Boys in the club: Exploring positive male archetypes with preschool males

Cory Cooper Hansen, Debby Zambo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Relatively unexplored by research is how young boys transact and respond to literacy experiences during read-alouds. Some teachers perceive boys to be less interested in literacy and to prefer different kinds of stories than young girls. The purpose of this study was to analyze how two groups of preschool boys responded to different texts and how they constructed visions of honorable manhood in their transactions with these texts. Group A (n = 9) heard books with positive male characters, or archetypes, and Group B (n = 10) listened to traditional early childhood favorites. Archetypes elicited slightly less response as measured by meaningful word utterances but encouraged more text-to-text connections revealing the importance of fatherhood and friendship in transaction. Some text features encouraged response typically regarded as undesirable in classroom read-alouds. Results inform early childhood educators of different responses by boys and the researchers suggest books to provide meaningful literacy experiences for young boys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-55
Number of pages16
JournalLiteracy Research and Instruction
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Archetypes
  • Literacy
  • Response to literature
  • Young boys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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