An Exploration of the Relationships Between Gender and the Development of Graphic Representation in Children Between the Ages of Five and Thirteen Years.
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The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether there was a relationship between gender and the development of graphic representation in children between the ages of five and thirteen years. A total of 180 children comprising 90 boys and 90 girls from a primary and a preschool in the city of Gweru in Zimbabwe and two teachers from the same institutions participated in the study. Ethnographic strategies were employed in the collection and analysis of data. Data were collected through two drawing tasks, observations, discussions and interviews. The children were given two drawing tasks, an open task to Draw What You Want and a common task to draw My Family at Home. The content, techniques and forms were analyzed to find whether there were patterns in their development for each sex and whether there were similarities between boys and girls at each age level. The content of discussions and interviews held with the teachers and children were analysed for patterns in responses. The findings from the study showed that at five years, both boys and girls used the same techniques and drew the same forms representing the same content. From six years, there were differences in the techniques, form and content. The differences gradually increased as children increased in age. It is concluded that there is no relationship between gender and the development of graphic representation in five year old children but there is a relationship between gender and graphic representation in children between six and thirteen years. Teachers and other children appear to be the agents of "genderisation".