Lost In Translation “Gender and High School Computer Science” – Goode J, Estrella R, & Margolis J – 2006

Lost In Translation “Gender and High School Computer Science” – Goode J, Estrella R, & Margolis J – 2006

(Chapter 3 of Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation – Joanne Cohoon and William Aspray)

Sue Sentance suggested several research papers to me, and this was by far the most useful.

“This chapter presents four themes that suggest some reasons why and how high school female students are — or are not — drawn into the field of computer science through their high school experiences. First, despite the national and local initiatives to “bring schools into the twenty-first century,” researchers discovered that few computer science learning opportunities actually exist at the high school level, especially in schools that serve communities of colour.  Second, they found that notions of relevance play a key role in influencing females’ choices to enrol or not enrol in computer science classes.   A limited and narrow presentation of what computer science is as well as what computer scientists actually do impacts students’ take on how computer science could further their academic and career endeavours. Third, for the female students who do take computer science, researchers observed an accumulation of negative experiences in classroom settings, where greater male technology experience/expertise and female social isolation and insecurity are part of the cultural landscape. Fourth, all of these experiences are then compounded by the way that computer science is motivated and “interpreted” for the students”.

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