Art has the ability to influence a child's worldview. This analysis looks at how the images in children's books may impact girls' gender beliefs about their future role in society, in particular, in science and engineering. In children's books, the art, not the text, often primarily defines the message (and the effects) according to picture book theory. This paper explored science-oriented (informational) children's books. Such books are focused on "real life" not fiction, and therefore, expose children to future roles and careers. As such, they can combat negative stereotypes before the first critical drop-out point for girls in science, namely before their transition to middle school. This paper did a pictorially-focused mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) content analysis of Sibert and Orbis Pictus award-winning informational (non-fiction) children's books, and used the textual information only as a secondary source for role identification. The analysis found moderate to severe gender bias in both the frequencies of male to female images and in the stereotyping of roles. These findings were in line with current and past research that has focused instead on fictional award-winning books.
|Keywords:||Children's Literature, Picture Book Theory, Content Analysis, Visual Analysis, Stereotypes, STEM|
Graduate Student, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington, Tacoma, Tacoma, WA, USA