Where Are the Girls? Exploring Influences on Female Eighth Grade Public School Students’ Choices of Technology Classes in Texas: A Mixed Method Action Research Study
Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
There is a continuing trend of unrepresented female students in STEM classrooms, particularly in technology courses. There is a focus on the K-12 learning environment to increase the number of female STEM students, which will encourage a growth in participation for females in the STEM field (Sassler, Glass, Levitte, & Michelmore, 2017). The purpose of this study was to increase the number of females students who enroll in technology courses in a public school in Kether Independent School District (KISD). The participants were 66 eighth–grade female students who were enrolled in the College and Career Readiness (CCR) and Technology Applications classes and two eighth grade CTE teachers. An action research study was conducted to answer the research questions investigating; eighth–grade female students’ perceptions about technology courses at KISD, the factors that influence the eighth-grade female students’ choice of technology courses at KISD, and how eighth grade CTE teachers perceive factors influencing eighth-grade female students’ choices of technology courses at KISD.
The data collection instruments included a student survey with open-ended questions, to collect both quantitative and qualitative data as well as semi-structured instructor interview protocols, to explore the educators’ perspectives. Quantitative data was collected in the form of a student surveys and analyzed using JASP software. Descriptive statistics was used to describe quantitative findings. The findings showed that the female participants generally had a positive perception of technology classes. The factor with the greatest influence was peers (M = 3.28, SD = 0.70). Qualitative data was collected in the form of student open-ended survey questions and teachers’ interviews. Inductive analysis was used to locate themes from the open-ended survey questions and teacher interviews. Qualitative findings showed that parental involvement has a large influence on the female participants choice to enroll in a technology course. The study discussed recommendations were made for classroom teachers, students, and district administration to assist in increasing the number of female students who enroll in technology courses.
Colon, S.(2022). Where Are the Girls? Exploring Influences on Female Eighth Grade Public School Students’ Choices of Technology Classes in Texas: A Mixed Method Action Research Study. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/6960