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Lipstick, laptops, lumber and lathes: a study of the significance of technology education to female students Doll, Judith Ann 1994

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LIPSTICK, LAPTOPS, LUMBER AND LATHES:A STUDY OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TECHNOLOGY EDUCATIONTO FEMALE STUDENTSbyJudith Ann DollB. Mus., Boston University, 1967A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of Curriculum StudiesWE ACCEPT THIS THESIS AS CONFORMINGTO THE REQUIRED STANDARDTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember, 1994© Judith Ann Doll, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. it is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department ofThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate /99YDE-6 (2/88)11AbstractA survey of 117 females in 13 schools throughout the province of BritishColumbia examined aspects of technology education programs that females foundimportant, attractive and interesting. Forty-five questions regarding attitudestoward technology were answered on a five point Lickert type scale. Threeadditional open ended questions focused on the importance of the course in whichthey were enrolled, the reasons they would choose to take the course again andchanges they would suggest. It was found that these female students were interestedin understanding technology that affects them, and that using equipment anddeveloping skills to design and make things with different materials are importantenough to attract them to technology education.111Table of ContentsAbstract HTable of Contents iiiList of Figures vAcknowledgments ViiDedication VHChapter One Introduction IBackground information 1Rationale 3Personal information 4Specific problem 5Chapter Two Review of the Literature 6The need for change 6Causes which contribute to the need for change 7Ways of knowing and learning 9Subject choice and pupil attitude 11Suggestions of possible remedies 18Chapter Three Research methodology 23Selection of sample schools 23Creation of the questionnaire 26Administration and follow-up procedures 28Analysis of the data 29Chapter Four Results 30Question 1: What is the most important thing you havelearned in this class? 31Question 2: Do you plan to take technology education nextyear? If so, why? If not, why not? 46Question 3: If I could change the tech ed course I would 55Areas of interest in closed questionnaire not yet addressed 59ivChapter Five Discussion 67Areas of importance to female students 67Attractiveness of technology to females 71Changes to the course which indicate specific interests 74Implications for the teacher 75Need for further research 75Bibliography 77AppendicesA. List of contents and references 83Women and industrial arts 84A list of technological interests of boys and girls 85B. Submission to The View 86C. List of contents 88Teacher participation letter and 89Teacher program questionnaire 91Questionnaire administration instructions 94Student questionnaire 95D. Data Charts not included in the text 99E. British Columbia Draft curriculum intentions 104VList of FiguresFigure 1 Percentage of students responding by category to Question 1of the open-ended questions. 32Figure 2 Female responses to closed questions by category. 35Figure 3 Responses to individual closed questions in the Machines &Equipment category. 36Figure 4 Responses to individual closed questions in the Computercategory. 39Figure 5 Responses to individual closed questions in the Tools category. 42Figure 6 Responses to individual closed questions in the Safety category. 43Figure 7 Percentage of students responding by category to Question 2 of theopen ended questions. 48Figure 8 Responses to individual closed questions in the TechnicalKnowledge category. 50Figure 9 Responses to individual closed questions in the Career category. 53Figure 10 Percentage of students responding by category to Question 3 of theopen-ended questions. 56Figure 11 Responses to individual closed questions in the Design category. 60Figure 12 Responses to individual closed questions in the Problem Solvingcategory. 62Figure 13 Responses to individual closed questions in the Social Effectscategory. 64Figure 14 Responses to individual closed questions in the Skills category. 66Figure 2a Male responses to closed questions by category. 100Figure Dl Responses to individual closed questions in theGroup/Individual Work category. 101Figure D2 Responses to individual closed questions in the Math/Sciencecategory. 102Figure D3 Responses to individual closed questions in the ConsumerChoice category. 103viviiAcknowledgmentsI would like to acknowledge the consistent and unfailing assistance andencouragement I have received from my husband, Bob Doll, throughout the writing ofthis thesis and the four summers of intense course work that lie behind it. Hiswillingness to sacrifice his need for companionship as well as “keep house and home”in order for me to fulfill this task is evidence of his commitment to equality and justicein a society that we both believe is neither equal nor just.I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement of Professor BillLogan whose knowledge enabled me to know whom to survey. I would like toacknowledge the clear and comprehensive guidance as well as willingness to act asthird committee member, of Dr. Walter Werner who was key to making thisundertaking a thesis. I would like to acknowledge the enthusiasm, patience,understanding, knowledge, openness, wisdom, thoroughness and encouragement ofmy supervisor, Dr. Ann Anderson who prompted me to do this project at this time(not knowing that a delay might have meant I didn’t do it at all).I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary cooperation of the teachers whoparticipated in the survey. They endured my persistence to respond with one hundredpercent return of the questionnaires and parental permission forms.I would like to acknowledge the help given by my son in law, Calvin Peterswhen it came to coping with mountains of data to be graphed. His humor,encouragement and computer expertise pulled me through on numerous occasions.I would like to thank my three daughters, Sherry Pryde, Charlayne Peters andCindee Doll for their willingness to accept the “unavailability of Mom” throughout thisprocess, yet give assistance and encouragement to the effort.I would like to thank Joel Zapata for the many hours he spent organizing andexplaining the closed data so I could understand and use it.I would like to thank Bev Ogilvie for her words of encouragement throughoutthe school year, the use of her thesis as a model and the contribution made by herassistance in sorting the categories of open-ended data.I would like to thank Peter Trant for supplying me with two especially helpfulsources of information not found in any of my efforts at the libraries.I would like to acknowledge and thank, Craig Reitchel, Ken Kewitz and BillHenderson who have made me feel accepted, respected and thoroughly supportedthroughout this project and more importantly, in the field of technology education.viiiDedicationI dedicate this effort tomy year old granddaughterLinnée Rianne Doll Petersin the hope that by the time she reaches that point in her lifewhen the issues discussed herein affect her conscious choicesat least a few of the barriers in her path will have been removedas a result of it.1Qupter OneIntroductionBackground informationTechnology education is a comprehensive program focused on integratingcritical thinking, problem solving from a design perspective, group work, appliedphysics, applied math and technical communication in a “making and doing”context. It provides students with an understanding of the evolution, utilizationand the social and cultural impacts of technological development.As a field of study, technology education has been redefining its content andimage for several years. Curriculum revisions within Australia (Maruff andClarkson, 1988); British Columbia (Fraser, Anderson, Bastone, Doll, Hall, Kenyon,Kewitz, Kovich, Trant and Wilson, 1991); New Jersey, (Commission on technologyeducation for the state of New Jersey, 1987); Northern Ireland, (South EasternEducation and Library Board, 1991); Nova Scotia (Ministry of Education, Province ofNova Scotia, 1990); Ontario (Stief, Houghton, Iron, Kaufman and Morris, 1984); USA(Snyder and Hales, 1981); the United Kingdom (Equal Opportunities Commission,1983) and the state of Washington (Washington State Technology EducationCurriculum Development Project, 1990) are but a few of the efforts that have beenmade in this direction. Historically, the field grew out of manual arts/industrialarts/industrial education which focused on industrial technology (Zuga, 1991), andits content and appeal were limited by that focus. The move to redefine the fieldcomes out of a need to provide students with the tools and understanding oftechnological development that will give them the power to both use and criticizethe use of these developments (Franklin, 1990). In British Columbia, the publicationof the technology education curriculum/assessment framework in March, 1992 wasa specific move in this direction. This document states that “[tihe reorganization ofour school system determines that the clientele of technology education will includeall students from primary to graduation--girls as well as boys, university bound as2well as vocational, special needs as well as mainstream students--every student”(Fraser, et al., 1992, P. 14). Whether or not the provincial government establishestechnology education as a required course, the need for students to betechnologically literate in today’s society remains. 1 One of the most appropriateplaces for students to gain this literacy is in the technology education dassroom.However, the historic association with industrial oriented technology educationcourses (woodwork, metalwork, drafting, power mechanics, electronics, graphics,etc.) means these courses have addressed skills and activities that have been thoughtto be more appropriate for boys than for girls. Although in recent years there wereefforts to encourage additional students, especially girls, to enroll in these courses,the approach in most of them remains essentially the same even though the namemay have changed. Some teachers manage to persuade girls and academic directedstudents to take woodwork, drafting or graphics in spite of the content and socialstereotype, but overall the classes are thought of as lower ability “male” orientedsubjects (Kimbell, Stables, Wheeler, Wosniak and Kelly 1991). Without a concertedeffort to make changes in the content, environment and perception of the courses,relatively few “new” students seem likely to enroll in technology education. Thereare various ways to approach such changes. I believe that if technology education isto become relevant to students, it is imperative that educators are aware of theinterests and values that students identify as important. With this information, wecan develop courses that build on the experiences that students bring to the class aswell as address the ever increasing need for a broader base of technologicalawareness and skill.Technological literacy is terminology used to describe ones ability to take in (read and comprehend)and express (write and produce as a result of) knowledge of technology practice. “A technologicallyliterate person has the power and the freedom to use that power to examine and question the issues ofimportance in sociotechnology” (Fleming, 1989, p. 393). This paper will not attempt to explore thedefinitions or literature that has been written on this topic.3RationaleGiven the case that technology education courses should change in order tomore successfully engage as well as prepare students for the future, I see a need todiscern from the students themselves those aspects of a technology educationprogram that they find useful, interesting and attractive. If we expect meaningfulchange to take place, we need to know the starting points of the students as well asthe history of the programs they are experiencing. There are some programscurrently operating in our province that appear to be meeting the needs of students.In these programs, the clientele has changed, the enrollment is strong and studentsare enthusiastic. Determining the interests and attitudes of students in theseprograms could provide understanding of factors that would bring about relevantchange. It is also possible that this information would be useful to technologyeducation teachers who are ready and willing to make the changes necessary to meetthe goal of technological literacy.A second rationale for conducting this study lies in the fact that so littleresearch has been carried out that deals with females’ interest or experience intechnology education in North America. The literature indicates several studies inscience and technology especially in regard to female participation (Becker, 1987;Byrne, Hattie and Fraser, 1987) and several studies conducted in the UnitedKingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden on student response to technologyeducation courses (Catton, 1986; Chivers, 1986; Granstam, 1988; Kelly, 1988;McCarthy and Moss, 1990; Raat, 1985; Streumer, 1989; Weiner, 1985; Whyte, 1986a)but none in Canada or the United States. A study was carried out by Bame andDugger (1989a) of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1988 butnothing appears to have been published in accessible journals as a result of thisstudy. Personal correspondence with Dugger also failed to give any other leads towork in the US on females and technology in recent years.4Thirdly, the factor of female participation in technology and technologicaldecision making is a critical one (Rothschild, 1989). Female students need to bemade aware of the contributions they can make to technological decision making.They also need to learn how to gain access to the system where these decisions aremade. The literature as well as my own experience suggest that the approach andcontent for technology courses need to be changed to include female students.Discovering the interests of female students is a start in this direction.Personal informationHaving established the overall need for this study, I now turn to the focus Iwill place on it and the reasons for my specific perspective. I chose to collect datafrom all students in the participating schools2but to limit examination of the data toresponses from female students for the following reasons. First, being one of veryfew (three of four to my knowledge) females presently teaching technologyeducation in the public school classrooms of British Columbia (there are 1100industrial education! technology education teachers in the province), I am routinelyasked by my colleagues, “How do I get girls into my classroom?” Analyzing andaddressing female responses may provide some answers to this question. Sincethese responses are given in a context of the whole class, it will sometimes benecessary to include male responses. However, the graphs will serve to support thefindings rather than be the focal point of them. Second, my background of fifteenyears as a carpenter!remodeler before entering teaching gave me experience withand understanding of the challenges of breaking into a “male” domain and put mein tune with the social obstacles that females in the program may experience.2 The main objective in doing this was to avoid setting the females apart in an environmentwhich has historically been ‘out of their domain’. Secondly, I hoped the teachers who administeredthe questionnaire would be able to gain useful information about their own classrooms. If this was to bethe case, it was best to have information from all the students. I have processed all the data collectedand have included figures for the two sexes together. I have not given detailed analysis for the malestudents.Specific ProblemTechnology education programs throughout developed countries have beenchanging for the past ten to fifteen years. One of the reasons for this is to address theabsence of females in these courses. The purpose of this research is to determinethose aspects of the course content that female students find interesting andrelevant. This purpose will be researched in terms of the following question:What aspects of technology education courses in British Columbia do femalestudents perceive to be important, attractive and interesting?56Chapter TwoReview of the LiteratureThis review of the related literature deals with the relationship betweenfemales and technology. It begins with examining the need for change in thatrelationship, then looks at some causes that have contributed to the need andthirdly, seeks to offer some suggestions of remedies for the problem.The need for changeThe rapid rate of technological change over the past century has created aworld in which all citizens need to be aware of the possibilities and impacts oftechnological development. Technology holds out the promise to alleviate poverty,starvation and human suffering. It also holds the potential to dominate our livesand remove freedom of choice (Down, 1986). Our lives and livelihood have cometo depend on the technology around us. Our comforts, contact with the world andpotential careers are dependent on understanding and using technology (Cowen,1979). Our ability to make social or economic contributions and our ability to have asense of power within society involves technology (Rothschild, 1989; Thompson,Simard, Desbiens, Inkpen, Frize, Georgetti and Payne, 1993; Whyte, 1986b). Oursurvival in understanding the world around us requires a knowledge of technology(Grant and Harding, 1987). people need the experience and instruction thatenables them to fully appreciate and use whatever technology is available as well asto criticize the use and development of whatever technology is proposed (Franklin,1990). On the other hand, technology needs the contributions of li people.Considering the social and environmental impact of some technologies,technological development needs a sensitivity and scrutiny that tends to be offeredby women (Franklin, 1984; Rothschild, 1989). Considering the complexities of ourworld, the unique skills, attributes and creativity of women add a valuable depthand diversity to seeking solutions for technological problems (Cowan, 1979;Granstam, 1988; Thompson, et al., 1993).7Given this sense of importance, why are women conspicuously absent fromtechnological fields (Boben and Ray, 1982; Chivers, 1986; Equal OpportunitiesCommission, 1983 a; Gaskell, J., 1984; Harding, Hildebrand and Klainin, 1988;Thompson, et al., 1993)? The literature offers answers to this question as it looks atthe influences of society and education on females. There tends to be far moreliterature available that deals with females in science and math than with femalesin technology per se, so some references to related literature from the math/sciencefield are included.Causes which contribute to the need for changeEarly SocializationThe strongest influence affecting females’ response to technology, technologyeducation and the related area of science clearly appears to be socialization. Sixtypercent of the literature I reviewed refers to this factor and all of the studies, saveone, that deal with student choice refer to the affect of society on girls. It isimportant to understand this influence if we expect to adequately address thechanges needed to encourage females into technological fields.Stereotyping and awareness of allegedly sex appropriate behavior begins at avery early age and is affected by the ways parents handle infants. In our culture, girlsare often cuddled and protected while boys are allowed to roam further afield(Brown, 1993). As children grow, the experiences offered to them are often verydifferent. Boys are expected to be interested in building sets and movable toys thatcan come apart while girls are encouraged in the quieter role of playing “house”.This pattern of play gives boys much greater experience with spatial and mechanicalconcepts than girls and helps to determine their level of scientific [and technical]awareness when they enter school (Granstam, 1986; Smail, 1984b). By the timechildren enter public school, their role association with occupation is also well8established. These roles are picked up from parents and relatives and reinforced bythe media (Farmer, Sidney, Bitters, Brizius, 1986; Siegel, 1977), As early as the ages of10 or 11 years, identification with specific sex roles is strong (Granstam, 1988) as isthe worth of these roles and the activities associated with them later in life. By suchan age, attitudes toward scientific and technological activities are linked to roles inways that determine performance and interest in these subjects (Brown, 1989). It isno surprise, therefore, that “by the time girls are 15 [these attitudes] have becomelinked to job aspirations and life choices in a very limiting way” (Brown, 1990, p.34)causing teachers in secondary school to deal with the result rather than the cause ofthe problem.Most of the articles reviewed describe the negative effects of socialization.However, two articles specifically point out how society can have positive effects onfemale participation. The first is entirely