Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Women in Engineering
Women of all ages underestimate their abilities in math and science. This paper presents evidence that girls are awesome at math and science, and they make great engineers. This paper focuses on data that suggest women underestimate their math and science abilities, and suggests that women are actually good at math. At every age, women believe they are worse at math than they are, and also that they are worse than their male classmates. Women are also victims of a stereotype threat that has been reproduced in many studies. Even when women are given equal opportunities to men, they tend to self-select and decide that they aren’t as good at math as men and choose not to pursue engineering as a field of study. This paper explores some of the causes of this phenomenon, as well as ideas for reversing the trend, beginning in early childhood and continuing through high school. The antecedents of this skewed perception go back to childhood, and the author presents original data indicating that family of origin configuration can be a predictor of choice of college major, especially for women choosing engineering as their major. Data also shows that high school girls outperform high school boys in several measures of math attainment, and yet remain convinced that boys are better at math. This underestimation of ability leads to few women pursuing engineering, and a perennial under-representation of women in the field. The author integrates the finding from studies that indicate self-perception of ability, rather than ability itself, is the main barrier to women when it comes to studying engineering and physical science.
Northrup, A. K., & Burrows, A. C. (2020, June), "I'm Not Good at Math," She Said. Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33962
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