Saudi Early Childhood Educators’ Perceptions of Gender Roles in Children’s Dramatic Play

Saudi Early Childhood Educators’ Perceptions of Gender Roles in Children’s Dramatic Play


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Saudi Early Childhood Educators’ Perceptions of Gender Roles in Children’s Dramatic Play

Chapter 4: Findings


This chapter presents the findings of the thematic analysis of the interview responses of the four study participants. The interviews sought to unearth the teacher’s perceptions about gender in young children in a school setting. This study aimed at understanding the Saudi Arabian preschool teachers’ perceptions of the gender roles in children’s dramatic play. To this end, this study sought to answer the question, What perceptions do Saudi early childhood educators hold about children’s gender roles in dramatic play? To answer this question, the study focused on two aspects. Firstly, it focused on the gender perceptions of Saudi early childhood teachers about the gender roles in children during dramatic play. Secondly, it focused on how the teachers responded to the current move in Saudi government policies that promote the different thinking about gender in the Saudi context and the relevant policy changes that may be needed.  

After conducting two interview sessions with each participant, several overarching themes emerged, which provided insights into the teachers’ perceptions and the underlying social and cultural nuances. These themes are, i) the role of dramatic play center, ii) social construction of gender roles, iii) traditional view of the gender roles, iv) acceptance of biologically compatible roles in children’s play, the role of family, v) society, religion and culture, and vi) the transformation on traditional gender role practices. Each of these themes is conceptualized and contextualized using the diverse perspectives presented by the four study participants. Thereafter, the sociocultural perspectives of each of the four study participants are presented using the three lenses provided in the sociocultural theory advanced by Barbara Rogoff. Specifically, the thematic areas for each of the study participants are discussed from a personal, interpersonal and cultural dimension to provide a wholesome understanding of the participants’ perspectives (Edwards, 2006).

Theme 1: The Role of Dramatic Play Center

This theme is related to the understanding that the teachers had on, a) what a dramatic play center is, b) what its role in the classroom in the classroom is, and c) what was the teachers role in the dramatic play center. The guiding interview questions that helped unearth this theme included:

  1. What does dramatic play mean to you?
  2. Please tell me a little bit about a dramatic play center in your classroom.
  3. In your classroom, how do boys and girls play in dramatic play? What do you think about their play?
  4. What do you think the reasons are for children to choose particular roles in dramatic play?

The code words in the narrative analysis that indicated the participants’ perceptions and understanding of what the dramatic play center was are active learning center, facilities for children, and dramatic play center has two sections. The participants revealed that they understood what a dramatic play center was by describing it as a facility or section created in class to facilitate play or as an active learning center within the classroom setting. For instance, participants 1, 3 and 4 used the terms “fixed center” and “accompanying center” to describe the dramatic play center in their classrooms. In addition, participants 2, 3, and 4 described the dramatic play center further as having two sections, which included a “house part” and an “accompanying section” (participant 2) or a “fixed corner” and a “variable corner”  (participant 3 and 4).

The participants described the role of dramatic play center using terms, such as creativity, revelation of children’s personality, expression of embodied feelings, freedom is granted to children. In other words, the participants appeared to understand that the dramatic play center facilitated play as a learning process among children in the classroom. Therefore, children used this center to develop their creativity (participant 1), reveal their personalities (participant 1), display their feelings, (participant 4), explore new things (participant 1), and assume different roles in the real-life context, such as grocer (participant 2), baker (participant 3), and doctor, nurse, pharmacist, patient (participant 4). Some participants also revealed that they understood the usefulness of the dramatic play center to the teacher, using statements like, “the dramatic play of children helps me as a teacher to discover children’s problems” (participant 4). Besides, some participants indicated they understood their role in the dramatic play center as being that of “to supervise and ensure their [children] safety” (participant 2) and grant “freedom to enter the learning center” (participant 3).

Theme 2: Social Construction of Gender Roles

This theme is related to the understanding that gender is a socially-constructed concept and therefore, gender roles are defined by the society. The participants were asked the following questions to help unearth their perspectives of gender as a social construct.

  1. What do the words “man” and “woman” mean to you?
  2. When you hear the word “man”, what do you think of it?
  3. When you hear the word “woman”, what do you think of it?
  4. What do the words “male” and “female” mean to you?
  5. Do you mean that a man is a male and a woman is a female?
  6. Please clarify what you mean by this?