positive, while the second presents itsfindings in contrast to the effects of stereotyping. In his review of interventionstrategies for girls and women in technological fields in Western Europe, GeoffChivers (1986) points to Poland as a place where a change of social system and socialpriorities brought about rapid change in the number of women working intechnological fields after Word War II. Chivers refers to a report by Granstampublished in 1983 and states thatAt the time of the Second World War, less than 5% of the students oftechnology were women. By 1981, girls represented over 28% of the studentsin the technical upper secondary schools. At the higher education level 45%of the students in 2 year programmes and 30% of the students in 4 yearprogrammes at the institute of technology were female (Chivers, 1986, p. 247).These figures clearly show the kind of change in enrollment that can take place.In a second article, Sunee Klainin (Harding, Hildebrand and Klainin, 1988)carried out a study in Bangkok to evaluate a senior high school chemistry courseand found that girls’ performance was equal to or better than boys in chemistry andphysics. It is noted that in Thailand, all students are required to study science, as9many women study and work in scientific fields as men and working in these fieldshas high status (Harding, et al., 1988). In contrast, within this same article, GaellHildebrand reported on an intervention program in Australia where a programused to encourage girls to enroll in senior science courses failed to be effective inspite of two years of effort. In trying to discover reasons why the interventions hadnot had greater effect, it was decided that the option to choose science for half of thegrade 10 year “had dramatic negative effects on the enrollment patterns of girls inyear 11 physical sciences and [had] reversed the improving trends of previous years”.In chemistry the number of girls dropped from 50% to 24% and in physics from 32%to 14% (Harding, et aL, 1983, p. 192). The authors concluded that offering a choice ofsubjects allows social stereotyping to be effective when it exists in a culture. Muchmore attention will be given to student subject choice later in this paper.It is important to reiterate that all persons are affected by the expectations ofsociety and that socialization begins early in life. When females are expected tofunction in technological fields as in Thailand, they do so without any problem.When changes in societal attitude occur as in Poland, changes likewise occur in therelationship between females and technology. Conversely, when social stereotypestend to work against female participation in science (or technology) as in Australia,it is difficult for girls to “go against the tide”.Ways of Knowing and LearningBefore we turn our attention directly to the educational system that isexpected to work with and around the effects of this socialization, it is worthwhileto look at a particular phenomenon that appears to be part of it. This phenomenonis expressed in a theory that females possess different ways of knowing and learningfrom males. In spite of popular articles and books to the contrary which I havediscovered (Gray, 1992; Tanenbaum, 1989), there seems to be no empirical evidenceto indicate this theory has any biological basis (Schreiber, 1993), but three convincingsociological perspectives give it support. Belensky, Clenchy, Goldberg and Tarule10conducted an extensive qualitative study of a cross section of women in NewEngland to support their theory that women learn in different ways from men.The group identified women’s need for different conditions for learning andencouraged educators to “emphasize connection over separation, understandingand acceptance over assessment, and collaboration over debate” (Belensky, et. al.,1986 p. 229) to facilitate the way women learn. They also encourage teachers toaffirm first hand experience as a source of knowledge (1986). This research was builton the foundation set by Carol Gilligan’s work in developmental psychology atHarvard University. Gilligan (1977) challenged the prevailing theories of moraldevelopment claiming they did not take women’s experience into account anddeclared that feminine experience of social reality offers a distinct “voice” or way oflooking at and responding to the world.Ursula Franklin echoes this different sense of women’s world view in herpapers on women in technology. Franklin (1984) contrasts a “technological” worldview with “women’s” world view in the following ways. The “technological” worldvalues efficiency, with a goal of personal achievement at the expense of personalexperience while “women’s” world values the ability to cope with a variety ofcircumstances, taking all factors into account. The technological order maximizes“gain” whereas the women’s world minimizes “disaster”. These perspectives takenby prominent and highly respected women scholars raise serious questions aboutthe way education is delivered in general. They also raise questions about specificapproaches to teaching used in the entire educational system which contribute topreventing females from entering technological fields.It is appropriate to acknowledge that my own experience in school (beingrefused admittance to the auto shop in high school) and my observation of currentteaching practices (allowing male students to dominate the classroom) cause me tobe partial to the ideas put forth by these women.11Subject Choice and Pupil AttitudeLiterature on the nature of the educational system which relates to this studyfocuses primarily on subject choice and pupil attitude. A majority of the studies (7out of 13 cited) have been carried out in the United Kingdom and two in Australiaso the nature of the findings is somewhat skewed by one particular culture and it isimportant to acknowledge this fact. Differences in pupil attitude toward technologyaround the world have been noted by Raat, de Vries and deKierk Wolters (1987) as aresult of the PATE research but on the whole, conclusions from these studies showsimilar awareness of concepts and similar attitudes varying mostly in degree ofapplication.Since student attitude and consequently student choice, appears to be affectedby the socialization discussed earlier, it seems reasonable to begin this discussion bylooking at an important longitudinal study on intervention at the primary schoollevel. This study suggests that classroom experience at an early level does much toinfluence both attitude and student choice. According to this study, it took fouryears from first entry into school to raise the level of girls’ performance andconfidence in constructing models with Lego to match that of the boys (Brown,1993). (Model construction provided evidence of spatial and technological thinkingand learning.) Brown (1990) found that the girls wanted to use the computers andLego but felt boys would be better at accomplishing tasks with them. Girls alsofound it difficult to ‘get their turn’ with tools and materials. It was concluded thatthe girls were overwhelmed by the challenge to overcome these obstacles so chose todo ‘proper’ work like writing and drawing instead! In order to address theseproblems, specific intervention tactics were used such as single sex groupings toinsure access to the construction materials and structured teaching worksheets tocompensate for lack of previous experience. Until the interventions were made, theclassroom experience for girls appears to be an extension of the expectations theybrought with them upon entering school. To confirm this possibility, I made a12closer examination of the GIST project (perhaps the largest and most extensive studydone in the U. K.) to see what was said about classroom experience.Judith Whyte was a member of the group who conducted the GIST (Girls IntoScience and Technology) study of 2060 students in 10 schools over a four year periodto determine the factors that prompted the choice of subject for the last three years ofschooling. Whyte (1986 a) describes the experience of girls in science and craft dassesas one of being ‘pushed out’ by the boisterous behavior of the boys and the‘masculinized’ lesson content. (England’s technology education terminology isCraft, Design & Technology, referred to here as ‘craft’.) The girls found themselvesbeing excluded from classroom discussion and having difficulty in accessingmaterials with which to work. ‘Masculinized” content meant that the languageused in the classroom rarely included the female pronoun and the content rarelyrelated to female experience. The students in this study were eleven years old whenthe project began and fifteen by the time it finished. The statements about femaleexperience of ‘push-out’ and ‘masculinizing’ over this time period seems toindicate that the patterns of male/female behavior in the areas of science andtechnology tend to be reinforced by the educational system and that sex biasincreases as students progress through school. 3By the time young people are in grade eight and are expected to make theirown educational choices, a strong set of experiences and associations are in place(Brown, 1990; Gaskell, J., 1984; Granstam, 1988). The GIST project was designed to3 Taking a broader look at the experience of girls in the classroom, the EqualOpportunities Commission in England (1983 b)noted the physical environment of most facffitieswhere technology has been taught to be a factor in discouraging females. Besides having theboys ‘hog’ the tools and materials as mentioned by Whyte, the colorless, often dirty anddistinctly industrial atmosphere of many of the rooms did much to dissuade the girls’ attractionto the subject. That the learning environment plays a part in students’ experience was borne outin a study conducted by Byrne, Hattie and Fraser (1987) of 1675 students from 18 schools inNew South Wales, Australia. This study found that overall, girls value harmony in theclassroom while boys prefer competition though preferences are determined by age as well asgender. There have been several studies on physical and learning environments but as thisresearch has focused on content, it must suffice to simply acknowledge physical and socialenvironment as significant factors in female students’ experience in technology education.13acknowledge this fact and to try to intervene with strategies to change theperceptions and attitudes of the girls, enabling them to choose a path that wouldopen up future opportunities in technological fields. The outcome as assessed bythis study was that some student attitudes and perceptions were changed but not thechoices of subjects to be taken. Whyte (1986 a) explains