Gender differences in the relationship between oral communicative competence and peer rejection: An explorative study in preschool

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal | Femke van der Wilt, Claudia van Kruistum, Chiel van der Veen, Bert van Oers

This study investigated gender differences in the relationship between oral communicative competence and peer rejection in early childhood education. It was hypothesized that children with poorer oral communicative competence would be rejected by their peers more frequently and that the strength of this relationship would differ for boys and girls. A sample of N = 54 children was tested on the Nijmegen Test for Pragmatics (NPT) to measure their oral communicative competence, defined as their ability to use language appropriately in a particular situation. Further, a sociometric method was used to measure the level of peer rejection and peer acceptance. No relationship was found between oral communicative competence and peer rejection. However, a positive relationship was observed between oral communicative competence and peer acceptance. Interestingly, this relationship only applied to boys. It is suggested that early childhood education teachers trying to enhance peer acceptance should take the promotion of oral communicative competence into account.

Gender differences in adolescents’ out-of-school literacy practices: A multifaceted approach

Computers & Education | Full-text | Asli Ünlüsoy, Mariëtte de Haan, Paul Leseman, Claudia van Kruistum

The present study examined the out-of-school literacy activities of 70 students in 7th grade of prevocational training schools in the Netherlands. Guttmann’s Facet Theory was applied to study literacy as a complex, multifaceted phenomenon. With the increasing influence of digital technologies, the facet design approach was found especially suited to track the many changes occurring in presentation modalities, functions, and productive versus consumptive uses of literacy. The study shows that the facet approach was useful in pinpointing how these shifts in literacy engagement turn out differently for boys and girls. Based on self-reports via an Internet questionnaire, the study shows that girls outscored boys in every aspect of literacy, including computer and Internet based literacy practices. However, while among girls a more balanced profile was found regarding the engagement in traditional and new literacy practices, the boys reported a high preference for the new digital media. Moreover, we found that girls, compared to boys, used new literacy activities more often for educational purposes. The findings suggest that, given this more balanced profile, girls, compared to boys, are less at risk of losing touch with traditional print-based educational literacy in school.