The code words and statements in the narrative analysis that indicated the perceptions of the participants on gender roles as social constructions included: dependency on each other, biological and social division, social roles according to biological features, the behavioral basis of character, development of behavior and personality, role models in the family, uninfluenced interest of children, girls cook more than boys, environment influences gender construction, role of the family, children copy roles, behavior changes with age, girls take the roles seriously, while boys switch roles, imitating traditional gender role in games, boys express like men, boys play violent, boys behave like men, and girls copy women roles.

The data from the responses of the participants revealed that the educators understood that gender roles observed in children during dramatic play were constructed socially through the interaction of the children with peers, teachers and the environment in a school setting. For instance, the participants believed that gender roles are clearly demarcated between those of the men and those of the women and these perceptions were passed over to children through observation and verbal guidance. The participants believed that the family and society were significant influencers of the role perceptions acquired and displayed by the children during dramatic play in the classroom. This is demonstrated by the insinuations unearthed in the sentiments of Participant 1 who noted that “the girl always likes to play the role of the mother and the boy always loves to play the role of the father” while Participant 2 felt that “when they [children] play a role, they imitate the mother and father and their children. The girl takes the role of the mother and the boy takes the role of the father”. However, the participants believed that children developed these role identities gradually as they grow up and sometimes, the gender role perceptions changed with increased exposure and experiences, although the outcomes were different in different geographical settings. For instance, Participant 2 said that, “When we are children, our knowledge is codified and based on what we receive from the family, society and school, but when a person grows up, he begins to acquire knowledge from various sources, and this knowledge may affect his way of thinking, perceptions and ideas”. Moreover, participant 1 revealed that the environment had a significant influence of the gender roles displayed by children during dramatic play when she said that, “…In some environments where I have worked, children have a severe sexual bias for their gender… However, in other environments, you see the exact opposite. They don’t have a gender bias and girls and boys play together in all games…”. This sentiments were reinforced by the perceptions of participant 4 who noted that, “children in Makkah are treated only as children without focusing on their gender. While in Arar, a boy from childhood is treated as a man and a girl as a woman and they like to take this role from their childhood” to explain why some children played gender roles strictly and others did not during dramatic play.

Theme 3: Traditional View of the Gender Roles

This theme reflects the perceptions of the educators about the traditional views of the gender roles enacted by children during dramatic play. The main question that helped to unearth the perceptions of the study participants regarding the traditional views on the gender roles displayed by children during dramatic play in class were:

  1. What do you think are the reasons that make children choose certain roles in their dramatic play?
  2. What social traditions and norms did you consider when conceptualizing the appropriate gender roles in children’s play?
  3. From your experience, how does gender may impact children’s play? How does gender impact on children’s dramatic play?
  4. From your perspective, how do you believe children’s roles in dramatic play related to gender?

The narrative analysis codes that helped identify these perceptions included, man is the head and provider of the family, women responsible for raising children, reinforcement of the cultural values, and gender segregation concept.

The responses of the participants indicated that the educators of young children, who are predominantly women, had deeply-entrenched views about the traditional roles of men and women, which were often displayed consistently by their students during dramatic play in the classroom. Notably, the participants perceptions were anchored in the longstanding tradition in the Saudi society about the traditional roles of men and women where adult women were not permitted to interact with strangers [read men] in public spaces, including schools, although children were allowed to interact between gender in the classroom setting. From their perceptions, men and women had traditionally and culturally defined roles. Specifically, the participants viewed men as the heads of their families and were charged with the responsibility of earning, protecting and being guardians of their families, carried more responsibilities compared to women, were financially responsible for the families and therefore, spent their income on the collective needs of their families. The underlying justification of these perceptions were that men were stronger physically and mentally, and more enduring than women, and therefore performed the more physically and mentally demanding jobs in society, such as being doctors. More importantly, the participants articulated their perceptions of the traditional views of women’s roles more elaborately, considering that they were women themselves. For instance, the participants indicated that the women’s role included raising children and serving their husbands and families (Participant 1, 3 and 4), being tender, affectionate, caring and loving to children while monitoring their actions and behaviors (Participant 1, 2 and 3), being responsible for pregnancy and childbirth (participant 4), and not being responsible for the family finances and financial needs regardless of whether they held a job or not (participant 1). Moreover, the participants felt that these traditional gender roles were passed down generation by parents. In this regard, children were socialized on the traditionally accepted roles of men and women in society, and particularly, fathers and mothers in the family.  