this by stating that the“hidden curriculum” of the social expectations experienced at school “apparentlyexercise[s] a very powerful influence on subject choice and [is] among the majorcause[s] of female underachievement in science and technology”(p. 7). Thisexplanation is supported by Harding, Hildebrand and Klainin (1988) who indicatethree factors which influence female involvement in science and technology. Thesefactors are: first and foremost, the society’s gender expectation; followed by theobjectives and organization of education; and finally, the images of science andtechnology in the culture. However one article indicated that it is possible toaddress the problem successfully. Margaret Emmerson (1984) is a teacher who set upa course in technology at a single sex school in London because the girls lackedexperience and familiarity with tools and materials which prevented them fromtaking technology courses at examination level. Emmerson’s article outlines somevery practical ways to set up a “foundation” course to provide this experience. Inher concluding remarks, Emmerson states thatGirls enjoy the process of designing and making every bit as much as boys doand when not patronised or made to feel inferior, they work with the sameopen enthusiasm.However, students see themselves as making their own choices(Gaskell, P. J., McLaren, Oberg and Eyre, 1990; Kelly, 1988). Allison Kelly (1988), whowas another member of the GIST team, pointed out that the statistics indicatedteachers and parents to be significant factors in pupil choice but students claimedotherwise. The students, said that preparation for employment, personal interestand their performance determined the courses they took. The J. P. Gaskell study(Gaskell, J. P., et al. 1990), which focused on student choices in math and science and14involved schools throughout British Columbia, states similar reasons given bystudents for course choice. These reasons were stated as: past success or failure;difficulty of subject, and requirement for university or future employment. Onewonders if these students, like those in the GIST study, are unaware of the socialinfluences on their choices. Since the focal point of Gaskell’s study was toinvestigate gender issues in student choice, many questions were raised aboutgender. The responses showed widespread ambivalence among students, teachers,counselors and administrators on the existence of gender as an issue or of gender asa factor in subject choice suggesting a definite lack of awareness of social influencesin the classroom (Gaskell, J. P. et al., 1990).Two studies carried out in the U.K. barely mention the societal factor insubject choice. McCarthy and Moss (1990) don’t mention it at all and the Nash,Alsop and Woolnough (1984) study, carried out by the Oxford Educational ResearchGroup mentions the factor only in passing. My awareness of this exclusion is likelyan indication of my particular bias as I review the literature. Both of these studieswere carried out on small groups of students in only one setting so are by naturerestricted in their interpretation. However, the findings of subject choice beingdetermined by usefulness (Nash, et al., 1984) and employment value (McCarthy andMoss, 1990) are consistent with other studies. Nash, et al. state that, in addition,choice of subjects was related to parental influence and knowledge of the course(“non-opters” were unaware of what the course entailed so chose other coursesoffered in the time slot). This later finding prompts Nash, Alisop and Woolnoughto advocate an introduction of technology in primary school to remedy thesituation. The reasons are different but the recommendation supports the positionof both Brown (1993) and Granstam (1986). McCarthy and Moss state academiccredibility as the second reason for choice but this factor was not found in any otherstudy in this review which involved technology. Studies on math and science dealwith academic orientation but only those that deal with science and technology15together even mention it, and then it is in reference to science. Perhaps this is areflection on general attitudes toward technology as a subject.Attitudes are definitely factors that influence student involvement intechnology. In an attempt to develop course material based on the realities ofstudent attitudes as well as student concepts of technology, Raat and deVries (1986)carried out a study of pupil attitudes in the Netherlands (Raat, J. H., 1985). Theyfound that the majority of pupils of both genders were interested in technology andgenerally saw it as valuable. They also found that students whose parent’s workedin technology were more familiar with concepts of technology and overall, pupilsvaried in their ability to recognize it in their daily life (Raat, J. H., 1985). In 1986 theFirst International Pupil Attitude Toward Technology Conference was held inEindhoven, Netherlands where this study evolved into an international gatheringof information on pupil concepts and attitudes toward technology. The twelvecountries which participated in the follow-up work included: Australia, Belgium,Denmark, France, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland andthe UK (Raat, de Vries & deKlerk Wolters, 1987). Results from studies carried outin these countries indicated that pupils have a fairly positive attitude towardtechnology; they have trouble seeing how technology relates to society or science;there are significant differences between boys and girls on all scales;4pupils fromdifferent cultures have different ideas of technology in spite of several similarities;and in Western Europe there was a significant positive correlation between conceptsof technology and attitude toward technology. It is interesting to note, consideringthe Chivers article (1986), that Poland was the one exception in the PATT resultswhere pupils scored high on all scales and the differences between male and femaleanswers were not significant.The differences are “mostly to the disadvantage of girls. This means that girls have a less positiveattitude towards technology than boys and that their concept of technology is not so good as that ofboys” (Raat , de Vries & deKierk Wolters, 1987, p. 97).16At the fourth PATT conference, Bame and Dugger (1989a) reported on thefirst phase of the PATT-USA studies. Phase one started in 1987 with a pilot toestablish the US version of the survey. This instrument was used in schools fromseven states in 1988 and 1989 but since the study is designed as a longitudinal andpossible nation-wide study, there appear to have been no further articles publishedas a result of this work. The PATT-USA, New Jersey Study, (Bame & Dugger,1989b) indicates gender differences on all attitude subscales except Attitude TowardTechnology. Boys showed greater interest and saw technology as having morepositive consequences than girls. Girls saw technology as being an activity for bothgenders more often than boys and there appeared no difference between boys andgirls on their knowledge about technology. These findings parallel many of thosefound in other studies in this review though equal knowledge about technologyamong the males and females appears to be a difference. One interesting finding inthis study not specifically indicated in other studies is the affect of technical toys inthe home. “The existence of technical toys in the home had a significantly positiveimpact on the general interest in technology, the attitude toward technology, andthe view of the consequences of technology. [These toys 1. . . also had a significanteffect on the knowledge about technology that students have.” (p. 40). Having atechnical workshop in the home appeared to have a similar but not as strong aninfluence on knowledge and attitude toward technology. It seems appropriate topoint out that this is the only study cited that has been conducted in North America.Two other smaller studies on student attitudes were carried out in the U. K. atabout the same time. Omerod and Wailer (1988) administered attitude andinformation questionnaires to 405 students in seven comprehensive schools anddiscovered that girls enjoyed Craft, Technology and Design and found it relaxing.They also found that girls had support to take the course from family members withtechnical skills but received no support to pursue a technological career. On theother hand, boys demanded more from the course and were more likely to continue17with technical work after leaving school. In the second study, entitled GATE (Girlsand Technology Education), Grant and Harding (1987) challenged the interpretationof studies that indicate that girls have a negative attitude toward technology. Theyconducted a study of 142 students in their fourth year at a London comprehensiveschool who had all completed three uninterrupted years of design and technology.A Likert-type test was used to measure attitudes but while analyzing the data theydecided to “explore alternative methods of analysis” (Grant and Harding, 1987, p.337). The result of this decision was to discover that girls responded to many of thequestions with ‘not sure’ or ‘don’t know’. Instead of interpreting these answers asnegative as others have done, Grant and Harding sought to find out why thestudents were unsure by interviewing some of them. They also gathered answers tothe question of why it is important to know about science and technology. Theyfound that not sure almost universally meant “It depends on what you mean bytechnology” (Grant and Harding, 1987, p. 338) and three times as many girls as boysanswered the importance to know question with statements indicating that scienceand technology helped them to understand their surroundings and what was goingon in the world around them. The conclusion that is presented as a result of thisapproach is that girls are not “wrong” for having “negative” attitudes towardtechnology but that:Girls, we believe, have got it right: they are not sure. One needs toconsider and to measure the values embodied in science and technology andthe uses to which they are put, against our human values and aspirations.To be critical is to be positive. This does not prevent an intense delightin the processes of science and its power to interpret aspects of the world to us,nor does it suppress the enjoyment of tackling and solving problems. To beunquestioning and to exclude human values from the study of science andtechnology is to be negative, for it excludes many and stores up potentialhazards for society from those who respond to a more limited science andtechnology ‘object’ (Grant and Harding, 1987, p. 342).18Although Grant and Harding appear to be