ERIC Number: ED455837
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Gender and Computer Education: An Observation of At Risk Girls in Class.
This paper presents results of a 23-day observation of 36 girls in all-girl math and computer classes at a public school's enrichment summer session for at-risk girls. Ages of the students observed ranged from 12 to 18. The students observed came to school with a long history of truancy, from homes where they suffered neglect and abuse. School was not a top priority for them. The same 36 girls were observed in 4 settings: a traditional, teacher-based mathematics class; a computer session that used a computer-aided instruction program for basic math skills; a class where students used to type using a tutoring program; and instruction and use of a spreadsheet program in a computer application class. The class was further split into two groups. One was in the math room for traditional math and computer-assisted instruction for 85 minutes, while the other group was with a different computer lab for typing and Excel. Then, the students had a 10-minute break and switched places. Findings from this observation revealed that this group of at-risk girls valued computers. They did not do well in the traditional school setting, yet they came to school with prior computer experience. They wanted to type. They wanted skills that would translate into a job, and did not value sitting in a class setting listening to a teacher talk and give work. When given a computer to work on, these at-risk girls were willing to listen and spend time in a classroom. The author concludes that it was the computer that changed the girls' behavior. Implications for educators are discussed. (Contains 18 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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