Theme 4: Acceptance of Biologically Compatible Roles in Children’s Play

This theme is a reflection of the perceptions held by Saudi preschool educators regarding their level of acceptance of the biologically-compatible gender roles they observed in children during dramatic play. The guiding questions that helped to unearth this theme were:

  1. Do you think that some dramatic play roles are not suitable for boys and girls?
  2. What would you do if the child wanted to play a role generally associated with other gender?
  3. Why do you talk to the parents if the child plays this role for a while?

The narrative analysis codes that helped identify these perceptions included, Tendencies towards the roles matching biological characteristics, physically incompatible roles, defining roles according to biological characteristics, biologically compatible roles are acceptable, playing opposite-sex role is not allowed, children are encouraged to play suitable roles, no opportunity for children to adopt roles not accepted by religion, professional roles are easy to adopt for both genders, discuss with family, ignore gender inclusive play policies, and fears from losing identity.

The analysis revealed that the participants accepted the male and female gender roles that were compatible to the biological distinctions associated with the nature of men and women respectively. These perceptions were closely associated with the social, cultural, and religious norms that were deeply entrenched in the Saudi society and indicated that the educators strived to adhere to these longstanding norms. In this regard, the participants indicated that male and female gender roles were dictated by their appropriateness and conformity to the physical and mental characteristics of men and women respectively, as held by the Saudi society. The participants’ perceptions were projected to the children through supervision of activities during dramatic play in the classroom. For instance, participant 3 opined that:

In general, girls tend to play roles that emulate their feminine nature and interests, such as mother, hairdresser or beauty roles. While boys tend to have roles that show their strength and leadership roles, such as playing the role of a policeman or a firefighter, they like to play these two roles a lot.

This indicates that the participants believed that the gender roles of men were distinctly different from those of women, and that the educators agreed with the Saudi tradition, which dictated that the reversal of male and female roles should be discouraged in children. The physical incompatibility of the gender roles displayed by children are well captured in the sentiments of Participant 1, who noted that:  

when children’s dramatic play is about the medical clinic, the boy cannot play the role of a pregnant woman, or when they play as a family, he cannot play the role of a mother who breastfeeds her child or wears clothes for girls because this is considered as copying to women. And the girl is also not suitable to play the role of a father, wear a man’s clothes, or imitate a man’s voice

Participant 4 echoed similar sentiment when she explained that, “gender roles are the actions, behaviors and appearance which must be consistent with their biological nature as male or female”. Similarly, Participant 3 argued that, “I prefer that the boy and the girl play roles that do not conflict with their biological characteristics, and the male side of the boy and the female side of the girl must be strengthened”. These sentiments further reinforced the notion of the strongly-held perception that gender roles must be consistent with the biological nature of men and women.

However, the participants revealed that they experienced some dilemmas is dramatic play supervision when children tried to enact roles that were opposite to their gender and sex. In such occasions, the participants tended to discourage children from playing opposite sex roles and referring these tendencies to the children’s parents to avoid violating the family philosophy, which was take to be more important and superior over the teachers’ education philosophy. For instance, participant 3 argued that,

If a boy came to me and asked to play the role of the mother, I would try to direct him at the beginning to play another role, such as playing the role of the old man or the driver, and if he had insistence on playing this role, I would allow him to play the role without seriously taking on the role

When met with a similar dilemma, Participant 4 explained that:

I will not give children any opportunity to try such these roles because in our religion, ‘it is forbidden for men to imitate women, and it is forbidden for women to imitate men.’ Therefore, children must be taught these rules and limits from a young age.

