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Gender and grade similarities and differences in elementary school students in language referring to… Jacobi, Darlene Marion 1989

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GENDER AND GRADE SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN LANGUAGE REFERRING TO COMPUTERS AND COMPUTER PROGRAMMES By DARLENE MARION JACOBI B.Ed. (Sec.) The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Curriculum and Instruction) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July 1989 ® D.M. Jacobi, 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT GENDER AND GRADE SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL  STUDENTS IN LANGUAGE REFERRING TO COMPUTERS AND COMPUTER PROGRAMMES A four month q u a l i t a t i v e study was conducted to i n v e s t i g a t e gender and grade s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences i n language; spoken, written and other symbols ( a r t ) , r e f e r r i n g to computers and computer programmes, among elementary school students. The subjects were a heterogeneous i n t a c t grade one c l a s s of twenty-five students and a heterogeneous intact grade six/seven c l a s s of twenty-one students from a small, lower socio-economic school i n a large urban centre in B r i t i s h Columbia. Data was gathered over a period of four months through i n d i v i d u a l and group interviews and, from student responses to broad general questions, in the form of a r t , journal entries and creative w r i t i n g . The study took place i n the classrooms and in the computer laboratory which consisted of f i f t e e n Commodore 64 computers and three p r i n t e r s . Programmes used were LOGO, KIDWRITER and two d i s t r i c t developed programmes, EDITOR (word processing) and MUSIC SHOP. From the analysis of the data clear categories emerged. Findings suggest that: (1) students viewed the world of technology as l a r g e l y a male domain/ (2) students did not view the use of computers as extraordinary but as a normal part of the everyday school experience/ (3) g i r l s were d i s s a t i s f i e d with the l i m i t a t i o n s of the programmes, desiring those which featured the Arts and stressed c r e a t i v i t y / (4) Grade Six/Seven boys d e s i r e d programmes with hi g h l y competitive, video-game formats in Mathematics and S p e l l i n g / (5) boys r e a l i z e d the p o t e n t i a l of the computer to be used to perform aggressive/violent a c t s / (6) Grade One g i r l s desired a computer laboratory environment resembling a spring garden/ (7) Grade Six/Seven g i r l s believed they would be doing word processing as a part of their future jobs/ (8) Grade Six/Seven boys viewed word processing as a tool which would enable them to perform t h e i r " r e a l " careers more ef f e c t i v e l y / a n d (9) Grade One students p r e f e r r e d typing s t o r i e s on the computer to p r i n t i n g them by hand. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i LIST OF TABLES v i LIST OF FIGURES v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i i i INTRODUCTION . . . 1 JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS STUDY 3 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 5 1. Overview 5 2. School-based Gender Equity Issues 9 i . Educat ional Software 9 i i . Peer Pressure 10 i i i . School P o l i c y 11 PROBLEM STATEMENT 13 METHODOLOGY 14 Locat ion and Subjects 14 PROCEDURE 15 Grade One 15 Grade Six/Seven 18 DATA ANALYSIS 20 DATA ANALYSIS RESULTS 21 (1) General At t i tude Toward Computers 22 (2) Names 22 (3) Pronoun Reference 2 5 (4) Laboratory - Atmosphere . . . . . 27 (5) Computer Programmes - School Use 28 (6) Type of Computer - Home Use 32 (7) Programmes/Functions - Home Use 33 (8) Computer Use and Future Plans 35 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 36 V APPENDIX A - l : PICTURE FROM ANIMALIA 48 APPENDIX B - l : A SAMPLING OF DRAWINGS FROM GRADE ONE GIRLS OF THE COMPUTER LABORATORY . 50 APPENDIX B-2: A SAMPLING OF DRAWINGS FROM GRADE ONE BOYS OF THE COMPUTER LABORATORY 54 APPENDIX C - l : A SAMPLING OF DRAWINGS BY THE BOYS IN GRADE ONE OF THEIR IMAGINARY COMPUTERS (WITH WEAPONERY) 58 APPENDIX C-2: A SAMPLING OF DRAWINGS BY THE BOYS IN GRADE SIX/SEVEN OF THEIR IMAGINARY COMPUTERS (WITH WEAPONERY) . . . 61 APPENDIX D-l: HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA ENROLLED IN ELECTIVE COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSES IN APRIL, 1988 65 REFERENCES 66 v i LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1: "My Imaginary Computer" - Name 22 TABLE 2: Picture From "Animalia" - Names of Mice 23 TABLE 2a: Picture From "Animalia" - Names of Main Character in Story, written by Grade 6/7 24 TABLE 3: "My Imaginary Computer - Pronoun Reference 25 TABLE 3a: Picture From "Animalia" - Pronoun Reference 26 TABLE 4: Computer Laboratory Drawings - Atmosphere . . . . . . . 27 TABLE 5: Preferred Tasks: The Computer Programme - KIDWRITER . 29 TABLE 5a: Preferred Symbol Use - KIDWRITER Programme 30 TABLE 6: Preferred Subjects for Proposed School Computer Programmes 31 TABLE 6a: Preferred Method/Style of Operation - Proposed School Computer Programmes 31 TABLE 7: Drawings "My Imaginary Computer" 32 TABLE 8: Main Tasks of "My Imaginary Computer" 33 TABLE 9: Relevancy of Computer Programmes to Future Plans -School and Work 35 v i i LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1 Cartoon from advertisement i n The Vancouver Sun (1989) for the Open Learning Agency 7 v i i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This t h e s i s could not have been completed without the invaluable assistance and cooperation of my thesis advisors, Dr. S. Donn and Dr. J. Gaskell. I would also l i k e to acknowledge and thank Dr. R. Brayne and School D i s t r i c t No. 44 for th e i r interest i n and the time given i n which to do the study; the teachers and students who partici p a t e d i n the s t u d y ; and to M.A. Read. For without her e n t h u s i a s t i c encouragement, support and patience, t h i s thesis would never have reached f r u i t i o n . 1 INTRODUCTION The B r i t i s h Columbia A d v i s o r y Committee on Computers recommended t h a t by 1992, a l l p u p i l s i n the s c h o o l s o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a have a p p r o p r i a t e o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r l e a r n i n g t h r o u g h , w i t h , and a b o u t C o m p u t e r s ( I n t e r i m R e p o r t , 1987, p. 7 ) . The 1990's w i l l , p e r h a p s , be r e c o r d e d i n e d u c a t i o n h i s t o r y books as a t i m e when computers and t h e i r accompanying t e c h n o l o g y f i l l e d o u r s c h o o l s and t r a n s f o r m e d our pedagogy. But as we make p r o v i s i o n i n t h e c u r r i c u l u m t o ensure t h a t s t u d e n t s a r e computer l i t e r a t e and p r e p a r e d f o r t h e " h i g h t e c h " c a r e e r s o f t h e f u t u r e , we must a c h i e v e some a t t i t u d i n a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the ways i n whi c h c h i l d r e n respond t o t h e new t e c h n o l o g y i n o r d e r t o p r o v i d e programmes and e x p e r i e n c e s w h i c h are f r e e o f gender-based i n e q u i t i e s , be they i n p o l i c i e s o r p r a c t i c e s . R e s e a r c h e r s i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s r e p o r t t h a t the w e l l documented u n d e r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of f e m a l e s i n h i g h s c h o o l , c o l l e g e and u n i v e r s i t y e l e c t i v e mathematics and p h y s i c a l s c i e n c e c l a s s e s i s b e i n g r e p l i c a t e d i n c o mputer s c i e n c e l a b o r a t o r i e s (Bakon, N e i l s o n , M c K e n z i e , 1983; A l v a r a d o , 1 9 8 4 ; K o l a t a , 1 984; Z a k a r i y a , 1 984; J o h n s o n , 1 9 8 3 ) . A c c o r d i n g t o a r e c e n t a r t i c l e i n the Vancouver Sun (1989) The number o f PhD's awarded t o women [ i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s ] i n computer s c i e n c e s has s t a y e d r e l a t i v e l y c o n s t a n t , a t about 10 p e r c e n t o f a l l g r a d u a t e s between 1978 and 1988 .... I n c o n t r a s t , the p e r c e n t a g e o f PhD's awarded t o women i n a l l academic f i e l d s r o s e from 22% t o 35% ( p . B6). 2 Formal s t a t i s t i c a l data for gender p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n high school, college and unive r s i t y computer science courses in B r i t i s h Columbia does not appear to be read i l y a v a i l a b l e . However, Underwood (1984), a high school computer science teacher, has documented an enrolment p a t t e r n in his classes from 1979 to 1984. In 1979-80 26% of his students in computer sciences were female. In 1983, female enrollment had dropped to 10%. In a recent i n f o r m a l survey (Appendix D-l) of high school students e n r o l l e d i n e l e c t i v e computer science courses in a large urban d i s t r i c t in B r i t i s h Columbia, 34.3% were g i r l s as compared to 64.7% boys. And, as reported in a Vancouver newspaper, "In 1988, 84 percent of students enrolled in U.B.C.'s computer science programmes were male" (Vancouver Sun, p. B6). The underrepresentation of females in computer science courses, as well as in mathematics and science, i s a concern to many. A recent study by the B r i t i s h Columbia Ministry of Labour points out that 71% of women in B r i t i s h Columbia between 20 and 44 years are in the labour force. 63% of these are clustered in low income c l e r i c a l jobs, jobs which are being rapidly displaced by machines. The study advises that young women "must have a greater awareness of science and technology, which are shaping our l i v e s at every l e v e l .... The broader the basic t r a i n i n g and education, s t a r t i n g i n high school, the greater w i l l be the scope of work options in the future." (p. 1). That i s , women must have the necessary prerequisites i f they are to move into the technology-based job sectors of our economy. 