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ERIC Number: ED534129
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 152
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-9958-9
ISSN: N/A
The Influence of Female Social Models in Corporate STEM Initiatives on Girls' Math and Science Attitudes
Medeiros, Donald J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
The United States' Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce is growing slower than in the past, in comparison to demand, and in comparison to other countries. Competitive talent conditions require the United States to develop a strong pipeline of STEM talent within its own citizens. Given the number of female college graduates and their underrepresentation in the STEM workforce, women provide the greatest opportunity for fulfilling this need. The term social model represents the individuals and media that shape children's self-perceptions. Social models have been shown to positively influence girl's perceptions of the value of math and science as well as their expectations of success. This study examined differences in attitudes towards math and science among student participants in corporate STEM programs. Differences were measured based on participant gender and ethnicity, their mentor's gender and ethnicity, and program design differences. The research purpose was to inform the design of corporate STEM programs to improve female participants' attitudes towards math and science and eventually increase the number of women in the STEM workforce. Over three hundred students in differing corporate STEM programs completed math and science attitudinal scales at the start and end of their programs. Study results revealed, prior to program start, female participants had a better attitude towards math and science than male participants. Analysis of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study data showed similar results. Overall program results demonstrated higher post program math and science attitudes with no differences based on gender, age, or ethnicity of the participant or mentor. Participants with high program or mentor satisfaction were found to have higher attitudes towards math and science. These results may suggest improving female academic choice requires more focus on their expectations of success than perceived task value. Male attitudes towards women's role in STEM fields may also require attention. Increasing attitudes seems best achieved through ensuring a highly satisfying experience with the program and their mentor. Study results suggest this requires more considerations than simply matching mentor and mentee race or gender. Reliability results of attitudinal scales provided guidance on assessment strategies. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study