Moreover, the participants revealed that they were concerned that children may experience identify ambiguity and even loose their identity if they enacted opposite gender roles in dramatic play for an extended period. For example, participant 3 explained that:

It is necessary to enhance their gender identity as a boy or a girl. Because I think that role-playing related to the opposite sex may confuse their ideas about their gender identity while they are in the process of forming this identity

The participants also revealed that when confronted by children that enacted opposite gender roles extensively or met several requests to enact such roles by the children during dramatic play, they often referred to parents. For example, Participant 1 noted that:

I saw that he continued to play this role for a long time, I will speak with his or her family to find out the reasons that make him or her wants to play this role and discuss with them on how to solve this problem

However, the perceptions of strictly segregated gender roles held by the teachers changed when dealing with professional roles and how they were enacted by the children during dramatic play. The participants indicated that they did not associate all professional roles to gender and therefore would allow boys and girls in their classes to enact these roles during dramatic play without directing them on which roles were suitable to their gender or physical characteristics. For instance, Participant 1 argued that:

The professions (careers), I think that all roles are appropriate for both boys and girls, because the occupational clothing is uniform, as it is appropriate for both men and women, and occupational role-play is appropriate for both girls and boys

Nonetheless, some participants indicated that they believed that some professional roles were gendered and therefore their enactment during dramatic play should be reserved to their respective genders. In this regard, Participant 3 revealed that she held the perception that hair dressing and teaching were female occupations while firefighters and police work was reserved for men. 

Theme 5: The Role of Family, Society, Religion and Culture

This theme illustrates the perceptions held by the participants regarding the role of the family, society, religion, and culture in influencing the gender roles displayed by children during dramatic play. This theme was elucidates by the question: What social traditions and norms have you thought about when developing your perceptions of appropriate gender roles in children’s play? The thematic analysis codes that were associated with this theme included, the origin of gender roles perceptions, religion forbids certain gender roles for opposites, the role reversal is associated with shame, children are brought up according to socially accepted practices, the biological contradiction of the role is criticized, the society accepts appropriate gender roles, gender roles shaped by the cultural perceptions, role of man remains to provide (from teachers’ perceptions), and women is still responsible for raising children (from teachers’ perceptions).

The findings of the thematic analysis indicated that the family, society, social norms, values, and customs played a critical and primary role in influencing the educators’ perceptions of the gender roles beliefs they held and these beliefs were displayed by children during their dramatic play in class. The educators also revealed that they felt that these perceptions were reinforced in children through their upbringing, which influenced the children’s’ perceptions and displays during dramatic play. The educators felt that the Saudi culture and the Islamic religion were the main sources of such norms, which were transmitted to children through their upbringing as a critical socialization moment. For instance, Participant 3 responded that, “For raising children, through what I learned from my family and my society, I see that the responsibility of raising kids is still the part of the woman”.

Theme 6: The Transformation on Traditional Gender Role Practices

The narrative analysis unearthed this theme as an indication that the Saudi society was undergoing some fundamental transformation in its traditional gender role practices. The questions that helped to reveal the perceptions held by the participants regarding this theme were:

  1. How would you feel if the Ministry of Education made gender policies that support gender inclusion in play, so boys and girls can play whatever role they want in dramatic play? With regard to that, do you think in 2020 we have been thinking differently about gender roles since ten years ago?
  2. How do you respond to current moves in Saudi policies that Saudi government has implemented to think differently in terms of how you see gender roles in the Saudi context? In what way do your response to these changes make you think differently about the gender roles of boys and girls in dramatic play?

The thematic analysis codes that helped indicate the presence of these perceptions among the participants included, the mindset changed over time, with the passage of time the gender roles in children’s dramatic play are changing, gender mixing was not appropriate, limited work spaces for women in Saudi kept them limited, at present women have entered into various fields with competencies, men role is not much changed, and the [man’s] role as breadwinner. From the sentiments of the participants, it was evident that they believed that despite the ongoing transformations in the mindsets of the Saudi society, which had been facilitated by education and government policies, many gender roles of men and women had not changed much from their traditional orientation. Specifically, the participants revealed that they still believed that men were the breadwinners of their families and therefore were charged with the financial responsibilities and that gender segregation was still widely practiced in the country as an indication of the deeply-entrenched Saudi culture. However, the participants indicated that they had witnessed some fundamental shifts in gender roles, with men and women embracing some opposite sex roles as indicated in their family practices and professional occupations. For instance, Participant 1 explained that:

Yes of course, our thinking changed a lot. In the past, Saudi women had certain and very limited roles because the scope of work was limited for them. Whereas now, with the opening of the field of work for women, even the society’s view has changed a lot regarding the roles of the men and women in general and the role of women in particular, and society has begun to look at jobs that criticize and reject the entry of women in them previously, as they are acceptable to women now

