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ERIC Number: EJ1115911
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2222-1735
Perceptions of Female High School Students on Engineering
Madara, Diana Starovoytova; Namango, Sitati
Journal of Education and Practice, v7 n25 p63-82 2016
There is overwhelming evidence that females are underrepresented in engineering worldwide, and Kenya is not an exception. Recent study at School of Engineering (SOE), Moi University (MU) established that engineering parity ration was found to be 1.68 %, meaning that for every 59 students admitted to MU there was only one student admitted to SOE. Engineering female parity index was found to be 0.0038, meaning that, on average, for 260 female students admitted to MU, only 1 (one) female student was admitted to SOE. Humankind depends on engineers to create new technologies, to find solutions to practical problems and to shape the world that people live in and the future they rely on. Yet young people have little or no perception of engineering and the understanding they do have is all too often confused with other careers, such as science. The perception of engineering as "masculine" and "too hard" is a contributing factor for the female minority in engineering. On the other hand there are very few studies on what high school students think about engineering. In view of the above, this paper will try to fill this gap of information, by exploring teenage girls' perceptions of engineering as a subject for study and as a potential career choice. Furthermore, it will attempt to raise awareness about and improve the image of engineering, by providing fused notion of engineering to the potential broad audience of this paper. The study is significant and essential for deeper comprehension on the subject matter, and for proposing and designing effective strategies to increase females' representation in engineering. Quantitative and qualitative methods have been used in this study. The researchers designed, administered and analyzed a 21-question questionnaire addressed to 100 female students at secondary school in Eldoret, Kenya (at their Form Four-final year of study). Qualitative Data Coding Techniques were applied to interpret the collected data. In addition, "Draw an Engineer Test" (DAET) was included as one of the questions in the questionnaire. The purpose of the test is to have students describe their perception about engineers via drawn responses. Each picture was analyzed for the images and artifacts contained in the drawings. The study established that majority of female pupils have a fairly good idea of what engineering is and they generally have a positive attitude towards it. The rest of the students, however, perceived engineering as largely dirty and noisy manual-work. To help changing that misconception, this study proposed several recommendations. The most important ones are: In order to attract much more females into engineering, both stereotypes (Engineering and Gender) should be challenged and, in the long run, changed; To make engineering a core-subject, differentiated from science, in the Secondary Schools educational curriculum; To offer students freedom of choice of future career, providing exposure to various career alternatives; and finally, students should choose a career that matches one's personality.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kenya
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A