ERIC Number: ED387121
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
The Baldwin Effect: A Basis for Sex Differences in Attitudes toward Technology and Science.
Arch, Elizabeth C.
This paper explores alternative explanations for the persistence of difference between girls and boys in their attitudes toward technology and science. Reference is made to data from a project designed to introduce students in a science course to multimedia technology in a manner that would be conducive to encouraging girls as well as boys to become competent and interested, and therefore willing to pursue further opportunities. The project was launched in a suburban high school in the Pacific Northwest, and involved a project-based, cooperative, student-centered biology course. Pre- and post-tests measured student attitudes toward computers and science, prior experience with computers, and students' sense of efficacy in learning the new technology. They also completed the Bem Scale of Masculinity/Femininity. It was discovered that this careful construction of a learning environment still left differences in attitudes between the sexes, raising the question about the meaning of these differences and the efficacy of proposals to attain equality based on possibly incomplete explanations. A model for participation that emphasizes the importance of individual interests and perceptions of abilities is proposed. Data is presented in four tables and one figure. One figure illustrates the model for the relationship between variables predicting continued participation in science and technology. (Contains 49 references.) (Author/MAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).