Similarly, Participant 2 provided a snippet into the changing beliefs among the Saudi educators by revealing that:

With my current thinking about gender roles, I have multiple roles and my role is not limited to being a mother or wife. I have come to think that girls and boys have the same abilities and skills, so all of them are able to play any role they want in dramatic play

The influence of the Saudi policies on the perceptions of the participants was evident as was revealed by the sentiments of Participant 3, who indicated that:

Yes, of course, these current moves in Saudi policies have changed my thinking about gender roles. The closest example is a woman driving a car. I thought that this role was specific to men and it was impossible for women to take this role. When I lived in Kuwait, I used to view women who drive the car with criticism. Now with the new vision and policies in Saudi Arabia, I have come to see that driving a car is one of the important roles for women and appropriate for both men and women. In the past I thought that some areas of work did not suit women and that they only fit men, however, now I see them appropriate for both of them. Now society and people have developed and their outlook differed about the idea of gender mixing and they thought that there may be more positive aspects than negative ones in gender mixing

These changing perspectives in the educators were revealed in the participants’ responses regarding how they supervised dramatic play of children in their classrooms. The participants indicated that they had become more tolerant to the display of opposite sex roles by children during dramatic play, particularly when they were role-playing different professions. For instance, participant four explained this by stating that:

Previously, I did not like the girl to play the role of the policeman because I always thought that this role contradicted her characteristics as a female. But now, with the opening of the space for women to join the military sectors, my view has changed completely, and I have come to see it is possible that the girl plays this role in dramatic play and she may take this role in the future. Also, in the past, I was not encouraging boys a lot to play the role of a tailor or a cooker, because we were seeing sewing and cooking as women’s fields in the past. Now, my perception of such roles has changed and I think they are no longer limited to women. Now, with the new Saudi policies, all fields have become for both gender, so we should not assign children specific roles to play in the dramatic play center

Findings on Educators’ Perceptions of Gender Roles from a Sociocultural Theory Lens

In the previous section, the research findings were presented according to the research question. The section concentrated on the major themes concerning the perceptions of Saudi early childhood educators on gender roles that are enacted by children during dramatic play in class. In this section, attention is directed towards the presentation of the same findings from a socicocultural perspective using the three dimension analytical approach advanced by Barbara Rogoff in her sociocultural theory. The perceptions of the four educators that participated in the study are presented under the personal dimension, interpersonal dimension, and cultural dimension. To commence the presentation of findings, the background of the participants is described because it has a bearing on how the participants have been socialized on the gender roles and how they interpret them when viewed from the dramatic play of the children in their classes. Thereafter, the findings are presented under the individual to contextualize the personal dimension, the individual participant’s interaction with others, including professional peers, and children and their families to contextualize the interpersonal dimension, and the cultural-institutional influences on the individual participants to contextualize the cultural dimension. 

Personal Dimension

The personal dimension of the gender role perceptions of the Saudi early childhood educators addresses the individual participant and the perceptions held emanating from their teacher training and classroom realities when supervising the children’s dramatic play in their classrooms. Briefly, Participant 1 was originally from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She is 29 years old. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She was a preschool teacher with total of 5 years teaching experience. She taught two years in kindergarten in private school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and three years in a preschool in public school in Arar, Saudi Arabia. For her knowledge about gender, she took one course during her undergraduate studies on gender roles, so she had a background on the research topic. Participant 2 was originally from Aljouf, Saudi Arabia. She is 28 years old. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and completing her master degree in the same field. She has a total of four years in teaching preschool in Arar, Saudi Arabia. As her master thesis interest is about the issues of child social-emotional development, she has a significant background in gender and gender roles topics. Participant 3 was originally from Arar, Saudi Arabia. She is 28 years old. She has a bachelor degree in early childhood education with a total of three years teaching experiences in a preschool in Arar, Sauai Arabia. She did not have any background in gender and gender roles topics. Participant 4 was originally from Makkah, Saudi Arabia. She is 31 years old. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She taught one year in kindergarten and four years in preschool with a total of five years teaching experiences in different cities in Saudi Arabia. She has previously taken courses on the topic of gender; however, she only has a general background on the topic of gender and gender roles. Altogether, the participants were well-versed with gender and gender roles from their teacher training backgrounds and displayed these perspectives during their supervision of their children’s dramatic play.

