New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
The benefits and relative effectiveness of single-gender education are still unclear and more research is necessary before strong conclusions can be formed. Results of previous evaluations comparing aspects of female-only summer enrichment programs to equivalent mixed-gender programs has shown female-only programs to be particularly effective in educating young girls about engineering and positively influencing their perceptions of engineers and attitudes toward engineering as a career. Subsequent evaluations comparing single-gender vs mixed-gender programs including male-only programs had mixed results. The current study is a more rigorous examination of gains in content knowledge and takes a closer look at the issues of self-efficacy, gender equity and qualitative perceptions of engineers using the Middle School Attitudes toward Engineering and Knowledge of Engineering Careers Survey and the Draw an Engineering Test in equivalent post 4th grade female-only, male-only and mixed-gender programs. Previous evaluations included higher-grade programs with some returning students that had already participated in other program(s) so they had some prior knowledge of engineering and had possibly participated in a program of a different gender composition. In addition to comparisons among gains in content knowledge, comparisons between characteristics of students drawing from the Draw an Engineer Test and responses to the Attitudes toward Engineering and Knowledge of Engineering Careers Survey found significant differences among the three gender group programs in terms of self-efficacy and gender attribution of engineers.
Hirsch, L. S., & Berliner Heyman, S. L., & Cano, R. M. (2016, June), Comparisons of a Female-Only, Male-Only, and Mixed-Gender Engineering Enrichment Program for 4th Graders Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26542
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