3 Menzies (1982) agrees, pointing out the s h i f t in occupational choices from labour intensive to an incr e a s i n g l y computerized and technical working environment. David McCamus, the president of Xerox Canada, told a conference in Toronto (as reported i n Ontario Women's Directorate, 1985) that government, labour and industry must cooperate i n order to prepare women for the new job options of the future. Another speaker, Dr. Douglas Wright, president of Waterloo U n i v e r s i t y , advised that unless encouraged to pursue studies in the technological f i e l d , young women faced the bleak prospect of being permanently disadvantaged. Interventionist strategies designed to encourage g i r l s i n science and mathematics are being a p p l i e d (Fox, Brody and Tobin, 1980; Ferguson, 1982). It i s now time to introduce strategies to encourage g i r l s , from kindergarten on, to pursue studies in computer science. JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS STUDY The number of studies to determine attitudes of young c h i l d r e n toward computers i s very l i m i t e d . It i s important to have such studies for, in order to devise appropriate strategies, there needs to be a cl e a r understanding of how the learner i s responding to the t e c h n o l o g i c a l environment around h e r s e l f / h i m s e l f . "In order to understand why persons act as they do we need to understand the meaning and s i g n i f i c a n c e they give to th e i r actions" (Jones, 1985, p. 46). To investigate the context within which computers are used and the phenomena (personal, i n s t r u c t i o n a l and structural) that influence 4 how they are used, a c o n s t r u c t i v i s t theory of learning would be used as a g u i d e ( s e e F l a v e l l , 1963; F u r t h , 1969). The word " c o n s t r u c t i v i s m " expresses the idea that the i n d i v i d u a l h e r s e l f constructs or creates ideas and ways of reasoning in response to impulses and stimulations from the world around and within her. The in d i v i d u a l t r i e s to understand something new with the help of e x i s t i n g thought structures (Kegan, 1982). Research [in science] in recent years for the age range 12 - 18 has demonstrated, that the pupil's i n i t i a l s t a t e i s markedly d i f f e r e n t from the content of the teaching programme, and that only to a minor extent i t develops to the desired state as a r e s u l t of teaching (Andersson, 1984, p. 28). What " e x i s t i n g thought structures" do elementary school children, and in p a r t i c u l a r g i r l s , bring to the computer laboratory? In t h e i r examination of the 1978 B r i t i s h Columbia Science Assessment Test of Grades 4, 8 and 12, Erickson and Erickson (1984) advise, in respect to the lower standing of females in many categories, that, the most e f f e c t i v e approach to the problem of g i r l s .. is not to regard g i r l s as a s p e c i a l or i n f e r i o r species of learner... but to acknowledge the role of [previous] experience ... (p. 38). Therefore, i t was the intention of t h i s study to l i s t e n to and read what the c h i l d r e n in an elementary school had to say about th e i r computer experiences and i n doing so, to a s c e r t a i n , f i r s t l y what "baggage" the c h i l d r e n brought to the computer laboratory s e t t i n g , and secondly, to examine this "baggage" for grade and gender s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences. 5 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 1. Overview C h i l d r e n c a t e g o r i z e the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s o f c e r t a i n c o u r s e s of a c t i o n a t an e a r l y age. A c c o r d i n g t o G o t t f r e d s o n ( 1 9 8 1 ) , by t h e age o f e i g h t c h i l d r e n b e g i n t o fo r m a " c o g n i t i v e o c c u p a t i o n a l map" based on gender and s o c i a l c l a s s , and as a d o l e s c e n t s , w i l l make c a r e e r c h o i c e s u s i n g t h i s map as a r e f e r e n c e . Malone and Shope (1 9 7 8 ) , i n a s t u d y o f c a r e e r a s p i r a t i o n s o f p r i m a r y grade c h i l d r e n i n low and h i g h s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t a t u s a r e a s , found t h a t c h i l d r e n l i m i t e d t h e i r c a r e e r o p t i o n s " f r o m w i t h i n t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e s ... h i g h s o c i o - e c o n o m i c c h i l d r e n ... r e p o r t e d h a v i n g had a c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e s r e l a t e d t o t h e i r c a r e e r c h o i c e s w h i l e low s o c i o - e c o n o m i c c h i l d r e n d i d n o t " (p. 3 2 4 ) . B a r n h a r t (1983) fo u n d , i n a s t u d y o f c h i l d r e n aged 6, 8 and 10 t h a t most o f the o c c u p a t i o n a l c h o i c e s r e c e i v e d a t r a d i t i o n a l male or female r o l e - t y p e judgement. She c o n c l u d e d t h a t " c h i l d r e n l e a r n q u i t e e a r l y what o c c u p a t i o n r o l e s s o c i e t y e x p e c t s o f men and women" (p. 1 6 9 ) . Hageman and G l a d d i n g (1983) r e p o r t e d t h a t grade s i x s t u d e n t s were t h r e e t i m e s more a p t t o p l a c e f e m a l e s and males i n t r a d i t i o n a l o c c u p a t i o n a l r o l e s than were grade t h r e e s t u d e n t s ; s u g g e s t i n g t h a t as c h i l d r e n grow o l d e r , the " o c c u p a t i o n a l map" becomes more r e s t r i c t e d . Not o n l y does i t a p p e a r t h a t many o c c u p a t i o n s r e c e i v e a gendered o r d e r i n g , but a p p a r e n t l y so do c e r t a i n s c h o o l c o u r s e s . I t has been w e l l documented t h a t mathematics and the p h y s i c a l s c i e n c e s are p e r c e i v e d by s t u d e n t s t o be p a r t o f the male domain (Fennema and Sherman, 1978, Fennema, 1980; K o m i n s k i , 1982 t o name but a f e w ) . 6 Now researchers report that the 'high tech' world has become part of that domain also. A v a r i e t y of reasons are given. An intriguing possible explanation that has implications for th i s study i s that the language used by adults, and in p a r t i c u l a r the generic "he," w i l l have profoundly influenced the pre-school c h i l d ' s conception of what i s male, female and neutral. That i s , when a c h i l d uses a gendered pronoun or noun i n reference to a supposedly neutral object such as a computer, i t i s not an anomaly; there is in that c h i l d ' s consciousness an asso c i a t i o n with gender. Sadker and Sadker (as c i t e d in Shakeshaft, 1986) assert that the use of "the generic 'he' and other kinds of male-exclusive language are coded by both males and females to mean males only" (p. 501). In th e i r studies with young children they found that c h i l d r e n drew pic t u r e s of men only when they referred to cavemen, and, that women and children were included when they referred to cave people. Much has been written about the use of sex i s t language, and now researchers are beginning to point out that the language we use "shapes and reveals our thinking and perceptions of r e a l i t y " (Burchuk, 1984), and that male-exclusive language causes women to "disappear," as i t were (Shakeshaft, 1984; Burchuk, 1984; Coward, 1989). The a s s o c i a t i o n between the "male" areas of science and mathematics and computers i s said to contribute s i g n i f i c a n t l y to the phenomena of computers being seen as a "male domain" (Sanders, 198 4; Fennema and Sherman, 1977). Mathematics and science teachers (generally male) seized the i n i t i a t i v e to implement computer usage in the schools (Campbell, 1984). 7 An e x a m i n a t i o n of software r e v e a l s a s l a n t to male preferences through games stressing extreme competitiveness, rapid and violent action, loud noises and the use of male-associated symbols such as cars, rockets and m i s s i l e s (Fisher, 1984; Lockheed and Frakt, 1984) . Computer stores and magazines aim for the male purchaser and reader (Sanders, 1985; K i e s l e r , Sproull and Eccles, 1983), and, at home, males are the predominant computer users ( C o l l i s , 1985; Sanders, 1985) . The Director of Educational Marketing for Apple Computers was quoted as saying, "The buyers of Apple computers are 98% male. We do not f e e l that women represent any great untapped audience" (Sanders, 1985, p. 23) and Time magazine's Man of the Year for 1983 was the personal computer (as c i t e d in Bear, 1984). The B.C. government's Open Learning Agency ran the following advertisement in The Vancouver Sun (A5, 1989). . AMD OTN* SEAJtCW€S i OUT COURSES. PROGRAMS, I WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS* THAT ARB AVAILABLE. FOA INFOKMATKU HEAD OU,.. (Figure 1) 8 R e s e a r c h e r s now a r e t r y i n g t o a s s e s s s t u d e n t a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g y . However, r e c e n t s t u d i e s o f t h e s e a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d c o m p u t e r s p r e s e n t c o n f l i c t i n g r e s u l t s . A c o m p r e h e n s i v e s u r v e y i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a i n v o l v i n g more t h a n 1800 grade e i g h t and t w e l v e s t u d e n t s found t h a t a l t h o u g h female s t u d e n t s c l a i m e d females were as computer competent as males, they s h i f t e d i n a t t i t u d e when a s s e s s i n g t h e i r own p e r s o n a l c o m p e t e n c i e s ( C o l l i s , 1985) . C o l l i s (1985 a) a l s o found female s t u d e n t s more r e a d y t h a n male s t u d e n t s t o endorse t h e s t e r e o t y p e o f a computer s t u d e n t as male, b r i g h t and s o c i a l l y u n a t t r a c t i v e . M i u r a (1986) conducted a t h r e e - y e a r s t u d y t o document computer i n t e r e s t i n 400 m i d d l e s c h o o l s t u d e n t s . She r e p o r t e d t h a t boys e x p r e s s e d more computer i n t e r e s t and a more p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e towards the b e n e f i t s o f computers t o s o c i e t y t h a n d i d g i r l s . C o n v e r s e l y , Swadener and H a n n a f i n (1987) found no sex b i a s i n a t t i t u d e s among grade s i x s t u d e n t s , and MacLean (1 9 8 8 ) , i n her i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f s t u d e n t i n t e r e s t i n computers ( k i n d e r g a r t e n t o grade s i x ) , c o n c l u d e s t h a t " e l e m e n t a r y grade s t u d e n t s were c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h computers" (p. 80) and " t h e y appear c o n f i d e n t i n u s i n g computers and seemed t o e n j o y d i s c o v e r i n g what computer t e c h n o l o g y c o u l d do f o r them" ( p . 8 2 ) . There a r e s e v e r a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r the d i s c r e p a n c i e s i n s t u d i e s . One may be sample s i z e — the l a t t e r two s t u d i e s had much s m a l l e r s a m p l e s t h a n t h e f o r m e r . Swadener and H a n n a f i n (1987) r e s e a r c h e d one c l a s s o f grade s i x s t u d e n t s o n l y . A second f a c t o r t o 9 c o n s i d e r i s t h e age o f t h e s t u d e n t s . B o t h C o l l i s and M i u r a i n v e s t i g a t e d s t u d e n t s i n the m i d d l e and s e n i o r y e a r s o f h i g h s c h o o l / w h i l e S w a d e n e r and H a n n a f i n , a n d MacLean i n v e s t i g a t e d y o u n g e r c h i l d r e n . I t may be t h a t young c h i l d r e n ( k i n d e r g a r t e n t o Grade F o u r ) have not d e v e l o p e d gender d i f f e r e n c e s i n a t t i t u d e s toward t h e computer f o r a v a r i e t y o f r e a s o n s , among w h i c h may be an u n f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h them. As w e l l , MacLean d i d not use gender as a v a r i a b l e i n her s t u d y . T h i s i s u n f o r t u n a t e . I t would have been u s e f u l t o know i f t h e r e were g e n d e r - b a s e d d i f f e r e n c e s among t h e few c h i l d r e n who were n o t " c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h computers," and, i n t h e i r c h o i c e s o f t h e f u n c t i o n a l and c r e a t i v e t a s k s which c o u l d be performed by the computers. I n c o n t r a s t , Johnson and Swoope (1987) i n v e s t i g a t e d computer i n t e r e s t i n o v e r 1000 s t u d e n t s i n Grades 1, 3 , 5 , 7 , 9 and 1 1 . They r e p o r t e d t h a t w h i l e b o t h g i r l s and b o y s , a t a l l l e v e l s , showed c o n s i d e r a b l e i n t e r e s t , " b o t h s e x e s p e r c e i v e d b o y s ' i n t e r e s t s i n g e n e r a l as s i g n i f i c a n t l y h i g h e r t h a n g i r l s " (p. 1 6 ) . 2 . S c h o o l - b a s e d Gender E q u i t y I s s u e s  i . E d u c a t i o n a l S o f t w a r e Baker (1985) s t a t e s t h a t e a r l y d e v e l o p e r s o f computer based l e a r n i n g s y s t e m s e x p r e s s e d t h e hope t h a t t h e y c o u l d use c u r r e n t t h e o r i e s o f l e a r n i n g and i n s t r u c t i o n t o g u i d e the d e s i g n o f s o f t w a r e and, t h a t the computer would be a good v e h i c l e f o r d e v e l o p i n g b e t t e r t h e o r i e s . B u t , he p o i n t s o u t , "the domain of e x i s t i n g i n s t r u c t i o n a l s o f t w a r e i s p o p u l a t e d by a random c o l l e c t i o n o f n a r r o w l y p e r c e i v e d c u r r i c u l a r e n t i t i e s r a t h e r than the w e l l - c o n c e p t u a l i z e d sequences o f i n s t r u c t i o n a l programs" (p. 5 5 ) . 