Promotion of 3–5-year-old girls’ and boys’ physical activity in the outdoor playground of kindergarten, viewed from female and male kindergarten staff’s perspective

Promotion of 3–5-year-old girls’ and boys’ physical activity in the outdoor playground of kindergarten, viewed from female and male kindergarten staff’s perspective

Authors: Bente G. Kvitvær Nordmo

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to qualitatively explore the disparity in the perspectives of female and male staff in promoting physical activity towards 3–5-year-old girls and boys in the outdoor playground of a Norwegian kindergarten. The sample consisted of eight female staff and two male staff members from one kindergarten. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather in-depth insight on their attitudes, thoughts, and actions. The results of the study illustrate a basic agreement that male staff are usually more physical and active with both girls and boys. Further, the results demonstrate that neither the female- nor male staff view promotion of physical activity in a gender perspective. The interviews reveal that both female and male staff intend to treat every girl and boy in the same manner when it comes to promoting physical activity; thus, a surprising result is that they do not seem to be conscious about their own stereotypical attitude and how this may affect the girls and boys when promoting physical activity. The staff members, regardless of their gender, obtain an attitude of learned helplessness because they feel there are not enough adults present in the outdoor playground of the kindergarten.

Journal:
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Year:
2024