Gender Differences in Attributions and Behavior in a Technology Classroom
Martha Voyles, Alison Williams, Grinnell College, United States
JCMST Volume ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
The attributions that students make to explain their successes and failures have been implicated as being important in affecting their future expectations, outcomes, and decisions and could be part of the reason for the under-representation of women in the fields of computer science and engineering. This study examines the perception of accomplishment, attributions and behavior of fourth- through sixth-grade girls and boys in a technology course where students learned to build simple Lego (registered trade mark) robots and program them using RoboLab (trade mark) software. There were no significant differences in the girls' and boys' assessments of their daily accomplishment or in their attributions for their successes or failures, but the girls' behavior during the course was significantly different from that of the boys in that they asked more questions of teachers and made fewer self-assured statements. Teachers need to be aware of this gender difference and take it into consideration in their instruction.
Voyles, M. & Williams, A. (1981). Gender Differences in Attributions and Behavior in a Technology Classroom. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).