10 I f s u c h i n d e e d i s t h e c a s e t h e n i t i s i m p e r a t i v e t h a t e d u c a t o r s e v a l u a t e e d u c a t i o n a l s o f t w a r e w i t h c a r e . However, s o f t w a r e e v a l u a t i o n i s a time-consuming, i n t e n s e a c t i v i t y . The e v a l u a t o r i s u s u a l l y r e q u i r e d t o use a s p e c i f i c format w h i c h may, or may n o t , a d d r e s s i s s u e s of gender, e t h n i c i t y or s t e r e o t y p i c a l messages. Too, the format may not encourage e v a l u a t o r s t o be a l e r t t o c o n t e n t and form w h i c h f e m a l e s f i n d o f f - p u t t i n g or u n a p p e a l i n g ( S c h u b e r t , 1986). A c a r e f u l l o o k a t [ e d u c a t i o n a l ] s o f t w a r e r e v e a l s a d e l i b e r a t e s l a n t t o male p r e f e r e n c e s . The o v e r a l l s t y l e of t h e s o f t w a r e — c o n c e n t r a t i o n on c o m p e t i t i o n ; a g g r e s s i v e n e s s ; r a p i d , v i o l e n t a c t i o n ; l o u d n o i s e s ; e t c . - l e a d s t o more i n t e r e s t f o r boys . . . C o n s i d e r even Logo, c l a i m e d t o be more u n b i a s e d i n i t s a p p r o a c h : TI Logo's s p r i t e s a r e a b a l l , c a r , t r u c k , r o c k e t , , box and a i r p l a n e . H a r d l y g i r l s ' f a v o u r i t e symbols ( F i s h e r , 1984, p. 2 4 ) . O t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s have n o t e d t h a t the c h a r a c t e r s , symbols and language used i n a programme h o l d more i n t e r e s t f o r males ( F i s h e r , 1984; G i l l i l a n d , 1984; J o h n s o n and Swoope, 1 9 8 7 ) . G i r l s d e s i r e computer t o o l s w i t h w h i c h t o c r e a t e new t h i n g s (Swadener and J a r r e t t , 1 9 8 6 ) ; t o c r e a t e s t o r i e s ( S c h u b e r t , 1984; C o l l i s , 1985) and word p r o c e s s i n g ( C o l l i s , 1985; L o c k h e e d , 1 9 8 5 ) . G i r l s a l s o p r e f e r programmes i n v o l v i n g music and a r t ( S a n d e r s , 1984); and would r a t h e r use LOGO t h a n BASIC t o l e a r n programming c o n c e p t s ( G i l l i l a n d , 1984; F i s h e r , 1984; M a r r a p o d i , 1984). i i . P eer P r e s s u r e I n s c h o o l s , a nother f a c t o r t h a t may i n t e r f e r e w i t h gender e q u i t y i n computer l e a r n i n g i s p e er p r e s s u r e . The A m e r i c a n I n s t i t u t e s 11 f o r R e s e a r c h Data (as r e p o r t e d i n S c h u b e r t , 1986) r e v e a l e d t h a t d u r i n g a d o l e s c e n c e t h e d e s i r e t o be w i t h f r i e n d s was more i m p o r t a n t , p a r t i c u l a r l y among g i r l s , t h a n the d e s i r e t o spend time w o r k i n g w i t h and l e a r n i n g a b out c o m p u t e r s . As w e l l , f e m a l e s i n t e r e s t e d i n computers f e l t t h a t they were c a s t i g a t e d as " n e r d s " (a s t e r e o t y p i c a l "put down" o f p e o p l e i n t e r e s t e d i n computers) by t h e i r p e e r s more o f t e n t h a n were t h e i r male c o u n t e r p a r t s . B o s s ( 1982 ) o b s e r v e d t h a t when t h e r e i s a s h o r t a g e o f m i c r o c o m p u t e r t i m e , a g i r l , r a t h e r t h a n c o m p e t i n g w i t h a boy f o r us a g e , " w i l l a l m o s t a l w a y s d e f e r t o him" (p. 5 5 ) . F i s h e r (1984) n o t i c e d t h a t boys were more l i k e l y t o i n t i m i d a t e the few g i r l s who came t o computer c l u b s by t h e i r s u p e r i o r numbers and by such t a c t i c s as p r e s s i n g the keys on g i r l s ' computers and/or moving t h e i r c h a i r s about. Sanders (1985), on t h e o t h e r hand d i d not f i n d t h a t g i r l s o b j e c t e d t o the presence o f boys i n the computer l a b o r a t o r y but r a t h e r t h a t g i r l s " o b j e c t [ e d ] t o the absence of t h e i r f r i e n d s , who a t m i d d l e -s c h o o l age a r e l i k e l y t o be o t h e r g i r l s . " i i i . S c h o o l P o l i c y W h i l e e n c o u r a g i n g a l l s t u d e n t s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n computer l e a r n i n g , s c h o o l s may e s t a b l i s h p o l i c i e s t h a t deny gender e q u i t y . O f t e n - t e a c h e r s o f s c i e n c e and mathematics implement the t e c h n o l o g y ( C a m p b e l l , 1984) and because mathematics and s c i e n c e a re p e r c e i v e d as m a l e - o r i e n t e d domains, f e m a l e s ' p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s l e s s (Lockheed, 1985; M a r r a p o d i , 1984). 12 Female a c c e s s t o computers f o r v o l u n t a r y use i s l i m i t e d and g i r l s w i l l d e f e r t o boys when b o t h sexes a r e competing f o r computer usage ( S c h u b e r t and Bakke, 1984; B o s s , 1 9 8 2 ) . Females have more b e f o r e and a f t e r s c h o o l home r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ( B oss, 1982; S a n d e r s , 1984; S c h u b e r t , 1984), t h e r e f o r e t h e i r b e f o r e and a f t e r s c h o o l t i m e t o use computers i s l i m i t e d . W h i l e the John H o p k i n s U n i v e r s i t y s u r v e y ( i n B e c k e r , 1983) of m i c r o c o m p u t e r s i n Am e r i c a n s c h o o l s d i d not i n t e g r a t e gender as a v a r i a b l e , i t does o f f e r i n s i g h t s r e g a r d i n g computer usage w h i c h a r e r e l e v a n t t o t h i s s t u d y . F i r s t l y , the number o f microc o m p u t e r s and the l o c a t i o n o f t h e s e w i t h i n the s c h o o l may i n f l u e n c e computer use and a t t i t u d e s about c o m p u t e r s . I t was found i n the John Hopkins U n i v e r s i t y s t u d y ( i n B e c k e r , 1983) t h a t as the number o f computers i n c r e a s e d i n e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l s , a l a r g e r number o f s t u d e n t s had a c c e s s t o them but the t i m e each s p e n t a t a computer d i d not i n c r e a s e . The a c t u a l r e d u c t i o n i n computer time f o r females would be g r e a t e r t h a n f o r males c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t f e m a l e s use computers l e s s i n u n s c h e d u l e d times ( S c h u b e r t and Bakke, 1984; Boss, 1982; S a n d e r s , 1984; S c h u b e r t , 1983). S e c o n d l y , l o c a t i o n o f computers may be a f a c t o r i n e q u i t y . B ecker (1984) r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e r e was l e s s f r e q u e n t but more e q u i t a b l e use when computers were p l a c e d i n c l a s s r o o m s r a t h e r than i n computer l a b o r a t o r i e s . When i n computer l a b o r a t o r i e s , the emphasis was on p r o g r a m m i n g and o f t e n r e s t r i c t e d t o t h e more a c a d e m i c a l l y a b l e s t u d e n t s such as those i n advanced mathematics c l a s s e s , o f w h i c h , as w e l l documented, a l a r g e r p e r c e n t a g e would be male. 13 T h i r d l y , p l a c i n g computers i n the school l i b r a r y had d i f f e r i n g e f f e c t s . In elementary schools, there was "more balance i n the use of equipment between above-average and below-average students ... but the schools reported less p o s i t i v e learning outcomes ... [and] 'Enthusiasm' was p a r t i c u l a r l y low" (p. 6). In secondary schools, the computers were not used as often when in the l i b r a r i e s as when i n computer l a b o r a t o r i e s . PROBLEM STATEMENT The purpose of my study i s to investigate the atti t u d e s of young children toward the environment around themselves with respect to the computer l a b o r a t o r y e x p e r i e n c e . A q u a l i t a t i v e , t h a t i s con t e x t u a l i s t / o r g a n i c i s t approach (Roberts, 1982), was used to gather data. As Roberts defines i t Q u a n t i t a t i v e and q u a l i t a t i v e research s t u d i e s y i e l d d i f f e r e n t kinds of constructions to be put on the r e a l i t y of ... education. The formist/ m e c h a n i s t m e t a p h y s i c s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f q u a n t i t a t i v e research constructs a r e a l i t y . . . str e s s i n g precise q u a n t i f i c a t i o n and loc a t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r s in space and time and l i n k i n g those p a r t i c u l a r s by warranted c o n n e c t i o n s . The c o n t e x t u a l i s t / o r g a n i c i s t metaphysics associated with q u a l i t a t i v e research ... eventuates i n a r e a l i t y constructed in terms of the q u a l i t i e s of ... education situations and their place in the t o t a l i t y of people's l i v e s , stressing warranted conceptual linkages between event and context, context and t o t a l i t y (pp. 288-289). The conduct of such research i s e s s e n t i a l l y aimed at developing an argument and then ensuring in the presentation that the argument i s 14 d e f e n s i b l e , l u c i d and c o m p l e t e , and t h a t t h e w a r r a n t s used a r e a p p r o p r i a t e and o f h i g h q u a l i t y ( R o b e r t s , 1982). A c e n t r a l i s s u e i n q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h i s t h e d e g r e e o f s t r u c t u r e imposed by the r e s e a r c h e r . That i s , how d i r e c t i v e o r non-d i r e c t i v e s h o u l d one be? Some ar g u e t h a t t h e r e i s no such t h i n g as p r e s u p p o s i t i o n l e s s r e s e a r c h ( J o n e s , 1985), but t h a t r e s e a r c h e r s need t o have i n mind some broad g e n e r a l q u e s t i o n s w i t h w h i c h t o i n i t i a t e the p r o c e s s . I d e a l l y , as the r e s e a r c h p r o g r e s s e s and p a t t e r n s and c a t e g o r i e s a r e o b s e r v e d i n the d a t a , the r e s e a r c h e r w i l l b e g i n t o e x p l o r e and i n v e s t i g a t e i n c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n s . I n t h i s s t u d y , t h e f o c u s q u e s t i o n s t o be addre s s e d were: 1. How do s t u d e n t s i n Grades 1, 6 and 7 r e f e r t o computers and computer programmes? 2. What a r e t h e g r a d e a n d / o r g e n d e r d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e r e s p o n s e s o f Grade 1, 6 and 7 about computers and computer programmes? METHODOLOGY L o c a t i o n and S u b j e c t s The s u b j e c t s were s t u d e n t s o f mixed backgrounds (low t o m i d d l e s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t a t u s ) i n a g r e a t e r Vancouver e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l ( K - 7 ) . The s c h o o l p o p u l a t i o n was 180. There were seven d i v i s i o n s , grouped h e t e r o g e n e o u s l y - k, 1, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 6/7. The s u b j e c t s were a h e t e r o g e n e o u s i n t a c t Grade One c l a s s o f t w e n t y - f i v e s t u d e n t s and a hete r o g e n e o u s i n t a c t Grade S i x / S e v e n c l a s s o f s e v e n and f o u r t e e n s t u d e n t s . T w e n t y - t h r e e o f t h e Grade One 15 students and a l l twenty-one of the Grade Six/Seven students received permission from their parents to p a r t i c i p a t e in t h i s study. The study took place i n the school computer laboratory where there were f i f t e e n Commodore 64 computers and three p r i n t e r s , and in two standard classrooms. PROCEDURE Grade One The Grade One students were taught the KIDWRITER programme for four months by their classroom teacher and the l i b r a r i a n in the ea r l y spring of 1988. They were assis t e d twice weekly by parent volunteers. The students sat one to a computer, one half of the class at a time. While one group worked on computers, the other group worked on their journals and other assigned work. Each student worked on the computer a minimum of one hour a week. A l l the i r work was stored on ind i v i d u a l disks. In A p r i l , 1988, the classroom teacher had the c h i l d r e n record t h e i r ideas on the following topics: 1. The Computer Lab - where i s i t ? - what i s in there? - what do you do there? - draw a picture of the computer lab 2. The KIDWRITER programme - what i s i t ? - how do you make a picture? 