Pakistani pre-primary teachers’ perceptions and practices related to gender in young children

Almina Pardhan, Janette Pelletier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A key area of interest is the way in which early years educators’ perceptions about the concept of gender may influence their practice in relation to how children’s ideas about gender might be supported and reinforced. However, this area has received little attention in the highly gender-segregated context of Pakistan. Understanding evidence-based issues related to gender in Pakistan is thus crucial to overcoming educational barriers. This article explored Pakistani female pre-primary teachers’ perceptions and practices related to gender in the early years. Interview and observation data were collected with seven teachers in one urban, co-education school and were analysed thematically. Results indicated that teachers’ perceptions reflect the complex and multifaceted dimensions of gender within the gradually shifting, but still traditional, cultures of Pakistani society. For the most part, female teachers’ views are rooted in dominant patriarchal ideologies, for example, of boys as active and assertive and girls as passive and quiet. However, in a few instances such as in children’s academic performance and play, their perceptions reflect attempts to push gender boundaries which challenge patriarchal ideologies. Teachers’ gender perceptions have significant implications for young children’s development and understanding of gender roles in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-71
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Perception
  • children
  • classroom
  • gender
  • teacher


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