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ERIC Number: EJ1076940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0899 3408
Outreach Programmes to Attract Girls into Computing: How the Best Laid Plans Can Sometimes Fail
Lang, Catherine; Fisher, Julie; Craig, Annemieke; Forgasz, Helen
Computer Science Education, v25 n3 p257-275 2015
This article presents a reflective analysis of an outreach programme called the Digital Divas Club. This curriculum-based programme was delivered in Australian schools with the aim of stimulating junior and middle school girls' interest in computing courses and careers. We believed that we had developed a strong intervention programme based on previous literature and our collective knowledge and experiences. While it was coordinated by university academics, the programme content was jointly created and modified by practicing school teachers. After four years, when the final data were compiled, it showed that our programme produced significant change to student confidence in computing, but the ability to influence a desire to pursue a career path in computing did not fully eventuate. To gain a deeper insight in to why this may be the case, data collected from two of the schools are interrogated in more detail as described in this article. These schools were at the end of the expected programme outcomes. We found that despite designing a programme that delivered a multi-layered positive computing experience, factors beyond our control such as school culture and teacher technical self-efficacy help account for the unanticipated results. Despite our best laid plans, the expectations that this semester long programme would influence students' longer term career outcomes may have been aspirational at best.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia