A gender-specific, brochure-based intervention for improving boys' and girls' engineering stereotypes and academic self-perceptions

Matthew D. Didonato, Amy Johnson, Martin Reisslein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The low interest in pursuing engineering among students in the US, particularly among girls and women, endangers the sustainability of this technology-based society. Although large-scale interventions are important, there is still a need for low-cost, short-term interventions that can be implemented easily and efficiently. The authors developed two brief engineering-related brochures, one for male students and the other for female students, highlighting the importance, breadth and appeal of engineering careers. Although similar, the brochures differed in their information delivery, with the boys' brochure providing only pertinent information and the girls' brochure including subtle wording changes that emphasised the students' role in the engineering community. The effects of these brochures were examined in relation to students' engineering stereotypes and academic self-perceptions. The results showed that the brochures significantly decreased negative engineering stereotypes and significantly increased engineering-related self-efficacy, utility and interest, particularly, when male and female students were exposed to gender-congruent brochures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal Journal of Engineering Education
Volume16
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Early intervention
  • Gender
  • Primary school
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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