This thesis looks at gender role stereotyping in children's literature and how those stereotypes may be transferred to students from books and teachers reading books during story-time. It specifically explores how teacher-student interactions during story-time may teach students to "abide by" the traditional/stereotypical gender roles presented in the books and by the teacher. This is accomplished by using social learning theory and symbolic interaction theory to explain how children learn about gender roles and what role story-time interactions between students and teacher play in children's gender knowledge development. Story-time observations in four different classrooms and interviews with the teachers were conducted and analyzed. Results showed that the teachers have stereotypical views and beliefs concerning gender roles and that they in effect, however unintentionally, transfer those beliefs to their students during story-time. Other patterns, including students beliefs and teaching methods/interaction techniques are discussed. Further research is suggested, with recommendations of using a larger sample and doing a longitudinal study.


Fitz Gibbon, Heather

Second Advisor

Horowitz, Sheryl


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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