16 - how do you make a story? - draw a picture about KIDWRITER 3. My Imaginary Computer - where did i t come from (who would buy i t for you?) - what did you name i t ? - what can i t do? - draw your imaginary computer In order to e l i c i t honest, u n s o l i c i t e d o p i n i o n s and spontaneous expression of f e e l i n g s i n the interviews, i t was important that the questions be phrased i n non-threatening, general ways. As w e l l , I d i d not ask q u e s t i o n s such as, "Do you l i k e d o ing KIDWRITER/What part of coming to the computer lab do you l i k e best?", for I did not want the primary children to f e e l they should have l i k e d or d i s l i k e d the computer experience. It was important that, as far as possible, ideas flowed from them to me rather than the reverse. L a t e r i n the day the drawings were examined and the students, on a one-to-one basis, were asked to discuss and explain to senior students (Grades 6/7) what they had drawn. The senior students then recorded what was said to them. The primary children and senior students had worked together often during the year in similar ways so that t h i s was not a novel experience. The senior students were briefed as to the way in which they were to record responses. They were asked to follow each topic and sub-heading as written. They were cautioned not to help with responses i n any way and to record a c c u r a t e l y what was said to them. The classroom teacher and I monitored the s i t u a t i o n c l o s e l y . 17 Since the senior students had also completed a project on "My Imaginary Computer" e a r l i e r in the year, i t was important that the Grade One students do a l l the pre-work (discussions and drawings) on the topics with their classroom teacher f i r s t . The senior students then asked the same questions as had the teacher. For example, on the topic, "My Imaginary Computer," they asked again "Where did i t come from? What did you name i t ? " and so on. The Grade One students responded by pointing to and talking about their drawings. Their ideas were already down on paper in picture form and they responded r e a d i l y . During the week of May 16 to 20, 1988, I interviewed the Grade One students. On the 16th and 17th I talked to the c h i l d r e n i n groups of two or three for approximately twenty minutes each. We discussed "My Imaginary Computer," the computer lab and the KIDWRITER programme. Their responses were recorded on a portable tape recorder. On the 18th, 19th and 20th of May, I interviewed every c h i l d in Grade One i n d i v i d u a l l y for approximately twenty minutes each. This time I asked them questions about a picture from the book Animalia (Appendix A-l) which shows what appear to be genderless mice using computers i n a neutral classroom or laboratory setting. I recorded the i r responses on audio tape cassettes. It was hoped that as the children explained what they saw in the s e t t i n g and what the mice were doing they would begin to f e e l comfortable and then r e l a t e the p i c t u r e to themselves and t h e i r computer experiences in some way. I asked questions such as: - what i s happening in th i s picture? 18 - what i s t h i s mouse do i n g ? - t h i s mouse? - what would you name t h i s mouse? - t h i s mouse? Grade S i x / S e v e n The Grade 6/7 s t u d e n t s use t h r e e computer programmes; MUSIC SHOP (a l o c a l l y d e v e l o p e d computer music programme), EDITOR (a l o c a l l y d e v e l o p e d w o r d - p r o c e s s i n g p r o g r a m m e ) an d LOGO. T h e y w e r e s u p e r v i s e d / i n s t r u c t e d by m y s e l f o n l y when u s i n g EDITOR and LOGO, and by a n o t h e r t e a c h e r i n the d i s t r i c t when u s i n g MUSIC SHOP. T h i s t e a c h e r was the d e v e l o p e r of MUSIC SHOP. St u d e n t s used MUSIC SHOP f o r an hour a week f o r s i x weeks i n S eptember, 1987. They used EDITOR f o r a p p r o x i m a t e l y one hundred m i n u t e s a week from O c t o b e r , 1987 t o A p r i l , 1988. They used LOGO f o r a minimum of n i n e t y m i nutes a week d u r i n g A p r i l and May, 1988. None of the t h r e e programmes were new t o the s t u d e n t s . They had used EDITOR e x t e n s i v e l y and had been i n t r o d u c e d t o MUSIC SHOP and LOGO i n p r e v i o u s y e a r s . The s t u d e n t s were a r r a n g e d i n v a r i o u s g r o u p i n g s f o r each o f t h e programmes. When u s i n g EDITOR, the c l a s s was d i v i d e d i n h a l f a l o n g grade l i n e s . One h a l f s a t a t the computers w h i l e the o t h e r h a l f worked a t t a b l e s on r e l a t e d a c t i v i t i e s ( " b r a i n s t o r m i n g " i d e a s , e d i t i n g and p r o o f r e a d i n g d r a f t s of t h e i r w o r k ) . A s i m i l a r g r o u p i n g was used f o r MUSIC SHOP. However, tho s e s t u d e n t s n o t w o r k i n g on the programme s t a y e d i n t h e i r own c l a s s r o o m t o work on o t h e r s u b j e c t s . For LOGO, a l l s t u d e n t s were randomly p a i r e d , and worked w i t h c o m p u t e r s a t t h e same t i m e . The LOGO t a s k s were d e r i v e d from a d i s t r i c t d e v e l o p e d programme, i n t h e form o f t a s k c a r d c h a l l e n g e s . 19 At v a r i o u s t i m e s i n the s c h o o l y e a r , s t u d e n t s were asked t o r e c o r d t h e i r i d e a s on paper about the f o l l o w i n g : 1. Computer Musi c - what do you do i n computer music c l a s s ? - d i s c u s s your f e e l i n g s about t h i s c o u r s e - do you t h i n k t h i s c o u r s e i s r e l e v a n t t o y o u r f u t u r e c a r e e r p l a n s / g o a l s ? 2. C r e a t i v e Ideas - Computer Programme - d e v e l o p a computer programme f o r your s c h o o l - choose the s u b j e c t ( s ) - e x p l a i n how your programme works - d e v i s e commands - g i v e an example of one s c r e e n d i s p l a y - name your programme - who i s your programme d e s i g n e d f o r ? Why? 3. LOGO - what d i d you do i n t o d a y ' s LOGO s e s s i o n ? - what a r e your f e e l i n g s about t h i s programme? - why do you f e e l t h i s way? - do you t h i n k t h i s c o u r s e i s r e l e v a n t t o y o u r f u t u r e c a r e e r p l a n s / g o a l s ? 4. EDITOR - same format as f o r LOGO 5 . My I m a g i n a r y Computer - where d i d i t come from? - why d i d you get i t ? 2 0 - what does i t l o o k l i k e ? - g i v e your computer a name - what can i t do? - what language does i t use? - draw your i m a g i n a r y computer 6. Mouse P i c t u r e from Animalia - examine the p i c t u r e c a r e f u l l y - make up a s t o r y based on t h i s p i c t u r e - g i v e names t o your main c h a r a c t e r s DATA ANALYSIS The a n a l y s i s of q u a l i t a t i v e d a t a i s a p r o c e s s o f making sense, or f i n d i n g and making a s t r u c t u r e i n t h e d a t a a n d g i v i n g t h i s m e a n i n g a n d s i g n i f i c a n c e ... ( J o n e s , 1985, p. 56) T h u s , t h e p r o c e s s o f a n a l y z i n g q u a l i t a t i v e d a t a i n v o l v e s s e l e c t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s and c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n . There i s the danger o f " u n d i s c i p l i n e d a b s t r a c t i o n " ( L o f l a n d , 1976) l e a d i n g t o t h e f o r m a t i o n of c o n c e p t s w h i c h are not r e l e v a n t t o the w o r l d t o w h i c h they a r e supposed t o r e f e r i f the i n t e r p l a y of d a t a and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s not c o n s t r a i n e d "by a c o n t e x t o f c o n c r e t e e m p i r i c a l m a t e r i a l s " ( p . 11) • A d a p t i n g m e t h o d o l o g y d i s c u s s e d by J o n e s ( 1 9 8 5 ) , I began my a n a l y s i s by f i r s t r e v i e w i n g my f o c u s q u e s t i o n s a n d c l a s s r o o m a c t i v i t i e s . S e c o n d l y , I r e a d and e x a m i n e d a l l t h e d a t a I had c o l l e c t e d i n t h e form of d r a w i n g s , s t o r i e s , j o u r n a l e n t r i e s , n o t e s and t r a n s c r i b e d a u d i o tapes s e v e r a l t i m e s . Under the t o p i c h e a d i n g s — 21 "The Computer Lab," "My Im a g i n a r y Computer" and so on, he a d i n g s and c a t e g o r i e s began t o emerge, such as "Computer L a b o r a t o r y D r a w i n g s -Atmosphere - C a t e g o r i e s o f N e u t r a l , F e m i n i n e , M a s c u l i n e " ( T a b l e 4). The headings and c a t e g o r i e s were each g i v e n a s p e c i f i c c o l o u r e d code. I t h e n went t h r o u g h t h e w r i t t e n d a t a and, u s i n g a c o l o u r e d code s y s t e m , h i g h - l i g h t e d w o r d s , p h r a s e s and s e n t e n c e s u n d e r t h e a p p r o p r i a t e h e a d i n g s and c a t e g o r i e s . C a r d s were a t t a c h e d t o t h e drawings and I made b r i e f n o t e s on each under the v a r i o u s c a t e g o r i e s . I t h e n viewed t h e KIDWRITER d i s k s o f e v e r y c h i l d i n Grade One and made no t e s as t o symbol use i n t h e i r p i c t u r e s . Then began the l e n g t h y p r o c e s s o f t r a n s f e r r i n g t he d a t a on t o c h a r t s , one p e r c a t e g o r y , s e p a r a t e d i n t o c l a s s and g e n d e r . The r e s u l t s f o r e a c h c a t e g o r y were t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o p e r c e n t a g e s f o r purposes o f c o m p a r i s o n . A c o l l e a g u e i n e d u c a t i o n , not c o n n e c t e d w i t h the s t u d y i n any way, examined a l l my d a t a and p r o c e s s e s t o check f o r e r r o r s and/or o m i s s i o n s , and, the "sense" o f the c a t e g o r i e s . D a t a g a t h e r e d under c a t e g o r i e s was t h e n p l a c e d under t a b l e h e a d i n g s . DATA ANALYSIS RESULTS I have grouped the s t u d e n t r e s p o n s e s of b o t h c l a s s e s a c c o r d i n g t o headings s u c h a s : "Names" - "My Im a g i n a r y Computer" - " P i c t u r e from Animalia" Some t a b l e s w i l l show two s e t s o f raw d a t a , the Grade One d a t a then the Grade S i x / S e v e n d a t a f o r thos e t o p i c s which the two c l a s s e s 22 had i n common. Comparisons w i l l be drawn under each i n r e f e r e n c e t o gender and g r a d e . (1) G e n e r a l A t t i t u d e Toward Computers Responses by the c h i l d r e n i n a l l t h r e e g r a d e s were s i m i l a r i n t h a t t h e y were almost d e v o i d o f s t r o n g e m o t i o n a l f e e l i n g about computer use i n t h e s c h o o l . The computer l a b o r a t o r y had been i n o p e r a t i o n i n t h e s c h o o l f o r f o u r y e a r s and s t u d e n t s appeared t o a c c e p t he work i n t h e l a b o r a t o r y as p a r t o f t h e i r normal s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e . (2) Names Grade 1 TABLE 1 *My Im a g i n a r y Computer" - Name C a t e g o r i e s M a s c u l i n e F e m i n i n e D e s c r i p t i v e / N