Gender and Technology: How to Avoid Reproducing Gender Stereotypes in Technology Education in Primary and Secondary School?

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Abstract

In 2018 the Danish government launched a national initiative to introduce technology as a separate subject of the Danish curriculum in primary and secondary education. Despite the large amount of research literature which shows how gender stereotypes impact children and adolescence’s approach to technology, the initiative does not consider gender in the curriculum design.
Research has also shown that gender stereotypes are often reproduced in the educational setting. If gender is not considered when introducing technology as a subject in the curriculum, there is a risk that the students’ and teachers’ gendered approaches to technology might be reproduced as well.
The purpose of this research project is to follow four groups of students in key stages 3 and 9, who participate in the national initiative. The main questions of the research project are:
1)How do students’ constructions of gender influence their approach to technology?
2)How does the didactic framing impact or challenge the reproduction of gender stereotypes?
Analytically, the research project has two focuses: 1) The students’ gender codes in relation to technology and 2) the pedagogical practices, including the curriculum, and the division of labor in controlling the social and discursive order in the classroom.
Theoretically, the project is inspired by Basil Bernstein’s concepts of ‘cultural reproduction’, ‘classification’ and ‘frames’ to understand the interplay between curriculum, pedagogical practices and gender. The research project is designed as a comparative case study to assess differences between the two age groups. The data will be collected in a field study and will primarily consist of observations and interviews.
The data collection takes place in the autumn of 2019, and we would like to present the findings of the data analysis at NERA 2020.
Knowledge about technology and gender is relevant for future education in all the Nordic countries.

Keywords: Gender, technology education, stereotypes, pedagogical practices
Translated title of the contributionKøn og teknologi: hvordan undgår man at reproducere kønsstereotyper i teknologiforståelsesfagene i folkeskolen?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventNERA 2020: Rethinking the futures of education in the Nordic countries - Turku University, Turku, Finland
Duration: 4 Mar 20206 Mar 2020
https://nera2020.fi/

Conference

ConferenceNERA 2020
LocationTurku University
Country/TerritoryFinland
CityTurku
Period04/03/2006/03/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • gender/gender differences

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