The effects of single vs. Mixed gender engineering enrichment programs on elementary students' perceptions of engineers

Linda S. Hirsch, Suzanne L. Berliner-Heyman, Rosa M. Cano, John Carpinelli, Howard S. Kimmel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although there is much debate about the relative effectiveness of single-gender education, previous research comparing aspects of our female-only summer enrichment programs to equivalent mixed-gender programs has shown our female-only programs to be particularly effective in reaching young girls, influencing their perceptions of engineers and attitudes toward engineering as a career. The addition of equivalent male-only programs prompted additional research comparing 1) changes in students' attitudes toward STEM, 2) increases in student learning and content knowledge, 3) classroom climate and students' interactions in the classroom, and 4) students' perceptions of engineers using the Draw an Engineer Test. Results showed significant increases in students' content knowledge in all programs from the beginning to the end of the programs. And although marked differences were found among the different gender grouped programs in terms of classroom climate and student interactions in the classroom, there were no significant differences between the males and females nor where there any differences between single-gender and mixed gender programs in terms of student content knowledge or attitudes toward engineering. However, significant differences were found in students' self-efficacy and perceptions of engineers from pre- To post. In-depth analyses of students' perceptions of engineers from the Draw an Engineering Test were conducted to examine the relationship(s) among students' perceptions of engineering, attributes they assigned to the engineers in their drawing and their responses to specific items on the attitudes toward STEM survey. Significant differences were found among the gender-grouped programs in attributes related to the gender of engineers. Girls in the female-only programs were more likely to change the gender of their engineer from male to female in their pre- To postdrawings. Correlations among the gender equity items on the attitudes toward STEM survey and gender attribution of engineers in students' drawing were also examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2014Jun 18 2014

Other

Other121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education
CountryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN
Period6/15/146/18/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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