e u t r a l G i r l s 1 1 9 % 9 9 81 ( G i r l s n = 11 Boys 5 0 6 Boys n % 45 0 54 11) Grade 6/7 Categor i e s M a s c u l i n e F e m i n i n e D e s c r i p t i v e / N e u t r a l G i r l s 3 1 8 % 25 8 67 Boys 3 0 4 % 43 0 57 ( G i r l s n = 12 Boys n = 7) 23 An i n t e r e s t i n g a s p e c t o f the s t u d y was t h e f a c t t h a t so many s t u d e n t s gave gendered names t o t h e i r i m a g i n a r y computers, s u r r o u n d e d as t h e y were by home and s c h o o l c o m p u t e r s i n n o c u o u s l y l a b e l l e d Commodore - 64, A t a r i , Tandy and A p p l e . As can be seen i n T a b l e One, more tha n 50% of the s t u d e n t s i n t he two c l a s s e s chose D e s c r i p t i v e / N e u t r a l names such as " S p o t t y , " " W a l k i e , " " Z i p " and "Magot-1." However, a s i g n i f i c a n t number of boys i n Grades One and S i x / S e v e n used m a s c u l i n e names (Grade 1 - 45%; Grade 6/7 - 4 3 % ) . Some of t h e s e were " J a s o n , " "Mr. Game," " F a r l e y , the Mutant" and "E.R.N.I.E." W h i l e few g i r l s i n t h e Grade One c l a s s used a m a s c u l i n e name ( 9 % ) , 25% o f the g i r l s i n Grade S i x / S e v e n d i d so. Examples o f t h e s e were: "Computer Man" (Gr. 1) and "Johnny" (Gr. 6/7). On l y one g i r l i n Grade One and one g i r l i n Grade S i x / S e v e n chose f e m i n i n e names. None o f the boys d i d so. TABLE 2 P i c t u r e From " A n i m a l i a " - Names o f M i c e Grade 1 C a t e g o r i e s M a s c u l i n e F e m i n i n e D e s c r i p t i v e / N e u t r a l G i r l s 4 0 11 % 27 0 73 Boys 14 1 5 % 70 5 25 [ T o t a l Names: G i r l s n = 15 Boys n = 20) ( G i r l s n = 10 Boys n = 11) 24 TABLE 2a P i c t u r e from " A n i m a l i a " - Names o f Main C h a r a c t e r i n S t o r y W r i t t e n by Grade 6/7 Grade 6/7 C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % M a s c u l i n e 9 82 7 88 F e m i n i n e 0 0 0 0 D e s c r i p t i v e / 2 18 1 13 N e u t r a l ( G i r l s n = 11 Boys n = 8) As t h e Grade One c h i l d r e n t a l k e d about t h e p i c t u r e i n Animalia, i t became apparent t h a t they viewed t h e p i c t u r e as an a d u l t , gendered environment. As i n the naming o f t h e i r computers, (see T a b l e 1) the Grade One g i r l s (73%) o v e r w h e l m i n g l y used D e s c r i p t i v e / N e u t r a l names such as " F u r r y . " The b o y s , however, d i d n o t . 70% chose m a s c u l i n e names ("Maxwell," " C e d r i c , " "Dennis the Menace"). I then asked the Grade S i x / S e v e n s t u d e n t s t o w r i t e about t h e Animalia s c e n e . They c h o s e t o w r i t e s t o r i e s i n which t h e y , t o o , a t t a c h e d gender t o the e n v i r o n m e n t . I n the s t o r i e s w r i t t e n by the Grade S i x / S e v e n s u s u a l l y t h e main c h a r a c t e r a l o n e r e c e i v e d a p r o p e r name. Of t h e s e , o v e r 80% (by bo t h g i r l s and boys) were g i v e n m a s c u l i n e names and none, f e m i n i n e ( T a b l e 2 a ) . Even the two g i r l s who wrote i n f i r s t p e r s o n n a r r a t i o n used male personae. 25 An u n e x p e c t e d a s p e c t was t h e number o f s t e r e o t y p i c a l comments r e g a r d i n g f e m a l e s and mice. They i n c l u d e d : - "ahhh," screamed J i l l as she r a n o n t o a c h a i r - a l l o f them [mice] made Mrs. K e n t o r scream but Mr. K e n t o r d i d not b e l i e v e her - B r a i n y [he] heard the screams o f the l a d i e s a t the p a r t y - they d i d what normal mice do t o any c h i l d under 5 y e a r s and women over 40. S c a r e i t ! - a l l the g i r l s i n my f a m i l y f a i n t e d ! (3) Pronoun R e f e r e n c e TABLE 3 "My I m a g i n a r y Computer" - Pronoun R e f e r e n c e Grade 1 C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % " I t " o n l y 4 36.5 3 27 M a s c u l i n e 4 36.5 8 73 Fem i n i n e 3 27 0 0 ( G i r l s n = 11 Boys n = 11) Grade 6 /7 C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % " I t " o n l y 0 0 2 29 M a s c u l i n e 10 83 5 71 Fem i n i n e 2 17 0 0 ( G i r l s n = 12 Boys n = 7) 26 The pronoun " i t " was used e x c l u s i v e l y by t h e Grade One c l a s s r o o m t e a c h e r and by m y s e l f , when r e f e r r i n g t o c o m p u t e r s . However, i n t h e i r r e s p o n s e s , w r i t t e n and v e r b a l , t h e m a j o r i t y o f c h i l d r e n i n a l l t h r e e g r a d e s , a l t h o u g h m i m i c k i n g " i t " i n i t i a l l y , began t o d e v i a t e and use p e r s o n a l pronouns. As can be seen i n T a b l e 3, "he" was used, when r e f e r r i n g t o t h e i r "Imaginary Computers," by most g i r l s (Grade 1 - 83%; Grades 6/7 - 9 0 % ) and boys (Grade 1 - 71%; Grades 6/7 - 6 4 % ) . None of the boys or g i r l s i n Grade S i x / S e v e n used f e m i n i n e pronouns a l t h o u g h 27% o f the Grade One g i r l s d i d so. TABLE 3a (Grade 1) P i c t u r e From " A n i m a l i a " — Pronoun R e f e r e n c e C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % " I t " o n l y 1 10 2 18 M a s c u l i n e 9 90 7 64 Fem i n i n e 0 0 2 18 ( G i r l s n = 10 Boys n = 11) I n t h e t a p e d i n t e r v i e w s t h e Gr a d e One s t u d e n t s , when r e f e r r i n g t o Animalia, mimicked " i t " i n i t i a l l y as they t a l k e d about t h e p i c t u r e . But as t h e i n t e r v i e w p r o g r e s s e d , they began t o r e f e r t o t h e a n i m a l s by u s i n g m a s c u l i n e p e r s o n a l pronouns; t h a t i s , "he" and 27 "him" ( g i r l s - 90%; boys - 6 4 % ) . None of the g i r l s s a i d " h e r " o r "she" . ( T a b l e 3 a ) . (4) L a b o r a t o r y - Atmosphere The s c h o o l computer l a b o r a t o r y i s a f u n c t i o n a l p l a c e . The f i f t e e n computers a r e a r r a n g e d i n a r e c t a n g u l a r f o r m a t i o n and occupy t w o - t h i r d s o f the room. The p r i n t e r s are i n the c e n t r e o f t h e s e . There are s e v e r a l t a b l e s , desk and c h a i r s a l o n g the window w a l l . As the windows f a c e s o u t h , they a r e u s u a l l y c o v e r e d w i t h b l a c k c u r t a i n s t o keep out the g l a r e of the sun. Two w a l l s a r e c o v e r e d w i t h d a r k -green b l a c k b o a r d and the o t h e r w i t h w a l l b o a r d . Above the e a s t f a c i n g w a l l b o a r d i s t h e c l a s s r o o m c l o c k . I n s t r u c t i o n a l p o s t e r s a n d , sometimes, a few examples of work, a r e a t t a c h e d t o the n o r t h w a l l . A l a r g e r e p l i c a o f a C-64 keyboard i s on the e a s t w a l l . Above the d o o r s , b l a c k b o a r d and w a l l b o a r d s a r e s m a l l p o s t e r s o f computer v o c a b u l a r y . There a r e t h r e e banks o f f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t s above. The w a l l s a r e b e i g e . T w o - t h i r d s of the f l o o r i s c o v e r e d w i t h a brown p a t t e r n e d c a r p e t and the r e s t w i t h y e l l o w - b r o w n l i n o l e u m . TABLE 4 (Grade 1)  Computer L a b o r a t o r y Drawings - Atmosphere C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % N e u t r a l 5 64 7 64 Feminine 4 44 0 0 M a s c u l i n e / 0 0 4 36 M e c h a n i c a l ( G i r l s n = 9 Boys n = 11) 28 The d r a w i n g s about t h e computer l a b o r a t o r y by Grade One s t u d e n t s were examined f o r at m o s p h e r e on t h e f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i a : c o l o u r , d e t a i l , decor and s u b j e c t . There were s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e d r a w i n g s o f t h i s room by Grade One g i r l s and boys, as can be seen i n T a b l e 4. W h i l e the m a j o r i t y o f bo t h g i r l s and boys drew n e u t r a l l o o k i n g l a b o r a t o r i e s , 44% o f the g i r l s " f e m i n i z e d " t h e i r s u r r o u n d i n g s by u s i n g p a s t e l and/or s p r i n g c o l o u r s ( p i n k s , y e l l o w s , l i g h t b l u e s , l i g h t g r e e n s , p u r p l e s ) and by i n c l u d i n g f l o w e r s a nd p l a n t s ( A p p e n d i x B - l ) among t h e computers. P e o p l e were a l s o an i m p o r t a n t f e a t u r e . These d r a w i n g s were c a t e g o r i z e d as "Feminine." As w e l l , 36% o f the boys drew v e r y t e c h n i c a l l y d e t a i l e d , a c c u r a t e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f the computers and d i d n o t f o c u s upon any ot h e r a s p e c t o f the l a b o r a t o r y s u c h as p e o p l e , f u r n i t u r e e t c . The c o l o u r s t h e y used were g e n e r a l l y t h o s e t o be seen i n the l a b o r a t o r y (Appendix B-2 ) . These drawings were c a t e g o r i z e d as " M a s c u l i n e . " (5) Computer Programmes - S c h o o l Use The KIDWRITER programme used by the Grade One s t u d e n t s has two components; DRAW and WRITE. When u s i n g DRAW s t u d e n t s can choose c o l o u r e d background " s t a g e s " and c o l o u r e d symbols such as a g i r l , boy, c a t , house, t r a c t o r , s p a c e s h i p . The symbols can be moved about on the sc r e e n and e n l a r g e d . S t o r i e s a r e t y p e d below the d r a w i n g s ; the WRITE component. Work may be s t o r e d on i n d i v i d u a l d i s k s , however i t cannot be p r i n t e d out u s i n g t h i s e d i t i o n o f KIDWRITER. 29 TABLE 5 (Grade 1)  P r e f e r r e d T a s k s: The Computer Programme - KIDWRITER C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % P l a y 1 11 3 27 Work 0 0 3 27 Make 2 33 3 27 Draw 6 67 2 18 Extend Draw 2 33 0 0 W r i t e (Hand) 2 33 0 0 Pr i n t / T y p e / T o u c h Keys 5 56 6 55 T a l k 1 11 0 0 F i n i s h 1 11 0 0 Look 0 0 1 9 (Items mentioned more th a n once) ( G i r l s n = 9 Boys n = 11) The KIDWRITER programme was d i s c u s s e d w i t h the Grade One s t u d e n t s i n t h e i n t e r v i e w s . The DRAW command, as seen i n T a b l e 5, was mentioned most by the g i r l s ( 6 7 % ) . However, 33% o f these e x p r e s s e d some f r u s t r a t i o n w i t h the l a c k o f f l e x i b i l i t y o r c r e a t i v i t y a l l o w e d . That i s , t h e y would have p r e f e r r e d a type o f g r a p h i c t a b l e t on w h i c h t o draw t h e i r own c h a r a c t e r s r a t h e r than h a v i n g t o choose c h a r a c t e r s from the computer "bank." Both g i r l s (56%) and boys (55%) e x p r e s s e d a d e s i r e t o use the computer f o r composing s t o r i e s r a t h e r t h a n w r i t i n g them out by hand as we see i n T a b l e 5 under " P r i n t / T y p e / T o u c h Keys." 30 TABLE 5a (Grade 1)  P r e f e r r e d Symbol Use - KIDWRITER Programme Categor i e s P e o p l e A n i m a l s V e h i c l e s B u i l d i n g s P l a n t s A l i e n C r e a t u r e s Snowman D o l l s F u r n i t u r e Clouds/Moon/Sun N u m b e r s / L e t t e r s S l i d e s / S w i n g s G i r l s 52 4 22 3-9 7 7 3 3 9 11 4 % 93 39 Boys 2 5— 3 3 — 4 5 — 2 8 — 21 7 7 0 1 19 9 5 % — 58 — 73 ( G i r l s n = 11 Boys n = 11) There was a d i f f e r e n c e i n c h a r a c t e r o r symbol p r e f e r e n c e . As we can see i n T a b l e 5a, g i r l s chose p e o p l e and a n i m a l s t w i c e as f r e q u e n t l y as d i d t h e b o y s , whereas the boys chose v e h i c l e s and b u i l d i n g s almost t w i c e as o f t e n as d i d the g i r l s . 