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Boys and Girls: Superheroes in the Doll Corner 59130th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226644929
ISBN-10: 0226644928
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Paley has a sharp ear for the rhythm and inflections of childhood. Her vignettes give us a revealing glimpse into children's inner lives, and her discussion of her own discomfort with boys' play and approval of that of girls raises an important issue."
(Psychology Today) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

In Boys and Girls, Vivian Paley has re-created a year of kindergarten teaching in which she explored the differences in the ways children play and fantasize. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 123 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 59130th edition (April 15, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226644928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226644929
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,436,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on May 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Paley continues with her success in capturing the world of her kindergarteners in this treament of gender differences among younger children. She explores the comments made in class, providing the reader with an in-depth look into the kindergarteners' lives and how they see one another, especially in terms of gender. You'll laugh at what the kids have to say and wonder about Paley's observations concerning gender exclusion and segregation, as well as the children's general ideas of what it means to be a boy or a girl.
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Format: Paperback
Paley once again turns out a superb account of her observations as a kindergarten teacher. In "Boys and Girls", Paley focuses her attention on gender. She experiments with changing the way they play and in their P.E. classes. She comes up with some very good points about both the differences and similarities in young boys and girls. Most importantly though, she tells how play is the work of young children and the way that boys and girls approach that work in different matters. While she is speaking about gender issues, she is careful not to over-generalize because there are always exceptions to the rules of a classroom.
Why 4 Stars?: I have always enjoyed Paley's books and her comments about the development of kindergarten children. She truly has a gift for getting inside the minds of 5-year olds. Her books serve as a guide for teachers, parents and any adult who has any interaction with children. Many of her statements can also be applied to adults and the society at large not just her classroom.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up. Vivian Gussin Paley (now retired) is a highly respected child psychologist, and she spent years studying children while at the University of Chicago. This book is a result of her work with kindergarten students, noting how they played, and subsequently how they developed.

She went into her research with the assumption that boys and girls naturally developed similarly, and that it was only because of societal conditioning that they became different - taking on different roles and reacting differently. However, having noted how they were similar at age 3, she was surprised to find that their play actually became quite different during kindergarten. The girls tended to play in the "doll corner," taking on realistic roles, or ones inspired by fairy tales. The boys, on the other hand, tended to play in a loud, raucous manner, often taking on the role of superheroes, movie heroes (such as Luke Skywalker), and other such powerful characters. This is the story of the development of boys and girls, and how their development naturally leads them down different roads.

I must say that I really enjoyed this book. I liked how Ms. Paley worked the stories that the children told into the weave of her narrative, showing how it changed and what it said about the children and where they were at. What I liked even more, is how she presented herself as part of the "story" of the children, her overcoming her preconceived notions, and learning to view the children as they really were.

Overall, I think that this is a fascinating book, one that anyone who is interested in human development should read. I highly recommend this book!
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