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How does gendering matter in preschool science : Emergent science, ‘neutral’ environments and gendering processes in preschool

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This article explores gendered processes in preschool science through Barad’s agential realism [2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway. Quantum Physics of the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. London: Duke Universal Press], and as such, the study makes both theoretical and empirical contributions in how it combines perspectives from emergent science [Siraj-Blatchford, J. 2001. Emergent Science and Technology in the Early Years.” Paper presented at the XXIII World Congress of OMEP. Santiago, Chile, August 3], new materialism, and gender theory. Empirically, the study makes use of data constructed during a field study in a Swedish preschool with five-year-old children. The focus of the field study was the children’s play and explorations together with the preschool environment, during activities not specifically guided by teachers. The analysis highlights how the children’s identities and scientific explorations are made possible as well as constrained together with the preschool’s material-discursive environment. As such, the study demonstrates how teachers cannot rely on any environment, activity, choice or subject content to be (gender) neutral.
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Keywords: Emergent science and technology; gender; knowing-in-being; material-discursive; preschool environment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden 2: Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: July 3, 2020

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