itwf 06: lecia barker on middle school girls and computing

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(I'm a little worn out, so I'm only blogging a few high points now.)

Lecia Barker discusses things they've found in her research into middle school girls and computing. She talks about the implicit assumptions that college recruiters make about students--that they're "free, rational decision-makers," ignoring the many real-world conflicts and commitments that young women (and men) are struggling with. This is a wise observation, one I've not heard made before.

There's reinforcement of stereotypes in the way recruiters pitch their programs. "In general, people think this is a guy thing...I'm gonna show you that there are things for girls to do, too." (How many men would join a "women's group" just because "there are things for men to do, too," she asks.)

"Snapshot" approach to role models can backfire. They can intimidate the audience, and foster conflict of personal and social expectations. (Good many times have other women told me "I could never balance things the way you do?") Must be relevant to their current lives and projected future.

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This page contains a single entry published on April 3, 2006 1:04 PM.

itwf 06: afternoon presentations by 2004 grant recipients was the previous entry in this blog.

itwf 06: dissemination to and priorities of industry is the next entry in this blog.

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