„I would like to be the Bomb guy!“: analysis of pre-school children’s media favorites and their possible use in value education and gender-sensitive education

Andra Siibak, Kristi Vinter

The article is based on focus group inter- views with pre-school children conducted in the fall of 2010 and will discuss the media favourites of 5-7 year-olds and the ways in which these could be employed in media education and gender sensitive education. 

The interviews showed that children’s screen favourites are extremely gender stereotyped: boys like superheroes (Batman, Superman, Bakugan, Transformers), while girls’ favourites are pretty princesses, fairies and cute animals. It was also revealed that children are eager to emulate the behaviour, emotions, attitudes and activities of their favourites, bringing what they have seen on the screen into the daily life of pre-school through a social imitation game. 

On the basis of the results of the study we believe that children’s media favourites provide useful material for gender sensitive and value education. We believe that phenomena seen in popular culture can be successfully used in pre-school education and make suggestions for how children’s media favourites can be used to teach children not just analytical thinking and the skill of analysing media messages, but also how to be a human being more broadly.