ERIC Number: ED271103
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Closing the Gender Gap: Girls and Computers.
While 15 years ago only a few schools had microcomputers, today a majority of public schools have some computers, although an adequate number of computers for students to use is still in the future. Unfortunately, statistics show that, in many states, a higher percentage of male students are enrolled in computer classes than female; boys seem to be forging ahead in every computer-related field except word processing, a traditionally female skill. However, the problem is not lack of female interest in computing; there are a multitude of forces operating in our culture that discourage girls from using the computer at the same time that other sociological forces reinforce computer use by boys. Girls frequently see computer courses as hard and/or somehow related to mathematics and the computer as a complicated machine. Elementary teachers can overcome this fear by allowing their female students to inspect the inside of a computer to see that there is really very little there. Another method of ensuring more female participation in comptuing activities is to provide more role models; students should see their teacher (female) making small repairs on the computer, redoing programs that have flaws in them, writing her own programs, networking with other computer users, using modems, etc. Administrators and teachers are advised to examine their schools, its courses, and its software purchases to determine whether the computer services are appropriate and equitable for both boys and girls. (JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Administrators; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Florida Instructional Computing Conference (Orlando, FL, January 21-24, 1986). For abstract proceedings of the conference, see IR 012 176.