31 TABLE 6 (Grade 6 /7 ) C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % S p e l l i n g 5 42 5 63 M a thematics 6 50 6 75 F i n e A r t s 8 67 0 0 Language 3 25 2 25 S o c i a l S t u d i e s 3 25 3 38 S c i e n c e 1 8 2 25 S p o r t s 0 0 1 13 (More t h a n ( G i r l s n : one s u b j e c t = 12 Boys chosen.) n = 8) TABLE 6a (Grade 6 /7 ) P r e f e r r e d M e t h o d / S t y l e o f O p e r a t i o n -P roposed S c h o o l Computer Programmes C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % Game ( V i o l e n c e a f e a t u r e ) 6 (2) 50 (17) 7 (5) 88 (63) T e a c h i n g Machine 2 17 0 0 Word P r o c e s s o r 1 8 1 13 C r e a t i v e A r t s 25 ( G i r l s n = 12 0 Boys n = 8) The Grade S i x / S e v e n s t u d e n t s were c h a l l e n g e d t o submit a p r o p o s a l f o r a computer programme f o r s c h o o l use. Under " S u b j e c t s " the m a j o r i t y of g i r l s (67%) d e v e l o p e d programmes i n w h i c h t h e F i n e A r t s were t h e m a j o r component ( s e e T a b l e 6 ) , w h e r e a s t h e b o y s p r e f e r e n c e s were M a t h e m a t i c s and S p e l l i n g . The f o r m a t o f t h e 32 programmes the s t u d e n t s c r e a t e d v a r i e d . F o r example, we see i n T a b l e 6a t h a t 88% of the boys used a video-game a p p r o a c h compared t o 50% of th e g i r l s , who chose f o r m a t s s i m i l a r t o t h o s e they were u s i n g i n computer c l a s s . The boys' games had m a r k e d l y more v i o l e n t a s p e c t s t h a n t h o s e o f t h e g i r l s , ( 6 3 % t o 17%) s u c h as s h o o t i n g a t o r d e s t r o y i n g " t a r g e t s . " As w e l l , 25% of t h e g i r l s used an a p p r o a c h i n v o l v i n g the F i n e A r t s i n some way, whereas none of the boys d i d so. (6) Type of Computer - Home Use TABLE 7 Drawings "My Imaginary Computer" Grade 1 C a t e g o r i e s - Types Computers (C64 & c l o n e s ) Robots A n i m a l s Human F i g u r e s O t h e r G i r l s 8 1 0 1 . 0 ( G i r l s n = 10 Grade 6/7 C a t e g o r i e s - Types G i r l s Computers (C64 & c l o n e s ) 5 Robots 5 C o m b i n a t i o n Computer/ Robot 2 (weapons a t t a c h e d ) (1) % 80 10 0 1 0 % 42 42 17 (8) Boys 4 2 2 0 Boys n = 9) Boys 2 2 3 (3) % 45 22 22 0 11 % 28.5 28.5 42 .8 (42.8) ( G i r l s n = 12 Boys n = 7) 33 I n Grade One (Table 7 ) , the boys drawings were more v a r i e d t h a n were the g i r l s (80% of the g i r l s drew r e p l i c a s o f t h e s c h o o l c o m p u t e r s ) . As w e l l , the boy's computers were i n c l i n e d t o be more a g g r e s s i v e - l o o k i n g as shown i n (Appendix C - l ) . These i n c l u d e d open-mouthed a n i m a l s w i t h s h a r p , p o i n t e d t e e t h and k n i f e - l i k e a t t a c h m e n t s t o a computer's f a c e . The m a j o r i t y o f g i r l s and boys i n Grade S i x and Seven ( T a b l e 7a) drew r o b o t i c - l o o k i n g c o m p u t e r s w h i c h a p p e a r e d t o i n c l u d e t r a d i t i o n a l f u n c t i o n s as w e l l as b e i n g e q u i p p e d w i t h appendages r e s e m b l i n g arms and l e g s f o r r o b o t i c f u n c t i o n s . T h e r e was one n o t i c e a b l e and major d i f f e r e n c e between t h e genders, however. 43% o f t h e b o y s had t h e i r r o b o t i c - c o m p u t e r s e q u i p p e d w i t h w e a p o n r y as compared t o 8% o f the g i r l s (Appendix C - 2 ) . (7) Programmes/Functions - Home Use TABLE 8 M a i n Tasks o f "My I m a g i n a r y Computer" Grade 1 C a t e g o r i e s G i r l s % Boys % KIDWRITER - DRAW 6 55 2 18 Home Tasks 2 18 0 0 Companion 2 18 4 33 A g g r e s s i v e A c t i o n s 2 18 4 33 Game Machine 0 0 1 8 G i f t G i v e r 0 0 1 8 (Note - Some g i r l s mentioned more th a n one main t a s k . ) ( G i r l s n = 11 Boys n = 12) (Ta b l e c o n t i n u e d ...) 34 TABLE 8 C o n t i n u e d  M a i n Tasks o f "My I m a g i n a r y Computer" Grade 6/7 Categories G i r l s % Boys % Computer - Write and Draw Components 2 17 1 1 14 I 42% S -J 1 Creative Arts 3 25 —J 1 14 Home Tasks 7 58 2 29 Aggressive Actions 0 0 3 43 (Gi r l s n = 12 Boys n = 7) In the heading, "Main T a s k s " , there were important d i s t i n c t i o n s between the g i r l s and the boys over the three grades. The g i r l s i n Grades One, Six and Seven expressed a d e s i r e f o r programmes str e s s i n g c r e a t i v i t y and the Arts (Grade 1 - 55%; Grade 6/7 - 42%). For many of the boys (Grade 1 - 33%; Grade 6/7 - 43%) an important f u n c t i o n of t h e i r computers was one which could perform aggressive acts. These included "hunting," "chasing people," "bopping things," "blowing up tanks" and "destroy[ing] everything." Some Grade One g i r l s (18%) and over h a l f of the Grade Six/Seven g i r l s (58%), perhaps pragmatically, c l e a r l y wanted machines which could preform t r a d i t i o n a l household tasks. While none of the Grade One boys mentioned home chores, some of the Grade Six and Seven (29%) included "cook," "run errands," and "clean my room." 33% of the Grade One boys (compared to 18% of the g i r l s ) wanted a companion with which to play or which would read s t o r i e s aloud. 35 (8) Computer Use and F u t u r e P l a n s TABLE 9 (Grade 6/7)  R e l e v a n c y o f Computer Programmes t o F u t u r e P l a n s - S c h o o l t o Work C a t e g o r i e s R e l e v a n t Not R e l e v a n t G i r l s - % B o ys-% G i r l s - % Boys-% Computer Musi c 1 - 8 3 - 3 3 1 1 - 9 2 6 - 6 6 LOGO 5 - 4 5 5 - 6 2 . 5 6 - 6 2 . 5 3 - 3 7 . 5 Word P r o c e s s i n g a) H i g h S c h o o l / 6 - 5 0 5 - 5 6 C o l l e g e b) Work - Main Job 7 - 5 8 1 - 1 1 - T o o l o n l y 1 - 8 4 - 4 4 The q u e s t i o n i n g used f o r Grade One d i d not encompass the m a t t e r of f u t u r e p l a n s , e d u c a t i o n a l or w o r k - r e l a t e d , nor were t h e y asked t o draw p i c t u r e s t o e l i c i t r e s p o n s e s . The Grade S i x and Seven s t u d e n t s were asked t o do so v i s - a - v i s computer t e c h n o l o g y and what th e y were p r e s e n t l y d o i n g i n t h e i r computer c l a s s e s . W h i l e 100% o f t h e G r a d e S i x and S e v e n s t u d e n t s w r o t e p o s i t i v e l y a b o u t t h e computer m u s i c programme (MUSIC SHOP), most v i e w e d i t as a n o v e l , " f u n " e x p e r i e n c e but not r e l e v a n t t o t h e i r f u t u r e . The 33% of the boys who d i d e x p r e s s i n t e r e s t , mentioned h i g h -p r o f i l e , money-making c a r e e r s as " r o c k " or "heavy m e t a l " pop s t a r s . I n t e r e s t i n g l y none of th e s e boys were t a k i n g music c o u r s e s e i t h e r a t s c h o o l ( i . e . , band) or a t home. None of the g i r l s e x p r e s s e d i n t e r e s t i n a c a r e e r i n music. 36 The s t u d e n t s a l s o w r o t e v e r y p o s i t i v e l y about LOGO and i t s f u n c t i o n as an im p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f t h e i r e d u c a t i o n i n mathematics. However, l e s s than h a l f of the g i r l s ( 4 5 % ) , as compared t o 63% of the boys, e x p e c t e d t o use a computer programme f o r mathematics i n h i g h s c h o o l o r beyond. Word p r o c e s s i n g programmes had been used by the Grades S i x / Seven s t u d e n t s s i n c e Grade Thr e e . Over h a l f the g i r l s (58%) e x p e c t e d t o use w o r d - p r o c e s s i n g as a main p a r t o f t h e i r f u t u r e c a r e e r s compared t o o n l y one boy ( 1 1 % ) . W h i l e t h e boys (44%) t h o u g h t t h a t word p r o c e s s i n g would be u s e f u l t o them i n the f u t u r e , t h e y c o n s i d e r e d i t to be o n l y one o f a number o f " t o o l s " t h e y would use i n t h e i r f u t u r e c a r e e r s . None o f the s t u d e n t s viewed w o r d - p r o c e s s i n g as i r r e l e v a n t . CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH I n my s t u d y o f s t u d e n t s i n Grades One, S i x and Seven, I found i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e s and s i m i l a r i t i e s i n a t t i t u d e s toward computers, computer programmes and the " h i g h t e c h " w o r l d w i t h r e s p e c t t o grade and gender. Most n o t e w o r t h y o f t h e s e , I f e e l , i s the e x t e n t t o which s t u d e n t s viewed t he w o r l d o f computer t e c h n o l o g y as a male domain. I n i t i a l l y one might have drawn the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e " h i g h t e c h " w o r l d was, t o them, n e u t r a l " t u r f . " Nowhere i n the comments o f e i t h e r c l a s s (Grade One o r Grade Six/Seven) were t h e r e e x p r e s s i o n s o f f e a r , h e s i t a n c y o r awe. I n s t e a d , the s t u d e n t s appeared c o n f i d e n t i n u s i n g computers and t r e a t e d t he computer l a b o r a t o r y c l a s s e s as j u s t a n o t h e r p a r t o f t h e 37 r e g u l a r s c h o o l programme. To them, i t w o u l d seem, computers had j o i n e d t h e ranks of t e l e v i s i o n , the dishwasher and the t e l e p h o n e . S i m i l a r f i n d i n g s have been r e p o r t e d by MacLean (1988) i n h e r s t u d y o f c h i l d r e n i n Grades One t o S i x ; c h i l d r e n "were c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h computers ... [and were] not overwhelmed by them" (p. 8 0 ) . However, upon a n a l y z i n g the language used by the s t u d e n t s i n t h i s s t u d y ( v e r b a l , w r i t t e n and s y m b o l i c ) i t was e v i d e n t t h a t t h e i r w o r l d of computer t e c h n o l o g y i s not n e u t r a l , but i s , i n f a c t , m a s c u l i n e . S t u d e n t s , more o f t e n t h a n n o t , gave c o m p u t e r s and computer u s e r s m a s c u l i n e names or used m a s c u l i n e pronoun r e f e r r a n t s . T h i s i s by no means a new d i s c o v e r y . C o l l i s and O l l i l a (as c i t e d i n C o l l i s , 1987) f o r example "found t h a t 3 t o 6 - y e a r - o l d c h i l d r e n ... a s s o c i a t e d computers w i t h b o y s " (p. 123) and Lockheed and F r a k t (1984) n o t e d t h a t t o c h i l d r e n , computers c a r r i e d male s e x - l i n k e d t r a i t s . As I have d i s c u s s e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w , the r e a s o n s f o r t h i s phenomenon a r e complex. Most of the r e s e a r c h t o d a t e has been s c h o o l based, t h a t i s , r e s e a r c h e r s have examined how computers a r e b e i n g used i n the s c h o o l s and by whom. For example, Sanders (1984) c o n c l u d e s t h a t computers become "gendered" because they a r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h o t h e r "male" areas o f t h e s c h o o l c u r r i c u l u m — mathematics and s c i e n c e . C a m p b e l l (1984) adds t h a t o f t e n i t i s t h e t e a c h e r s o f mathematics and s c i e n c e , u s u a l l y male, who implement computer usage o r t e a c h computer s c i e n c e c o u r s e s . A d o l e s c e n t g i r l s may i n d e e d be i n f l u e n c e d by t h o s e c o n c e r n s d i s c u s s e d above by Sanders and C a m p b e l l , namely, the l i n k i n g o f t h e "male" a r e a of mathematics and s c i e n c e w i t h computers. However, my 38 s t u d y took p l a c e i n a s c h o o l where the p r i n c i p a l and a l l the t e a c h e r s but one are female and where a l l t h e t e a c h e r s , e x c e p t the male, use and t e a c h a b o u t c o m p u t e r s , as w e l l as a l l t h e o t h e r a r e a s o f t h e c u r r i c u l u m , i n c l u d i n g mathematics and s c i e n c e . These s t u d e n t s have not y e t e n c o u n t e r e d the p r e d o m i n a n t l y male t e a c h e r e d w o r l d o f h i g h s c h o o l . Other r e s e a r c h e r s have noted t h a t g i r l s d e f e r t o boys when i n the s c h o o l computer l a b o r a t o r y (Boss, 1982) and t h a t boys use computers more i n n o n - s c h e d u l e d s c h o o l t i m e s ( S a n d e r s , 1984; S c h u b e r t , 1984; Sc h u b