Does culture intersect with gender of the child in mothers' guidance of preschoolers' puzzle solving?

October 2012
International Journal of Pedagogies & Learning;Oct2012, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p31
Academic Journal
Adult guidance in socio-cultural contexts was found to promote the development of problem solving abilities in young children. In this context, I aimed to explore if mothers' guidance across cultural groups was varied by the gender of the child in a collaborative puzzle solving context, using selected groups of Anglo-Australian and immigrant Indian communities. Fourteen Anglo-Australian and eight immigrant Indian mothers' interactions with their preschool aged male and female children in a puzzle solving context were videotaped to examine intersections of culture with the gender of the child in their guidance. The conclusions of the Χ² analysis are mothers' verbal guidance and volitional control did not vary as a factor of the child's gender. In contrast, there were variations in the mothers' regulation of puzzle solving and nonverbal guidance provided to children. As immigrant Indian mothers promoted interdependency, Anglo-Australian mothers promoted independence in guiding their male children's puzzle solving. The implications of the results are that educators need to understand culturally or gender based variations in guidance of young children's learning and use that knowledge to promote cultural and gender equity in educational practices.


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