The participants’ viewpoints have several commonalities, such as the need to have dramatic play centers in the classroom to facilitate play as an integral learning component and that the roles of boys and girls were modeled along those of the Saudi men and women, which the children enacted during their make-believe play (Bodrova & Leong, 2015). In this regard, the findings indicated that the educators believed that the dramatic play centers were important in the classroom because enabled them to direct the children’s dramatic play through their knowledge about rules and norms, cultivating acceptable ways of interacting, and inculcating boundaries that dictated the socially acceptable behavior (Koivula & Hännikäinen, 2017).

Although the participants believed that the Saudi society’s culture and Islam influenced the entrenched gender roles, which they transmitted to the children during their dramatic play, they were cognizant of the changing perceptions about these gender roles within the contemporary Saudi society. In this regard, the individual educators believed that the dramatic play centers provided an appropriate social setting through which culturally-organized activities could be organized for and acted out by the children (Schneider & Evans, 2008). In addition, they agreed that the dramatic play centers should have two sections that were equipped with culturally-acceptable artifacts that reflected the different gender roles that the children were to enact during dramatic play. Therefore, the dramatic play centers facilitated the application of theory that the educators had acquired during their education and teacher training in practical or practice circumstances in the classroom (Kilinc, et al., 2016).

Moreover, the findings indicated that the Saudi society has influenced the way the educators participated in directing children’s dramatic play in their classrooms. Specifically, the educators used the dramatic play centers to direct socially and culturally appropriate play and enactment of the widely-accepted gender roles. This conforms to the notion advanced by Rogoff about participatory appropriation in which the educators participated actively in transmitting and confirming the gender roles that the children enacted in dramatic play (Schneider & Evans, 2008). Therefore, the educators’ activities were indicated of the level of interconnectedness with their gender role belief systems and personal interpretation of these roles and pedagogy (Murphy, Hall, & Soler, 2008). However, it emerged in the analysis that the teachers that had a longstanding teaching experience were better able to translate theory into practice and leverage their experience in guiding the children’s dramatic play.  

Interpersonal Dimension

The interpersonal dimension of the thematic analysis is embodied in the interrelationships between participants and in their individual differences that are evidenced in the manner in which they guided children’s dramatic play in the classroom. From another perspective, this dimension can be analyzed through the participatory appropriation perspective advanced by Rogoff, in which individual educators can transform their perceptions and understanding of and responsibility for the activities they and the children undertake through their involvement (Kirk & Jay, 2018). In this case, the educators were all females and therefore, shared a common perspective about gender roles and particularly their roles as teachers, which was a traditionally reserved profession for women in Saudi Arabia. This sentiment was illustrated by participant 1, who noted that, “My role as a woman is to provide care and affection”, which can be construed to be the role of early childhood educators in the Saudi Arabian context.

Similar perspectives are evident in the manner in which the teachers perceived how the children socially constructed their knowledge about gender roles during dramatic play. The educators perceptions of gender roles displayed by children and advocated by parents indicated that their gender role knowledge was influenced by observing the children and discussion with their parents. This has been referred to as “knowledge-of-practice” in which knowledge can be socially constructed by peers, children, parents, academic theorists and the community around the educators in this study ().

Cultural Dimension

The cultural dimension of the thematic analysis of the educators’ interview responses underscore the cultural-institutional influences of their perceptions of the gender roles displayed by children during dramatic play in their classrooms. Specifically, this dimension illustrates how tradition, culture, religion and other institutions and have influenced the educators approach towards dramatic play of their children in the classroom (Ebadi & Gheisari, 2015). The thematic analysis indicated that the Saudi tradition, Arabic culture, Islamic religion, and government policy has a significant influence on the educators perception of culture and power related to the gender roles. The analysis indicated that cultural tools, such as language (verbal and nonverbal), cultural artifacts placed at the dramatic play centers, and the daily realities lived by the educators and children entrenched the nuanced assumptions and beliefs about sex roles enacted during the children’s dramatic play. 

Chapter Summary

The findings revealed the perspectives of the Saudi early childhood educators relating to the gender roles displayed by the children during dramatic play. The individual educator’s education and training, interactions with peers and parents, and the Saudi culture and government institutions, such as the Ministry of Education’s policy on inclusive learning, influenced these perceptions significantly.


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