e r t and Bakke, 1984). For the most p a r t , none o f the s t u d e n t s i n t h i s s t u d y had t o compete f o r computer usage as each was a s s i g n e d a computer d u r i n g r e g u l a r c l a s s s e s s i o n s . The e x c e p t i o n was t h e LOGO programme. For t h i s , s t u d e n t s i n Grade S i x / S e v e n worked i n randomly a s s i g n e d p a i r s . Male s t u d e n t s may have dominated the exchanges when p a i r e d w i t h f e m a l e s t u d e n t s . The p a i r s d i d t a k e t u r n s , however, t y p i n g o u t i n s t r u c t i o n s f o r t h e t u r t l e . W h i l e Grade S i x / S e v e n s t u d e n t s were a d m i t t e d t o the s c h o o l computer l a b o r a t o r y b e f o r e and a f t e r s c h o o l , they d i d so t o complete a s s i g n m e n t s ( o t h e r t h a n t h o s e i n LOGO c l a s s ) . The Grade One c l a s s d i d not have a c c e s s t o the computers a t any o t h e r t i m e . No " f r e e t i m e " was a v a i l a b l e t o any s t u d e n t s i n the s c h o o l . T h e r e has a l s o b e e n r e s e a r c h on a s p e c t s o u t s i d e t h e s c h o o l s e t t i n g w h i c h may c a u s e g e n d e r d i f f e r e n c e s i n a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s c o m p u t e r s . S o f t w a r e and m e d i a images o f c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g y , r e s e a r c h e r s say, a r e s l a n t e d toward male p r e f e r e n c e s ( F i s h e r , 1984; Lockheed and F r a k t , 1984; Sanders, 1985; K e i s l e r , S p r o u l l and E c c l e s , 39 1983); and i n a r e c e n t s t u d y by L e v i n and Gordon (1989) i t was found t h a t " p r i o r computer exposure ( i n p a r t i c u l a r , h a v i n g a computer a t home) had a s t r o n g e r e f f e c t on a t t i t u d e s toward computers t h a n s e x " (p. 6 9 ) . That i s , those s t u d e n t s , boys and g i r l s , w i t h home computers " p e r c e i v e d them as more ... i m p o r t a n t " (p. 84) tha n those s t u d e n t s w i t h o u t . A l l t h e s t u d e n t s i n t h i s s t u d y w i l l have been i n f l u e n c e d by male-b i a s e d m e d i a i m a g e s a n d s o f t w a r e i n v a r y i n g d e g r e e s . The s t e r e o t y p i c a l view of computer t e c h n o l o g y g a i n e d from t h e s e w i l l be compounded by the f a c t t h a t t h e m a j o r i t y o f the s t u d e n t s i n t h i s s c h o o l do n o t have home computers. However, the h y p o t h e s i s I w i s h t o put f o r w a r d i s the one r e f e r r e d t o by S a d k e r and Sadker (as c i t e d i n S h a k e s h a f t , 1 9 8 6 ) , B u r c h u k ( 1 9 8 4 ) , S h a k e s h a f t (1984) and Coward (1989) w h i c h i s t h a t s e x i s t l a n g u a g e , e s p e c i a l l y the g e n e r i c "he," causes c h i l d r e n t o view t h e t e c h n o l o g i c a l w o r l d a r o u n d them (and i n t h i s c a s e , t h a t o f t h e computer) i n s e x i s t terms. T h i s would i n d i c a t e t h a t e d u c a t o r s s h o u l d c a r e f u l l y c o n s i d e r whether or not t h i s s e x i s t " w o r l d view" i s b e i n g r e i n f o r c e d by t h e lang u a g e u s e d i n t h e s c h o o l s — be i t s p o k e n , w r i t t e n o r s y m b o l i c — e s p e c i a l l y i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h s c i e n c e , m a t h e m a t i c s , and now, computers. A n o t h e r major f i n d i n g r e a c h e d i n t h i s s t u d y was t h a t g i r l s were d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h the l i m i t a t i o n s o f the programmes they were u s i n g and d e s i r e d t h o s e which f e a t u r e d the A r t s and s t r e s s e d c r e a t i v i t y . I n Grade One 67% of the g i r l s m e ntioned the DRAW component of KIDWRITER (compared t o o n l y 18% of the boys) and i n d i s c u s s i o n , 33% o f t h e s e 40 s a i d t h a t r a t h e r t h a n c h o o s i n g pre-drawn c h a r a c t e r s and backdrops t h e y would p r e f e r d e v i c e s w h i c h w o u l d a l l o w them t o a c t u a l l y draw and c o l o u r t h e i r own p i c t u r e s . None of the boys mentioned t h i s . A g a i n , when d i s c u s s i n g t h e i r "Imaginary Computer," 55% o f t h e g i r l s i n Grade One (compared t o 18% o f the boys) e x p r e s s e d a d e s i r e f o r a computer which would e n a b l e them t o draw i n a c r e a t i v e way, independent of p r e - s e l e c t e d symbols, l i n e t y p e , e t c . I n G r a d e S i x / S e v e n , when a s k e d t o s u b m i t a p r o p o s a l f o r a computer programme, 67% o f t h e g i r l s wrote one w h i c h i n c o r p o r a t e d t h e F i n e A r t s ( a r t and music) i n some way. None o f t h e boys d i d so; t h e i r p r e f e r e n c e s b e i n g mathematics (75%) and s p e l l i n g (63%) i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o a h i g h l y c o m p e t i t i v e video-game format ( 8 8 % ) . O t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s have c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e programmes w h i c h i n t e r e s t g i r l s a r e d i f f e r e n t from t h o s e which i n t e r e s t boys. F i s h e r ( 1 9 8 4 ) , G i l l i l a n d (1984) and Johnson and Swoope (1987) d i s c u s s boys' p r e f e r e n c e s f o r s o f t w a r e w h i c h i s h i g h l y c o m p e t i t i v e and a g g r e s s i v e , i n c o r p o r a t i n g l o u d n o i s e and v i o l e n t a c t i o n . Swadener and J a r r e t t ( 1 9 8 4 ) , S c hubert (1984), C o l l i s (1985) and Sanders (1984) a l l c o n c l u d e t h a t g i r l s p r e f e r programmes w i t h which t o c r e a t e new t h i n g s , t h e c r e a t i o n s themselves g e n e r a l l y t u r n i n g out t o be a p a r t o f the r e a l m of the F i n e A r t s . I n t h i s s t u d y the c h o i c e s made by the boys i n Grade S i x / S e v e n f o r the c o n t e n t and development o f t h e i r computer programmes were somewhat s u r p r i s i n g f o r t h e y , as w e l l as the g i r l s , had e x p r e s s e d keen i n t e r e s t i n and e n t h u s i a s m f o r b o t h t h e MUSIC SHOP and LOGO programmes; 41 programmes which i n c o r p o r a t e d music and a r t . However, not one o f the boys mentioned music o r a r t as p a r t o f the programmes they c r e a t e d . T h a t more boys t h a n g i r l s p r e f e r r e d t h e a g g r e s s i v e video-game f o r m a t was not s u r p r i s i n g . Many r e s e a r c h e r s have r e c o g n i z e d t h i s ( F i s h e r , 1984; J o h n s o n and Swoope, 1 9 8 7 ) . S c h w a r t z (as c i t e d i n Schom-Moffatt, 1985) says "the o b j e c t o f most v i d e o games i s t o k i l l , d e s t r o y , smash, bomb or a n n i h i l a t e s o m e t h i n g . These a r e games o f c o m p e t i t i v e d e s t r u c t i o n and most g i r l s j u s t a r e n ' t t h a t i n t e r e s t e d " ( p . B 3 ) . One m i g h t q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r o r n o t b o y s h a v e b e e n " s o c i a l i z e d " t o s e l e c t t h i s type of game whereas g i r l s have been g i v e n the freedom t o r e j e c t i t . I n t h e i r p r o p o s a l s f o r a computer programme f o r s c h o o l u s e , 88% of t h e Grade S i x / S e v e n boys (compared t o 50% of the g i r l s ) used t h e video-game f o r m a t . However, the boys' games were much more v i o l e n t i n n a t u r e t h a n t h e g i r l s ' ( 6 3 % t o 17%) t e n d i n g toward the "seek and d e s t r o y or be d e s t r o y e d " a p proach whereas the g i r l s used a "seek and be rewarded" approach. As w e l l , 33% of the Grade One boys (compared t o 18% of the g i r l s ) and 43% of the Grade S i x / S e v e n boys (compared t o none of the g i r l s ) e q u i p p e d t h e i r " I m a g i n a r y Computers" w i t h appendages w h i c h w o u l d e n a b l e them t o p e r f o r m v i o l e n t , a g g r e s s i v e a c t s s u c h as b i t i n g , h i t t i n g , s h o o t i n g and f i r i n g m i s s i l e s a t r e a l o b j e c t s (human o r o t h e r w i s e ) . I found t h i s t o be unique f o r whereas i n o t h e r s t u d i e s weaponry was p a r t o f a computer game, i n t h i s s t u d y the weaponry was t o be used i n the r e a l p h y s i c a l w o r l d . 42 T h i s may be an anomaly f o r t h i s s c h o o l and st u d e n t body f o r t h i s p a r t i c u l a r t i m e . What I have found does f o l l o w the t h o u g h t s o f two r e s e a r c h e r s . Sanders (1985) s t a t e s : R e c o g n i z i n g f u l l w e l l t h a t we s t i l l don't know the d e f i n i t i v e answer t o t h e q u e s t i o n o f whether macho s o f t w a r e t u r n s g i r l s away from computers, I am coming t o t h i n k more and more t h a t the q u e s t i o n i t s e l f i s i r r e l e v a n t . A f a r more i m p o r t a n t q u e s t i o n t o answer i s w h e t h e r i t i s good f o r c h i l d r e n o f e i t h e r s e x. I c a n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t we want t o i n s t i l l i n c h i l d r e n an a p p r o a c h t o problem s o l v i n g t h a t f e a t u r e s d e s t r o y i n g t h e o p p o s i t i o n as the o n l y way t o 'win.' And G r e e n f i e l d ( 1 9 8 3 ) : W h i l e t h e [ c o m p u t e r ] g ames' p o t e n t i a l f o r c o g n i t i v e s k i l l d evelopment c r i e s o u t f o r more r e s e a r c h , t h e p o t e n t i a l c o g n i t i v e b e n e f i t s r i s k b e i n g o v e r s h a d o w e d by t h e n e g a t i v e e f f e c t s o f c e r t a i n t y p e s o f a r c a d e atmosphere and of games w i t h v i o l e n t , r a c i s t or s e x i s t themes. I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e above f a s t p a c e d , a g g r e s s i v e v i d e o - a r c a d e atmosphere was a much more p e a c e f u l , a l m o s t p a s t o r a l , s e t t i n g d e s i r e d by many of the Grade One g i r l s (44% compared t o 9% of the b o y s ) . They drew p i c t u r e s o f t h e computer l a b o r a t o r y w h i c h resembled p e a c e f u l g a r d e n s . I n s t e a d o f u s i n g the browns, b l a c k s and dark g r e e n s o f the a c t u a l s e t t i n g , t h e g i r l s used p i n k s , y e l l o w s , l i g h t b l u e s and l i g h t g r e e n s . Some i n c l u d e d g r a s s , f l o w e r s , a b r i g h t b l u e sky and t h e sun. I t appeared t h e s e g i r l s were r e j e c t i n g t h e " r e a l " room and a t t e m p t i n g t o a l t e r the environment i n which they found t h e m s e l v e s ; t o make the l a b o r a t o r y more p l e a s i n g t o t h e m s e l v e s . The Grade One boys' d r a w i n g , 43 on the o t h e r hand, were f a i r l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the a c t u a l computer l a b o r a t o r y i n c o l o u r and d e c o r . Two q u e s t i o n s come t o mind. I s t h e t y p i c a l computer l a b o r a t o r y viewed i n t e r n a l l y by many g i r l s as a s t e r i l e and/or m a s c u l i n e s e t t i n g ? Does the s e t t i n g p l a y an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n r e - e n f o r c i n g t h e i d e a t h a t computer t e c h n o l o g y i t s e l f i s "male"? Both q u e s t i o n s m e r i t f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . Word p r o c e s s i n g i s becoming an i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f computer use i n t he s c h o o l s , e s p e c i a l l y so i n the d i s t r i c t i n which t h i s s t u d y was co n d u c t e d . However, k e y b o a r d i n g s k i l l s a r e not i n t r o d u c e d u n t i l Grade Four or Grade F i v e i n most s c h o o l s . I n s t e a d , c h i l d r