Date of Award/Publication

5-2001

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

Abstract

In this new millennium technology permeates everything we do and see. You cannot work, act, or interact in society without using technology. Who is creating and working with this technology? According to Clark (1990) less than 30% of these technology users are female. Unfortunately, this is mirrored in secondary education as well. For example, here are the enrollment statistics for my drafting and engineering classes for the past four years: 1997-1998 School year - 0 females; 1998-1999 School year - 1 female; 1999-2000 School year - 2 females; 2000-2001 School year - 2 females. Since I have roughly 70 - 80 students a year, the female enrollment is a bit under 2% per year, which is unequivocally unacceptable. For whatever reason, females are being excluded from a large, high-paying field and, in this day when gender equity is a byword, females should be embracing technology, not shunning it. Many studies have been done as to why there is a lack of females in mathematics, science, and, to a lesser extent, technology. These studies look at the many factors that influence the development of females, including parents, peers, teachers, and guidance counselors. After reflecting upon what action I, a teacher of technology, might take to help redress this situation, I am proposing to enlist the aid of female students, and area technology teachers in envisioning a gender-inclusive technology curriculum beginning with a redesigning of the first high-school technology course, Design and Drawing for Production. Changing a course or even a curriculum is not enough in itself. First-year female high-school students' perceptions of the course and the curriculum must also change and this change of perception must take into account how helpful these re-envisioned high-school technology courses will be for accessing the many desirable jobs and careers that females will be filling in the near future.

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