contradicting other researchers, Franklin(1984) and Rothschild (1989) certainly echo their position from a different vantagepoint.When we consider attitudes, it is important to look not only at the attitudesabout technology that students bring to the situation but also at the attitudes ofclassmates and teachers that they encounter when they get to the classroom. Severalof the studies and articles reviewed have pointed out the importance of theteachers’ role in facilitating change in female access to technology (Boben and Ray,1982; Brand and Roelofs, 1989; Equal Opportunities Commission, 1983b; Farris, 1980;Granstam, 1986; Standards for Industrial Arts Program Project, 1981). Both Bobenand Ray (1982) and Brand and Roelofs (1989) make very strong statements thatteacher attitudes in particular are crucial to the process of providing positivetechnological experiences for females. Brand and Roelofs (1989) go on to discussteacher awareness and behavior in class with emphasis on the need for in-servicetraining to address the issues. Whyte (1986a) pointed out the fact that the schoolswhere the GIST intervention was most successful were those where the teachersand senior staff held positive attitudes and made positive commitments to the aimsof the project.Suggestions of Possible RemediesNow the critical question becomes: How do we counteract the social andeducational forces working against females in relationship to technology?Fortunately for those teachers and administrative personnel who want tobring about change, there are a number of strategies and suggestions to help worktoward solutions. Both the United States and the United Kingdom have passedlegislation that addresses the need for equal opportunity (Equal OpportunitiesCommission, 1983b; Standards for Industrial Arts Program Project, 1981). Theselaws may prove useful in some instances but it is the accompanying guidelines andchecklists that are helpful references to understanding sex equity and stereotyping19and discovering ways to make changes. One such checklist for ways to makechanges was adapted by the Oregon State Department of Education in A Guide forTeachers (1984) and is included in appendix A.In terms of classroom strategies, several authors suggest introducing a core oftechnology in the primary grades to counterbalance societal conditioning anddiscrepancies in early practical experiences (Brown, 1989, 1990, 1991; Granstam, 1986;Farmer, H. S., Sidney, J. S., Bitters, B. A., and Brizius, 1985; Nash, Ailsop andWoolnough, 1984). Farmer, et al. (1985) review several programs and productsdesigned specifically for primary schools in the United States which seem to beavailable upon request. They do not detail the content of these programs in theirarticle. The suggestions for setting up a structure so females have equal access totools and materials (Brown, 1990) and designing specific activities to promotetechnological learning that applies to one’s level of technological knowledge(Granstam, 1986) seem to be appropriate for any age, not just primary learners.These strategies provide opportunities for positive experiences which are seen to becentral to success (Gaskell, J. P. et al., 1993).There is a strong message in the U.K. studies that addressing the context ofthe technological concepts helps female students relate to the subject (Catton, 1986;Chivers, 1986; Grant, 1986; Kimbell, Stables, Wheeler, Wosniak, and Kelly, 1991).Catton (1986) interprets this focus as making projects that relate to the needs ofsociety and the quality of life. Such projects as designing an activity center for ablind child or a writing aid for someone with severe arthritis would fall into thiscategory. Contexualized learning is a topic far too broad to address in this paper butCole and Griffin (1987) deal directly with this idea in regard to females in math andscience. They give strong support to this position when they say” a fundamentalway of changing the requirements for success on a particular task is torecontextualize the task as presented to, and understood by, the learner.” (page 23).Chivers (1986) speaks of this idea when he notes that women engineers in a study in20Norway expressed a desire to have degree courses contain more work on social andenvironmental aspects of technology. For Grant (1986), this means specificallyteaching the subject through solving problems that arise from social issues. Selby(1989) is far more definite in her description of the technological contexts withwhich females are likely to be familiar. She speaks of work with tools on the farm,in the kitchen, the arts, the workplace and the nursery. There are undoubtedly asmany “neutral” settings of technology from these areas as there are from industry,business, finance and trades work.De Kierk Wolters (1989), in his review of the implications of the PATTresearch, points to a strategy similar to contextualizing when he refers to knowingand understanding the attitudes and concepts that students [girls] have oftechnology when they start the courses. This information can indicate the conceptsand contexts girls associate with technology and help teachers to develop lessonsthat start with what students do know and move toward ideas about technology thatare more in line with what students need to know in order to fully function in oursociety.One of the most important strategies is to make females feel included andvalued in the classroom. Teacher awareness is key to this strategy. If teachersacknowledge the early and continued socialization of females (Granstam, 1986), theywill have a much better chance of addressing the needs of those students,encouraging them to succeed (Brown, 1993) and making them feel they belong. Alltoo often, teachers offering a choice of activity to students tend to believe they areoffering equal opportunity without taking into account the background experiencesof those students (Brown, 1990; Gaskell, J. P. et al., 1990; Tetreault and Thompson,1986). Acknowledging different learning styles, different experiences and the needfor different contexts, then designing ways to address them (Thompson, et al., 1993)is a strategy that tends to make all students feel included. Understanding femaleexperience and accepting it as a valuable contribution (Rothschild, 1989; Tetreault21and Thompson, 1986) to the classroom is a critical part of this strategy. Part of thisunderstanding can be obtained from references to female interest and preferencefound in the research. For instance, Brown’s work (1989) indicates that girls preferto work in pairs rather than alone which reflects back to the positions of Gilligan(1977) and Belensky, et al. (1986) who suggest that females learn in relationalenvironments. Grant (1986) suggests that girls respond to the personal, the needs ofsociety and the value component of a problem. Brand and Roelofs (1989) give amuch more detailed list of both male and female interests and disinterest that werediscovered in research in the Netherlands. This work indicates female interest tobe in the areas related to society, the human body, safety and medical technicalapplications. A complete citation of this list can be found in Appendix A.It is important to note that understanding female experience goes beyondawareness of interest and preference to include the “mind-set” or socializationbrought to the classroom spoken of earlier. Catton’s work (1982) with a mixed groupof students using specific strategies to include the female students is significant hereas it shows exceptional sensitivity and insight reflective of this further awareness.After clearly describing the strategies he used, Catton suggests that it is the waysubject matter is taught rather than the content itself that makes the difference.The object of all of these strategies is to encourage females to enter thetechnology classroom and to motivate them to continue in technological fields. Theneed for women to understand and use technology has been established (Cowen,1979; Grant and Harding, 1987; Franklin, 1984; Rothschild, 1989; Thompson, et al.,1993). The contributions women make to technology have been pointed out(Cowen, 1979; Franklin, 1984; Granstam, 1988; Rothschild, 1989; Thompson, et aL,1993). The influences of society and education on women’s presence in fields oftechnology have been presented. An finally, some suggestions have been giventhat may help females feel included and valued in the technology classroom.22This study offers the responses of female students to technology educationfrom a Canadian, and more specifically, British Colombian perspective whoseexperiences have been positive. I have intentionally selected schools whoseprograms are using a technology education approach (defined in the next chapter)and include a high percentage of female students. Based on the high percentage(52%) of female students in the study who would select technology education forfurther study, I consider these classes to be successful in capturing the interest offemale students. The literature has provided an understanding of the socializationof females and the educational influences in student choice of subjects. Accordingto the studies reviewed, female student choice is influenced by student attitudetoward technology, the educational environment and the importance of teachersattitude toward and responsiveness to female students. As it is too large a task todeal with all of these factors at once, I have focused on female student attitudestoward technology as it is revealed in their evaluation of the content of the coursesin which they are enrolled. One question for study has been posed as a means ofascertaining this information.What aspects of technology education courses in British Columbia do femalestudents perceive to be important, attractive and interesting?23Chapter ThreeResearch MethodologyIn order to answer the research question, I chose to administer questionnairesto student enrolled in technology education classes in schools throughout theprovince. This task involved (a) selection of sample schools, (b) development andpilot of the questionnaire (c) administration and collection of the questionnaire andletters of permission and (d) analysis of data.Selection of sample schoolsThe first step was to establish the criteria by which a program would beconsidered to be teaching technology education. In consultation with Prof. BillLogan, Coordinator of Technology Studies Education at the University of BritishColumbia, the following criteria were established. First, components of technologyeducation which appear consistently in programs throughout the world (seereferences in the introduction) should be present. These include: a) use of design;b) use of problem solving as a method of delivery; c) a focus on critical thinking; d)a hands-on setting; e) the student as center of the program with teacher asfacilitator; f) social awareness as a component of the program. Second, the programshould exhibit evidence that teachers understand and are applying the ProvincialCurriculum Intentions of the Technology Education Curriculum /AssessmentFramework (1992) in an effort to change from an industrial education to atechnology education emphasis. (This document specifies intentions that includethe international set of criteria as well as a discussion of the background and needfor a change in emphasis.) From his numerous visits to schools throughout theprovince, Prof. Logan was in a strong position to know the nature and location ofvarious programs that would meet these criteria.I then published a short description of the research project (Doll, 1993) in theBritish Columbia Technology Education Association publication, View. (Appendix24B) After a brief explanation of the nature and intent of the study, I asked teachers tocontact me if they were interested in participating. A third resource was mypersonal association with teachers in the field through my educational experience.As a result of studies at BCIT and UBC over the past eight years, I have worked witha number of teachers whom I know to be seeking an understanding of meaningfultechnology education programs and are among those who are developing programsthat meet the criteria listed above. I was aware of the potential of bias if I used thoseteachers whom I know personally and who responded to the study because ofpersonal connections. In an effort to minimize possible bias I consulted with Prof.Logan regarding the schools to be studied and used all of the schools that respondedwithin a given time to my requests to do research.As a result of this consultation and the responses received from the Viewarticle a list of twenty one schools was formed. The final sample was based on thefollowing criteria: (a) The sample would consist of between ten and fifteen schools.I felt this would be a large enough sample to give a fair indication of studentresponse to technology education programs in the province yet be within my abilityto research and report. (b) The program in the school would include theinternational criteria listed above that were deemed to be the essence of technologyeducation (whether it is called by that name or not) and use of the provincialcurriculum intentions. These are the criteria we established to determine if theprogram was teaching “technology education”. Some programs in the provincemeet these criteria but are called by traditional industrial education names. (c) Theprogram had an enrollment of at least 35% females. In order to view the program assuccessfully including females, a figure of approximately one-third of the class asfemale was chosen. (d) No more than half of the sample was represented by schoolsfrom the urban center of the lower mainland. This basis for selection was includedto insure a broader representation of programs throughout the province.25Permission was sought from all twenty one districts on the list. Initial contactwas made by way of a letter of application to do research in the district with anindication of the school where the research would likely take place. This requestwas followed up by a phone call to discern the appropriate contact person and clarifythe procedures specific to each district. Due to the timeline I set for collecting dataand various demands on the teachers who would be asked to participate, a total ofthirteen school districts were able to respond positively. A letter was then sent toteachers through the school principals to inform them of the specific expectations Ihad of them and to obtain willingness on the part of the teachers and permission onthe part of the administration to have students participate in the study. A phonecall was made to each teacher for whom district permission had been given but whohad not returned the participation consent form and program questionnaire whichhad been sent to the schools. This procedure resulted in a final list of thirteenschools representing a fairly wide variety of technology education programs. A feware programs which include a strong computer base, all include design, problemsolving, group work and hands-on activities. Many of the programs are taught intraditional industrial education facilities (wood, metal, drafting or electronicsshops); some are taught in new technology education facilities (likely to be a dustfree design area with an accompanying general shop area which includes variousmachines and equipment); a couple are taught in more of a classroom setting. Allclasses include both male and female students, ranging in proportion from twofemale students out of twenty-four to fifteen female students out of twenty nine.The teachers see themselves acting as facilitators in a student-centeredenvironment. Each of the teachers answered questions regarding their programsthat gave an indication of the extent to which the program met the criteria set forthat the beginning of the selection process (see Appendix C). Based on consultationwith Professor Logan, I believe the various degrees of design, problem solving andcooperative education activity is representative of the technology education26programs throughout the province. The desire to have at least 35% female studentsin the classes was not able to be met. Several of the teachers surveyed the gradeeight classes so as to maximize the female responses but not all classes surveyedhave this percentage of female students. (In some schools technology education is arequired course in grade eight, in others it is a popular elective so grade eightcourses often have an even mix of male and female students.) The thirteen schoolsrepresent five from metropolitan Vancouver, one from the Fraser Valley, one fromVancouver Island, one from the Sechelt peninsula, and five from the rest of theprovince including the North, the East Kootenays and the Okanagan Valley. Ibelieve the sample to be representative of the technology education programs thatare taking place in the province.Eight of the teachers were able to administer the questionnaire the first weekof January as originally planned. Five others requested to carry out the survey inthe first two weeks of May. I acknowledge that administering the questionnaire atdifferent times of the school year may influence responses, and data were keptseparate for an initial analysis to determine if any variations seemed apparent. Nodifferences were noted in the data collected from different times. Some studentsresponding in January who were enrolled in year-long courses made comments thatindicated the answers might have been different if those courses had been surveyedin May or June, but overall there was no difference between those students whoanswered in January and those who answered in June.Creation of the questionnaireThe questionnaire for students was based on the results of two“conversational” interviews with female students of a successful technologyprogram coupled with the content and attitudes questionnaires used in the PATTresearch (Raat, de Vries and de Kierk, 1987). District permission was secured toconduct the conversational interview, and a colleague in the greater Vancouverarea arranged for me to meet with former female students in his classroom one day27at lunch time. At this meeting, I was introduced to the students, I gave an overviewof the research I wanted to do and asked if they were interested and willing toparticipate in a conversation with me. Seven of thirteen girls present agreed toparticipate and returned letters of parental permission. I met with these students astwo different groups on two different occasions at a public pizza parlor of theirchoice to talk about their perceptions of and responses to the program they hadtaken. General questions were used to turn the conversation from their generalschool life to a discussion of the technology education course. These questionsincluded such queries as: “What was the most important thing you learned in thecourse?”, “Do you think the experience helped you in any other part of your life?”and “What did you like most about the course?” Probing for depth of response wasused to gain insight into appropriate questions for the questionnaire. Theseinterviews were taped and reviewed carefully but not transcribed verbatim. Severalareas were identified in the review of the tapes, including use of machines, theimportance of safety, usefulness of skills, and a sense of self confidence as a result ofaccomplishment in the class. Using this information, I studied the questions on thePATT questionnaire (Raat, de Vries and de Klerk, 1987) and made sure that theconcerns and expectations of the girls along with some of their wording wereincluded in a questionnaire that was to be administered to the students in the study.The PATT questionnaire is an instrument that has been carefully designed,piloted in 12 countries throughout the world, and refined by members of twointernational PATT conferences. Part of the refinement involved checking forvalidity and reliability when processing the data from the various countries.Reliability for data was measured by ‘Cronbach’s alpha’ scale. In the cases of Englishspeaking countries, “the alpha-values were well over 80”(Raat, de Vries and deKierk Wolters, 1987, p.l9) Adaptation of the questionnaire has been encouraged bythe authors as noted in de Kierk Wolters (1989) when he states, “To use PATT for28practical purposes, the instruments should be adapted to the specific situation of theuser” (p. 303).A pilot of the questionnaire used in this study was given to forty-eight Grade8 students to establish the length of time needed to complete the exercise and tocheck for clarity of the questions. Several questions were reworded as a result ofthis pilot.Administration and follow up proceduresOnce the list of participants was established and the questionnaire wasdeveloped, the procedure for administering the data was clarified and organized. Apackage containing questionnaires, answer sheets and letters of parental permissionfor at least one class was sent to each participating school so it would arrive duringthe first week of January. A list of instructions for the teacher with regard toadministering the questionnaire was included (Appendix C) and teachers wereencouraged to copy the necessary documentation if they wanted to include morethan one class. I then phoned the teachers at the end of that week to confirm thatthe package had