e n c o n t i n u e t o l e a r n b a s i c p r i n t i n g and h a n d w r i t i n g t e c h n i q u e s as they have done f o r decades. The Grade One s t u d e n t s i n t h i s s t u d y composed and t y p e d s t o r i e s u s i n g the KIDWRITER programme. The purpose of t h i s e x p e r i e n c e was t w o - f o l d ; t o i n t r o d u c e them t o c o m p u t e r s and t o a l l o w f r e e e x p l o r a t i o n , and, t o r e i n f o r c e a l p h a b e t symbols used i n r e a d i n g and p r i n t i n g . Many of the s t u d e n t s , w h i l e a c c e p t i n g the e x p e r i e n c e as a normal p a r t o f e v e r y d a y s c h o o l l i f e , d i d emphasize the f a c t t h a t t h e y would r a t h e r compose s t o r i e s u s i n g t h e WRITE component o f KIDWRITER than p r i n t them out by hand ( g i r l s 56%, boys 5 5 % ) . MacLean ( 1 9 8 8 ) , i n her s t u d y o f s t u d e n t s i n an e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l i n suburban M o n t r e a l , found t h a t s t u d e n t s f r e q u e n t l y mentioned how the computer a i d e d t h e i r " w r i t t e n " work: " I t ta k e s a l o n g t i m e t o w r i t e t h i n g s out by hand and i t ' s j u s t b e t t e r t o type i t up and l e t the p r i n t e r t y p e i t out ... i t ' s f a s t and i t ' s e a s i e r ... the computer i s 44 n e a t e r " (p. 7 6 ) . The s t u d e n t s a l s o mentioned the ease w i t h which t h e y c o u l d e d i t and p r o o f r e a d t h e i r work. As more computers a r e put i n t o t h e elementary s c h o o l s , e d u c a t o r s s h o u l d c o n s i d e r t h e e f f i c a c y o f t e a c h i n g k e y b o a r d i n g s k i l l s t o p r i m a r y c h i l d r e n and spend l e s s time on t e a c h i n g hand p r i n t i n g and w r i t i n g . I have always wondered why t h e s c h o o l system expends so much time and energy t e a c h i n g h a n d w r i t i n g when a l l t e x t m a t e r i a l i s i n " p r i n t " form and p r i n t s c r i p t can be f a s t and r e a d a b l e . To Grade S i x / S e v e n , word p r o c e s s i n g i s a s k i l l w h i c h a l l the s t u d e n t s c o n s i d e r e d v a l u a b l e . B u t , a l t h o u g h both g i r l s and boys i n Grades S i x / S e v e n b e l i e v e d t h e y would use word p r o c e s s i n g i n t h e i r l a t e r c a r e e r s , t h e y were f a r a p a r t i n t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f j u s t what t h a t use would be. The g i r l s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e y would be d o i n g word p r o c e s s i n g as p a r t o f t h e i r f u t u r e j o b s whereas the boys b e l i e v e d they would be u s i n g word p r o c e s s i n g as a t o o l i n a wide v a r i e t y o f o c c u p a t i o n s n o t r e l a t e d t o word p r o c e s s i n g ; t h a t i s , t h e word p r o c e s s o r would e n a b l e the boys t o p e r f o r m t h e i r " r e a l " c a r e e r s more c a p a b l y . None o f the s t u d e n t s mentioned c a r e e r s i n computer f i e l d s . However, i n a n o t h e r s t u d y o f c a r e e r e x p e c t a t i o n s , o f t h e s e same s t u d e n t s , 29% o f the Grade S i x / S e v e n boys mentioned becoming computer programmers so t h a t they c o u l d i n v e n t new games and "make l o t s o f money." None o f the g i r l s mentioned computers. I n the MacLean s t u d y ( 1 9 8 8 ) , a l t h o u g h not a l l o f t h e c h i l d r e n f e l t t h e y w o u l d use c o m p u t e r s i n t h e f u t u r e , they d i d e n v i s i o n a v a r i e t y of t a s k s f o r u s i n g the computer t o e n r i c h t h e i r l i v e s b o t h i n and out o f s c h o o l . C o l l i s (1985) found t h a t w h i l e g i r l s f e l t t h a t 45 women were c a p a b l e o f u s i n g computers, many f e l t " ' I c a n ' t ' a paradox f o r a d o l e s c e n t females [which] may d e s c r i b e a p e r v a s i v e dilemma f a c i n g contemporary young women ..." (p. 3 4 ) . Thus t h e g i r l s i n the Grade S i x / S e v e n c l a s s appeared t o have formed a c o g n i t i v e o c c u p a t i o n a l "map" i n which computers were not p a r t . One must s p e c u l a t e why t h i s i s the c a s e . The Grade S i x / S e v e n c l a s s , w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n of one s t u d e n t , a boy, had been t o g e t h e r s i n c e a t l e a s t Grade Three. T h e i r computer e x p e r i e n c e s at s c h o o l were the same? a l l had used KIDWRITER i n p r e v i o u s g r a d e s , EDITOR, LOGO and MUSIC SHOP. One would expect w i t h s i m i l a r " i n p u t s " some s i m i l a r i t y i n " o u t p u t s " v i s - a - v i s the computer. Y e t , as we see, w h i l e the boys see the computer as a p o w e r f u l t o o l w h i c h they can m a n i p u l a t e t o e n a b l e them t o a c c o m p l i s h a v a r i e t y o f t a s k s , t h e g i r l s a p p e a r t o be suspended i n t h e " t y p i s t / w o r d p r o c e s s o r o p e r a t o r " syndrome. One c o n c l u s i o n s u r e l y must be t h a t i f the s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s a r e v i r t u a l l y t h e same, then the impact of p r e v i o u s and out of s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s must be c o n s i d e r e d as an i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r i n d e t e r m i n i n g c o g n i t i v e outcomes. I n t h e i r s t u d y of female u n d e r a c h i e v e r s i n s c i e n c e , E r i c k s o n and E r i c k s o n (1984) d i s c u s s t h r e e a s p e c t s of t e a c h i n g / l e a r n i n g s i t u a t i o n s , namely, "the i n p u t s ... the c u r r e n t s t a t e o f the system (or mind) ... and .... the o u t p u t s " (p. 3 4 ) . I n t h e i r r e s e a r c h t h e y found t h a t most i n s t r u c t i o n a l t h e o r i e s i n t h e p a s t o n l y c o n s i d e r e d the f i r s t and l a s t o f t h e s e a s p e c t s . I n so d o i n g , the i m p o r t a n c e and r o l e of p r e v i o u s 46 e x p e r i e n c e . . . was e i t h e r m i n i m i z e d o r i g n o r e d c o m p l e t e l y i n i n s t r u c t i o n a l p l a n n i n g (p. 3 4 ) . E r i c k s o n and E r i c k s o n a d v i s e t e a c h e r s t o r e c o g n i z e a n d acknowledge c h i l d r e n ' s i n i t i a l e x p e r i e n c e s , and t o " d e v e l o p s t r a t e g i e s t h a t w i l l h e l p t o c o m p e n s a t e t h o s e s t u d e n t s w i t h an i n a d e q u a t e b a c k g r o u n d " (p. 35) i f f e m a l e s t u d e n t s are t o compete on a " l e v e l p l a y i n g f i e l d " i n s c i e n c e . They s t r e s s t h a t g i r l s s h o u l d not be c o n s i d e r e d " s p e c i a l " or " i n f e r i o r " but t h a t i n i t i a l e x p e r i e n c e s s h o u l d be a n a t u r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n when d e v e l o p i n g s c h o o l c u r r i c u l a . The i m p l i c a t i o n s of the p r o p o s a l s by E r i c k s o n and E r i c k s o n a r e many and t o u c h upon a t i m e l y though c o n t r o v e r s i a l t o p i c i n e d u c a t i o n -- t h a t o f e q u i t y . To some, e q u i t y s i m p l y i m p l i e s e q u a l t r e a t m e n t but t o o t h e r s , e q u i t y may mean u n e q u a l or d i f f e r e n t i a t e d t r e a t m e n t . F o r example, B e c k e r and S t e r l i n g (1987) s t a t e : An e q u i t a b l e a l l o c a t i o n of r e s o u r c e s i s not merely a m a t t e r o f g i v i n g e v e r y s t u d e n t an e q u a l amount of computer time and an i d e n t i c a l s e t o f t a s k s . T h a t m i g h t be s o i f s t u d e n t s had t h e same b a c k g r o u n d s , n e e d s , i n t e r e s t s , and g o a l s . But e q u i t y i n v o l v e s c o n s i d e r a t i o n s g o i n g beyond e q u a l a p p o r t i o n m e n t . A d d r e s s i n g t h e s e a n d o t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i s e s s e n t i a l t o j u d g i n g t h e f a i r n e s s o f how s c h o o l s u s e c o m p u t e r s f o r i n s t r u c t i o n (p. 308). A number of s t r a t e g i e s have been suggested by r e s e a r c h e r s . Among these a r e : u n i v e r s a l computer e d u c a t i o n f o r a l l s t u d e n t s t h r o u g h h i g h s c h o o l ( B e c k e r and S t e r l i n g , 1987; K e l l y , 1982); t e a c h e r s who a r e c o g n i z a n t o f e q u i t y i s s u e s (Harvey and G i n t h e r , 1984); " g i r l s o n l y " c l a s s e s i n p r e r e q u i s i t e c o u r s e s of s c i e n c e and mathematics ( F e r g u s o n , 47 1984; S a n d e r s , 1985); and s o f t w a r e which i s a p p e a l i n g and g e n e r a t e s a "spontaneous d e s i r e f o r mastery" by b o t h sexes ( P a p e r t as c i t e d i n A l l e n , 1984, p. 9 ) . As w e l l as t h e s e , i t i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t t e a c h e r s be made aware o f the p e r v a s i v e sex r o l e s t e r e o t y p e s t h a t even the youngest c h i l d r e n b r i n g t o s c h o o l , and how t h e s e s t e r e o t y p e s can remain i n t a c t o r be r e i n f o r c e d i n the s c h o o l s e t t i n g . E d u c a t o r s must remember t h a t sex b i a s i s dependent on t h e s e n s i t i v i t y o f t h e 'eyes of the b e h o l d e r , ' and t h a t e d u c a t i o n a l l e a d e r s have a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o i n c r e a s e t h i s a s p e c t of t h e i r v i s u a l a c u i t y -( W i r t e n b u r g , K l e i n , R i c h a r d s o n , Thomas, 1981, p. 316). The s t u d e n t s i n t h i s s t u d y have r e c e i v e d " o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r l e a r n i n g t h r o u g h , w i t h , and about computers" as recommended by the B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Committee on Computers (1987, p. 7 ) . But have t h e s e o p p o r t u n i t i e s b e e n " a p p r o p r i a t e " ( p . 7 ) ? F o r i f , t h r o u g h o u t e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l , c e r t a i n s t e r e o t y p e s v i s - a - v i s computer t e c h n o l o g y r e m a i n c o n s t a n t , then one must q u e s t i o n the a s s u m p t i o n s upon w h i c h s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e s a r e based. A c o u r s e o f s t u d y or programme w h i c h does n o t c o n s i d e r t h e u n i q u e n e s s o f i n d i v i d u a l l e a r n e r s -- t h e i r n e e d s , a b i l i t i e s , e x p e r i e n c e s and g e n d e r — c a n n o t c l a i m t o o f f e r f a i r and e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t y t o a l l . APPENDIX A - l PICTURE FROM ANIMALIA f 50 APPENDIX B - l A SAMPLING OF DRAWINGS FROM GRADE ONE GIRLS OF THE COMPUTER LABORATORY 54 APPENDIX B-2 A SAMPLING OF DRAWINGS FROM GRADE ONE BOYS OF THE COMPUTER LABORATORY APPENDIX C - l A SAMPLING OF DRAWINGS BY THE BOYS IN GRADE ONE OF THEIR IMAGINARY COMPUTERS (WITH WEAPONERY) Sf APPENDIX C-2 A SAMPLING OF DRAWINGS BY THE BOYS IN GRADE SIX/SEVEN OF THEIR IMAGINARY COMPUTERS (WITH WEAPONERY) APPENDIX D-l HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA ENROLLED IN ELECTIVE COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSES IN APRIL, 1988 SCHOOL GIRLS BOYS A 21 73 B 35 74 C 16 27 D 18 65 E 23 34 F 46 28 GIRLS = 35.3% BOYS = 64.7% 66 REFERENCES A l l e n , M.W. E d u c a t i o n a l Computing S o f t w a r e : S t a t e o f t h e A r t i n 1984. E d u c a t i o n a l Technology, F e b r u a r y , 1984, 7-10. A l v a r a d o , A . J . Computer E d u c a t i o n f o r A l l S t u d e n t s . The Computing  Teacher, 1984, 11 ( 8 ) , 14-15. 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