A Journey into the Teaching Experience

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Why has the number of girls pursuing computer science degrees diminished?

download (3)This is a very important issue nowadays and a lot of studies are being carried out to try to come up with a solution about why a lot of women are abandoning computer science careers. As Katie Lepi said, “I think that girl`s perceptions are what keeps them back”! They think it is a boy`s job or the nerd factor associated to computing by many young students—which is a wrong mentality and needs to be changes!  We as future teachers should do our best to encourage girls to pursue their career in computer science, by encouraging and motivate them, become their role models, provide immediate feedback, praise their efforts and their abilities and helping them to start believing more in themselves.



3 comments on “Why has the number of girls pursuing computer science degrees diminished?

  1. Seriously Virtual
    October 23, 2013

    This is quite interesting. But how would you as a future teacher try to foster more enthusiasm for computing for girls? If today, you would be teaching Computing to a class of girls what would you do that would attempt to overcome gender-based misconceptions?

    • sarahbuttigieg12
      October 24, 2013

      Fostering enthusiasm amongst students is not an easy task but when achieved I think that it will be the best treat for a teacher. However, this involves a lot of hard work. Girls are afraid of programming more than boys as they think it is more boyish so what I would do in the case of programming for example—the area which discourages them the most, is introducing it to them in the form of games. This can easily be done by using the appropriate software, using simple games which catch their interest most. By this, they would be introduced to the programming world and familiarize themselves with fundamental principles rather than immediately to the coding syntax which they might find difficult and boring. I also think it would be beneficial if they are allowed to work in groups because girls tend to cheer and encourage each other more at tackling a programming issue or exercise, when they work on it together. Giving them examples where computing can be applied in real life situations, so they eliminate any thoughts that computing is just about the physical computer hardware or software, but appreciate it more as a useful subject that we can use in everyday life. Furthermore, with girls we should adopt a creative teaching approach, by using entertainment technology, even videos, and eventually they will understand that computing technology is a creative thing. Maybe computing competitions or extra-curricular activities specifically for girls should be organised by the school even after school hours. This helps them to feel more at ease and happy with the subject and that’s what is our aim—to make them love it. We should be there not just as educators, but as persons where students feel free even to sit and talk privately too. All this will help them change their misconception that computing jobs are not social as some may think. I think that we should dedicate a lot of our time on this issue, trying to come up with the best methods we should adopt, taking in consideration the school policies and the different students you have.

  2. berniceschembri12
    November 16, 2013

    Yes, I think this is quite an alarming problem. And nowadays not only girls are not choosing computer science but also boys. While several years ago there would be 4 classes in each form, today there is only one. Maybe they are not finding it engaging as the way the use it is much more interesting than the lesson. Therefore it is the job of the teacher to find ways that students will enjoy. I liked the examples that you have mentioned.
    Some of the students are also afraid of choosing computer science because they think that if they are not good in Maths, therefore they will not be good in computer. It is the teacher’s job to prove them wrong!

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This entry was posted on October 23, 2013 by in education.
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