arrived, to clarify instructions for the open ended questions andanswer any questions that the teachers had. The first group of questionnaires fromeight schools were all returned by the first of February. Upon examination of thesereturns, several schools had failed to include a letter of parental permission for eachquestionnaire returned. This required further contact with the teachers, sendingmore permission forms and further clarification of UBC policy on use of datawithout parental permission. Fortunately, all participating teachers were willing toput in the extra effort needed to meet this requirement.Since materials had been sent to all of the schools in January, a letter was sentin the last week of April reminding the teachers in the delayed group of theadministration date. This was followed by a phone call to confirm the possibility ofcarrying out the task and to clarify the date changes needed on the letters to parents.It took longer to have the second set of data returned due to the fact that a few of the29teachers took the time to insure parental permission had been given for the entireclass and this proved to be a difficult task. In the end, all thirteen schools returnedthe questionnaires and necessary parental permission forms which resulted in 117female responses and 129 male responses for a total of 246 student responses.Analysis of the dataThe questionnaire of forty-five questions with responses on a Likert type scale(see Appendix C) was answered on standard computer scan sheets. These sheetswere scanned and the data organized by computer technology. Fourteen areas ofquestions were determined at the writing of the questionnaire and were used toorganize analysis of these answers. Three open ended, hand written questions wereincluded at the end of the list of forty-five questions. These were separated by schooland gender and hand sorted into categories that were determined from theresponses. A colleague who is a student counselor and has no background intechnology education assisted in categorizing the responses. This helped to insurethat the categories were developed from the data rather than my own predispositionand familiarity with technology education. The interrater reliability was aboutninety-five percent.The purpose of the study has been to learn from students themselves thoseaspects of the technology courses that were important, interesting and attractive tothem. Importance and attractiveness were revealed in responses to the open endedquestions while interest and attitude were more clearly indicated on the formalizedquestions. Consequently, analysis of the data that follows deals with the open endedanswers and is supported by the formalized questions. This approach seems to bemore faithful to the purpose in that it allows the “student voice” to predominate.30Chapter 4ResultsThis chapter provides a descriptive analysis of the written answers to thethree open ended questions on the questionnaire. Included in these descriptionswill be pertinent information from the forty-five closed questions which made upthe first part of the questionnaire.Students responded to the open ended questions in terms of the specificprogram content they had experienced. Variations in response reflected variationsin programs. For instance, one participating school surveyed students whosecontext for technology education was a drafting class. This fact influenced the kindof answers that were given. Instead of simply stating that drafting was important,these students gave the following kinds of answers.“The most important thing I’ve learned in this class is to workefficently [jç]. How important it is to be neat in work habits. How muchdrafting effects [sic] the world, and when it changes all the jobs in this field.How useful it can be. It’s a challenge. To demincin []], and scale things.Everything in drafting was new and I’ve learned a lot.”“I have learned how to shade houses, and objects, Front [jç] back andside of an object. I have learned to be precise in my measurements soeverything matches up.”Likewise, those classes which had computers available and were using them as anintegral part of the program reflected this fact in the responses given as is evident inthe quotations included with the analysis. Excerpts represent the full range ofschools except where indicated at the time of the quote.Responses to the three open-ended questions are summarized, together withsupporting data from the forty-five closed questions.31Question 1: What is the most important thing you have learned in this class?Obvious similarities exist between the categories that make up the mostimportant things students say they have learned in the technology classes and theareas of technology raised in the forty-five closed questions. It could be argued thatthe students were influenced in their written responses by the questions they hadjust finished answering. This is likely, although the written answers are so candidin comparison to the formalized wording of the closed questions that the responsesreflect a much broader sense of the categories than was included in these questions.There is also the possibility that in spite of my conscious efforts to counteract thetendency to create similar categories, I did so.It is important to note that several students gave more than one response tothis question. Rather than conclude that the first response was the most importantthing learned, I included all answers given. Consequently there are 186 responses tothis question from 117 female students and 172 responses from 126 male students.Percentages have been calculated based on the number of students rather than thenumber of responses. This means I have divided the number of students into thenumber of responses for a given category to arrive at the percentage stated. Thenumbers in parentheses indicate the number of students who gave a specificresponse.Use of machines and equipmentLearning how to use machines and equipment was the most frequentresponse to the question of what was the most important thing female studentslearned in technology education classes. Female students from nine out of thethirteen schools gave this response. As can be seen on Figure 1, twenty and one halfpercent (24) of the 117 female students included this component. The responsesrange from rather simple and straight forward to quite inclusive and sophisticated.Most of them connect machines to other experiences. The simple ones includedsuch answers as:Whatisthemostimportantthingyouhavelearnedinthisclass?CommunicationsAccuracyNoAnswerIndependentlearningPerserveranceWorkingwithmaterialsImpactoftechnologyProblemsolvingDesignUseoftoolsDraftingSpecificskillsWorkingingroupsOtherComputersMakingthingsSafetyUseofmachines0MaIes•Females510152025Percentageofstudents33“I learned how to operate the machines.”“Probably how to use different machines.”“I learn [sic] to use some of the machines that I never use [J before in my life.”Some students linked machinery with safety;“learning how to use the machines properly & safely & with care.”“I have learned how to use the equipment properly and saftley [jJ. (I thinkthat’s the most important).”while other students linked machinery with making things:“How to run machinery and build things.”“The most important thing that I have learned is how to work machines andhow to make different things.”“I learned how to use lots of machines & build certain simple things to use ina house.”The inclusive responses gave evidence of more linkages such as:“I learned how to use stuff, like machines, tools ect.... [jJ I also learned how Ican make things 3 times better & cheaper than what I buy in stores.”“I have learned that using machinery is not very difficult, but precision isvery important. Attention to detail and calmness are “absolute” “musts” inthe tech ed lab. I’ve discovered that you really MUST think things throughand plan ahead (with drawings, sketches, plans, etc.) before beginning.”“The most important thing I’ve learned in this class is the process throughwhich I can turn an idea into a design and a finished product. I’ve learnedpractical concepts of drafting, trial and error, working w/ materials,machinery tools [jç] efficiently - and of technology [ç].”The fact that use of machines and equipment drew the largest number ofresponses from female students takes on even more meaning when it is pointed out34that only fourteen percent (18) of the male students declared that learning the use ofmachines was most important. This brings us to realize that it is more important tofemales than males to learn to use machinery. This is not a finding that I expectedto come out of this study. In my experience I have found that most people assumethat females are reluctant to work with large, noisy machines. For the students inthis study, this is not the case. Perhaps females realize that learning to usemachinery gives them options for jobs or avocational activity that they had notthought available to them. Looking at the closed questions for further information,we find that seventy percent of the female students gave a positive response toquestions regarding this issue (see Figure 2). In response to specific questions aboutmachinery and equipment, as indicated on Figure 3, fifty-one percent (60) of thefemale students answered “yes” to question number 3: “I like learning how to usethe equipment”. Another twenty-nine percent (34) answered “Probably” to the samequestion. Conversely, when asked to respond to the statement in question number15: “I am frightened by large, noisy machines and br equipment”, forty-six percent(54) of the female students answered “No” and another twenty-eight percent (33)answered “not really”. These data are consistent with the written responses.Interestingly, the number of “I don’t know” answers given by one school to allquestions about machines and equipment indicates a strong possibility that thestudents at that school hadn’t had much opportunity to use machines or equipmentat the time of the survey.35CDC)CDCDCDCD(00C,)CD(I)-a1%) C) 01 0) (0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 D-F -I- - -Technical KnowledgeMachines & EquipmentDesignSocial EffectsSkillGroup/Individual WorkSafetyMath / ScienceMaterialsProblem SolvingComputersConsumer ChoiceIL El • 0 •-<-uzzt3LQ(D CD Cd)—Q.2(M):Simple0•machinesCd) CD Cd)Cd,Q.2(F):SimplemachinesI-..Q.3(M):Howtouseequipment0 0O0.3(F):HowtouseequipmentCDQ.15(M):FrightenedbyCDzCd)gmachinesI-.0Q.15(F):FrightenedbymachinesICDQ.19(M):Equipment setupo0.19(F):CDEquipment setupQ.34(M):Useof0machineI-.knowledge0.34(F):Useof0CDmachineknowledge%ofresponses-‘)C)-(0)-J0)CD000000000000IIIUC)CD0 20 m 0 C 0 3 cDa’37ComputersI am choosing to list computers in a separate category for two reasons. First,it appeared that some programs had enough computers available to make them asignificant part of the program while others did not. This led to one of thevariations that showed up in the study. Responses from students in the programsthat have computers seem to indicate that they spend less time on machinery solearning the use of the computer would constitute a comparable activity. Second,the number of responses was high even though availability throughout was low(students from only four schools said computers were the most important thinglearned). This seems to signify that students who have the option to use computersfind it an especially important thing to learn. Seventeen percent (20) of the femalestudents indicated that learning the use of computers was the most important thingthey learned in class (Figure 1). As a matter of fact, as with learning to usemachines, learning computer skills was more important to the females than to themale students (eight percent indicating computers as most important). It isreasonable to speculate that females realize the value in gaining computer skillswhich can provide opportunities for the future and they are learning these skills inthese classes. This was specifically stated by some of the students (who were writingby hand so didn’t have a spell check!):“I’ve learned how valuable it is to know computer skills.”