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ERIC Number: EJ844500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1547-9714
Gender and Technology in the Liberal Arts: Aptitudes, Attitudes, and Skills Acquisition
Butler, Terry; Ryan, Peter; Chao, Tracy
Journal of Information Technology Education, v4 p347-362 2005
Studies in gender have offered many reasons for the differing attitudes and skill levels that male and female undergraduate students possess when it comes to learning technology skills. Male and female students have differing learning styles influenced by such experiential factors as biology, historical inequalities, inconsistent political rights, and problems of sociological constructions. Studies such as Clegg and Trayhurn's (2000) in the United Kingdom (UK), Crews and Butterfield's (2003) in the United States, the European Union's (EU) the Women in Technology North West's surveys (2004), and the World Bank's research (2005) demonstrate that the gender gap is a reality when it comes to technology training, in most institutions and countries, both developed and developing. The gender gap persists despite many efforts to curb the effects of institutional and social inequality. However, the gender gap is different in each context and must be contextualized in each situation; in fact, the gender gap as a term conflates several different arguments and may indeed contribute to misunderstandings of the issue. In May 2003, the Technology Edge Research Project completed a major study of undergraduate liberal arts students and their attitudes concerning the technology skills that they have gained during university. This report builds upon the findings of the Technology Edge Research Project's preliminary needs assessment; this research was documented in a previous article in the Journal of Information and Technology Education (JITE) entitled, "Providing a Technology Edge for Liberal Arts Students" (Butler, Chao, & Ryan, 2003). Elaborating on our findings as they specifically related to gender issues, this paper addresses the following research questions: 1) Is there a gender gap between final year male and female undergraduate students when it comes to information technology (IT) skills? 2) What are the differences in attitudes and self-reported skill levels of final year male and female undergraduate students, in both the arts and non-arts? What is the relationship between these attitudes and measured aptitudes? 3) How can educators address these differences, when they develop and deploy materials designed to improve IT skills? (Contains 9 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada