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Activity Sheet 15-B: Gender-Role Observation in a Preschool
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Read the following excerpt from a conversation overheard in a preschool setting. Then write your interpretation of what is going on in the incident based on the theories and research concerning cognitive factors in gender-role development.

Matthew:    Teacher, teacher (waving his hand excitedly).

Teacher:    Yes, Matt?

Matthew:    You'll never guess where I'm going today. I am going to Kansas City to see my grandmother. My mom said I could pack my backpack with toys for the trip.

Teacher:    That sounds like fun. I hope you have a good time.

Matthew:    I will have to pack lots of toys. I'm going to put lots of stuff in my back pack. My mom says I can take my Barbie Dolls!

Carlos:    (with a quizzical look) You play with Barbie Dolls?

Harvey:    Is that all you're going to take? Why do you want them?

Matthew:    My mom says I can take whatever I want.

Carlos:    That's weird. I'd take my turtles. (Carlos and Harvey begin laughing and looking at Matthew)

Lakecia:    (has been watching the whole exchange)You guys are making fun of Matthew. If he wants to take Barbie dolls I guess that's okay.


Use the cognitive theories described in the text to explain this conversation and predict how it will influence Matthew’s future behavior.

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