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ERIC Number: ED514515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 120
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-7752-2
Laptops and the Gender Gap: An Investigation of a High School Core Curriculum Program
Wade, Melanie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine and University of California, Los Angeles
Girls and women continue to be underrepresented in high school Advanced Placement computer science courses, undergraduate and graduate computer science programs at colleges and universities, and engineering programs and related careers. This is not to suggest that public schools train students to fulfill specific job needs, yet it is evident that the technology gender gap results in unequal educational opportunities in the acquisition of computer skills necessary to pursue higher education in technical fields. This study examines how the use of laptop computers in core curriculum classes at a large suburban high school in southern California has affected female students' learning processes, attitudes, and aspirations; the investigation considers how the characteristics of female as compared with male students relate to their ongoing participation in education and careers and the role of technology therein. The study investigates students' attitudes and experiences in a voluntary specialized program for which laptop computers are provided by the families of students. The study highlights such issues as the level of computer skills among students upon entering the Laptop Program; the Laptop Program's effectiveness in increasing computer literacy, academic achievement, and awareness of careers; the level of administrative commitment to gender equity in the Laptop Program; and the role of teachers in a core curriculum laptop program. Much of the prior research on the gender gap in computing has utilized survey design methodology to present the need for increased outreach to female students and ongoing teacher professional development conducive to full student participation in acquiring pertinent technical and academic skills. The mixed method case study approach utilized in this investigation enhances survey data with class observations, personal interviews, focus group discussions, and student online reflections to provide a deeper and richer insight into students' attitudes and aspirations in the context of a school laptop program. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A