language/adjectives usedfor female characters in English textbook class 1 to 5. 1.7 Research Questions· How represented male and female characters in Englishtextbooks are class 1 to 5?· How are represented free time activities of male andfemale characters in English textbooks class 1 to 5?· What language /adjectives used for female characters in Englishtextbooks class 1 to 5? · What is the role assigned to men and women in Englishtextbooks class 1 to 5?1.8 Significance of the studyIt isbelieved that teaching materials would somehow bring certain effects onstudents’ perceptions and attitudes toward gender. The purpose of this study is to createawareness among students between right and wrong and also provide them chance to use their energies and capabilities positively .In the same way ,Thisstudy will helpful for teacher s, writerand scholars to utilize knowledge inclassroom about gender discrimination .It is important to examine gender issues in childrens’books.
Chapter 2Literature Review2.1 Study Background”In the 1970s, feminists raised awarenessabout gender bias and stereotypes in children’s books. Their studies allowedreaders to see the many ways that books portrayed gender” (Salem, 2006, p.85).
“Peterson and Lach (1990) discussed the importance of gender stereotypes inchildren’s literature and pointed that ‘male characters were more likely to beportrayed as positive, active and competent, while females were likely to beportrayed as negative, passive and incompetent”2.2 How is gender role depicted in children’s literaturePrimary level education isan important part of developing children’s identities. In the Pakistanicontext, as textbooks play a central role in the primary school classrooms,they could be a source of establishing an outlook to society in the minds oftheir young learners.
Literature used inthese schools provides a great possibility to influence children’s thoughtssince as children start going to school, the teacher and the literature are thefirst resources from which they get information and develop. Accordingly, it issignificant evaluating the textbooks we use in schools and also being carefulregarding the way we express ourselves in the classroom. 2.3 Gender stereotyping and children’s performanceNumerous studies signifythat gender stereotyping has an influence on children’s performance.
“The basicargument has been that parents, teachers, schools and societies treat boys andgirls differently, and as a result, children learn to ‘do gender” (Lippa, 2002,p.145). This is understandable, because as long as we raise children bypresenting them to male and female characteristics, their minds will nurture byrecognizing those distinctions and they will classify themselves to one oranother sexual category. However, it is important taking into account how theseclassifications negatively impact learners’ development. “Egan and Perry (2001)argue that feeling strong pressure for gender conformity is generally harmful(rather than beneficial) to mental health because of the limitations that areimposed on possibly fulfilling opinions, which weakness feeling of autonomy andputs children under stress” Chapter 3Research Methodology3.1 Procedure of the ResearchForthe investigation of the gender representation in English textbooks at primarylevel in Pakistan, the researcher will use mixed-method approach. The data willbe collected quantitative as well as qualitative.
3.2 Tool of the Research The objective ofthis study aims to perceive whether there are any stereotypical representationof men and women in English textbook class at primary level 1 to 5. For thispurpose content analysis was chosen as the data analysis tool because it wasapplied to find out the data in an objective manner. English Textbooks class 1to 5 will be used to collect data of the present study. It is an important factthat the above textbooks is being read by the majority of the students inPakistan. The social researcher ,publishers, policy makers teachers andtextbook writers will surely find a new vision in the result of this study thatthey should present male and female characters equal in the textbooks so thatour students that are our future ,may not get entangled in gender biasededucation at this immature stage oflife. 3.3 Sample of the Research English Textbooks class 1 to 5will be used to collect data of the present study and the procedure of analysisin order to study gender representation in the textbooks chosen as a sample.
Itis an important fact that the above textbooks is being read by the majority ofthe students in Pakistan. The social researcher ,publishers, policy makersteachers and textbook writers will surely find a new vision in the result ofthis study that they should present male and female characters equal in thetextbooks so that our students that are our future ,may not get entangled ingender biased education at this immature stage of life. 3.4 Research VariableFor this particular study, onlyone variable, “Gender” was selected because the whole research revolved aroundit.
3.5 Analysis of ResearchFor the analysis of Englishtextbooks at primary level class 1 to 5 a technique of content analysis wasapplied to find out the desired data. The following categories were set forcontent analysis. · Presence of Femaleand Male characters. · Jobs /Occupation · Distribution offree time activities. · Adjectives used todescribe the two genders.
· Family rolerepresentations. 3.6 Delimitation of the Study English textbooks class 1to 5, these are fivebooks that the researcher selected for the research purpose. Chapter 4DataCollection and Data AnalysisThe aim of this chapter is the representation of thedata and its analysis.
There are five English textbooks “class 1 to 5” in thecurriculum at primary level approved by Punjab textbook board. The researcherwill be analyzed all the lessons one by one and collected data to explore thefacts according to research questions. Moreover, the researcher will focus on theresearch questions and analyze each and every word of the text to achieve objectivesfor this particular study. Chapter 5ConclusionIn this final chapter of the thesis, the keyfindings will be obtained by the researcher regarding gender representation inEnglish textbook class 1 to 5 at primary level. Content analysis is the majoranalysis tool that was chosen in order to investigate the content of thetextbook .Different categories will be taken for textual analysis.
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