ERIC Number: ED367570
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Women in Science and Technology: The Institutional Ecology Approach. Volume I: Final Research Report.
Byrne, Eileen M.
This document is the final research report of the University of Queensland Women in Science and Technology in Australia (WISTA) project. The report is a policy review study conducted from 1985 to 1990, of the factors that act as critical filters or positive factors that hinder or help women's access to and progression in certain scientific and technological disciplines. The report draws on a major review of published research, specially collected statistical data, and group interviews with professors, deans, and school heads based on a set of discussion papers dealing with the 10 core factors that provided the central theoretical framework of the WISTA project as a whole. These factors are: (1) same sex role models as a positive influence for women; (2) mentors; (3) image of different branches of science and technology; (4) male and female attitudes toward women in "nontraditional" disciplines; (5) single sex versus coeducation; (6) prerequisites and curricular choice as critical filters; (7) math as a critical filter; (8) career education and guidance; (9) women's support networks; and (10) affirmative action intervention. These 10 factors in turn are related to 4 concepts of wider significance, namely: institutional ecology, critical mass, attribution of disciplines as male or female and the constructed style and content of scientific and technological disciplines. The findings and conclusions include such challenges to current received wisdom as: (1) that use of personal same sex role modeling is an ineffective and inappropriate policy mechanism; (2) that mentorship is an influential but still unacknowledged and underestimated policy mechanism in higher education; (3) that a major paradigm shift is needed from examining girls and women to examining the institutional ecology and the ecological niche of disciplines; (4) that single sex school education does not advantage the mainstream of girls in nontraditional science and technology; and (5) that mathematics remains a critical filter, but contains a further filter giving girls a different mathematics profile from boys at grades 11 and 12. (DK)
Descriptors: Females, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Mathematics, Role Models, Science Careers, Sciences, Secondary Education, Social Science Research, Technical Education, Technology
Eileen M. Byrne, Department of Education, University of Queensland, QLD 4072, Australia ($25 Australian).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; Women in Science and Technology in Australia
Note: For volumes 2 and 3, see SO 023 720-721.