“Using the cameras [video] and computers are imorpant [jç] for anyjob.”“How to use the computer and understand the different terms orconcepts used in the class. I know that whatever I have learned andwill learn will probably help me in the future.”“Probably how to get along with the computer and how to work with it,understand it. Everyday there is something new that I learn.Everything that I learn is important to use.”38“The most important thing I’ve learned in this class is how to becreative with the computer. I use [ak] to think that drawing things oncomputer meant printing out a picture that was already programed [kJinto the comp. But I see you can do a lot of design on the computer.”If learning the use of computers (which of course is a machine) had beenincluded in the previous category, a total of thirty-eight percent of female students(44) would have said that learning how to use machinery and equipment was themost important thing they had learned in the class. In light of the literature, thesocialization of females, the history of industrial education/technology education,and the variety of responses given, this is a significant finding.A look at the closed questions regarding computers seems to confirm thepossibility that several of the programs did not have computers to use. The numberof “I don’t know” responses to questions about computers as a category tallied atabout thirty six percent for the females (see Figure 2) and at about twenty-fivepercent for the males (Figure 2A in Appendix D). Not having computers availablemade two of the, three questions on computers irrelevant (see Figure 4). Even so,awareness of the importance of using computers was relatively high. Forty-threepercent (50) of the female students answered “Yes” to question number 39:“Learning to use the computer in the tech ed lab is important” while anothersixteen percent (19) answered “Probably”.Making things (tools and materials)Making things received about fifteen percent of the female responses. It isworthwhile to note that the same number of females (18) as males found makingthings in technology education to be most important (see Figure 1). The socialization factors described in the literature review concerning spatial and mechanicalfamiliarity (Brown, 1989) would imply that this would not have been the case. Thehistorical association with this area as being a male domain (Kimbell, et. al., 1991)would also tend to make this finding unexpected. However, making things fits withfemales’ selection of use of machines and equipment as most important. As%ofresponses-W.010)-.JCocoo00000000000.IIIIIIIIII II-. (D (D 0 (I) (D 0 I.-.0 Cl) (D (D Ci) 0 Ci) (D n 0 -I (D 0IIQ.26(M):ComputerdraftingisfunQ.26(F):ComputerdraftingisfunQ.29(M):ComputerskillshelpinlifeQ.29(F):ComputerskillshelpinlifeQ.39(M):LearningcomputerisimportantQ.39(F):LearningcomputerisimportantIIC) 0 B CD -S C,)I__________\.U-<DZCD‘0Q0Cl)— -‘40indicated earlier, the students often made the connection between using machinesand making things. Responses in this category reflected a sense of pride andusefulness associated with making things (see also student responses to use ofmachinery and equipment):“that I can make things that are useful to me.”“How to build things really strong.”“How to make things that will help me out in life.”“How to figure out how to make things without being given plans” [design].“I have learned how to do a project from design and plan (start) to finalproduct (finish) and this is helpful to make my own furniture etc.. . I savelots of money and I know how to make every day repairs.”Questions about making things occur in the Skills category of the closed sectionof the questionnaire. In response to the statement: “I can use skills I have learnedin this class to make things just for fun”, sixty-one and one half percent (72) of thefemales answered “Yes”. Another twenty two percent (26) answered “Probably” tothis question. These responses tend to support the idea that female students areinterested in making things.Connections were not made by any of the students between making things,using machines and equipment and tools or materials. The open ended responsesto the importance of the use of tools and materials seem to be a contradiction. Onlyfour percent (5) of the female students included the use of tools as most importantand only two and one half percent (3) included use of materials. Perhaps it is the“givenness” of using tools and materials to make things that explains this anomaly.It does not appear to be an indication of negative thinking since a look at the closedquestions regarding materials (Figure 2), indicates that females gave a positiveresponse to their use (58% “Yes” and 18% “Probably”). And regarding tools, inresponse to question number 43 which reads: “It makes me feel good to know how41to identify and use tools”, the female responses were likewise positive - forty-fourpercent (52) “Yes” and nineteen percent (22) “Probably” (Figure 5).SafetySafety is important to mention because of the relatively low number ofwritten answers that claim its importance. Only 12% of female students (14) saidsafety was the most important thing learned in class whereas 19.8% of the malestudents (25) claimed it as most important. Given the amount of attention paid tosafety in technology education courses which use dangerous equipment, this is anunusual response. Different observations can be made based on this information.One is that the female students feel they aren’t likely to use the tools and equipmentin a career so do not place it with high importance. The second observation is thatthe female students enter the class with a greater awareness of the need for safetyand stronger patterns of safe conduct so females don’t see safety as a lesson they arelearning in this situation. A third is that the inexperience of the females causesthem to be unaware of the dangers of the equipment. My experience in the tech labis that the females are very cautious and safety conscious even when they getfamiliar with the equipment. I am constantly reminding the male students aboutsafety but I rarely have to remind the female students to be safe. Answers to thequestions about safety in the closed section tend to indicate that the secondobservation is likely the case (Figure 6). Ninety six percent (82.9 + 12.8) of the femalestudents said “Yes” to the statement “It is important to know how to work safely inthe tech ed lab”. Not one female student answered “No” to this question whereasfour male students did. Eighty-seven percent of the female students affirmed thestatement: “Knowing how to use tools and equipment safely helps me feel confidentin the tech ed lab.” with another five percent answering “I don’t know” perhapsindicating they have not been exposed to tools and equipment.421 00908070U)a)U)0050403020100Figure 5.ToolsEJ Don’t knowNot reallyLI Probably• Yes>‘- 0-oC’). Cd>a)0..O)- U)L1 D- (U0U)0)U)-x E0..- (UCoU)0)D— a)0— CUCoFigure 5. Responses to individual closed questions in the Tools category.43Figure 6.Safety1 00908070C’,a,CoC00.50403020100D Don’t knowNoNot reallyD Probably• Yesco-UCo—. C.)U)00..0-Ca,co:2C0a)0a)0.E0Li.. 0 >0.EFigure 6. Responses to individual closed questions in the Safety category.44OtherStudy of Figure 1 shows an “other” category had seventeen percent (20) of thefemale responses. Included here were considerations that had one, two or threeresponses each so were not deemed to be a separate category. Due to the number ofanswers that have been put into this category, it seems appropriate to give a sampleof the student’s thinking. Though there is some latitude to the perimeters of theestablished categories, none of these answers seemed to match well enough to beincluded. I have looked for a possible bias in categorization but find that some ofthe answers match areas of focus in technology education, there just aren’t enoughof them to constitute a separate category. For instance, there are two responses thatfind communication (one of the provincial curriculum intentions), the mostimportant thing the students learned,“The most important thing I have learned in this class is how tocommunicate with my teacher.”“Communicate with others”and a couple could be designated as reflecting course integration, (another of theprovincial curriculum intentions),“I can sometimes apply these skills (observing and drawing objects &using tools) to other things.”“Through drafting I have also gained a better view of how science,math, technology etc. . connect and interact (in idea & the world).”Others are simply unusual or one of a kind, indicating evasiveness,“I’m not sure”“I have learned many things but I can’t think of one right now”self-evaluation,“How to evaluate my work truthfully.”45awareness,“The most important thing I have learn [j] is that on paper thingsdon’t always look like they would in real life.accomplishment,“1 enjoyed the feeling of getting something accomplished”or sexism,“It also means that woodworking, fixing etc. . . is not only a mans [jçjarea but a womans [sic] as well!!!”“that I can be as good as guys in this area, and girls can do anythingguys can do.”Thus it is not that categories did not exist but that few students repeatedsimilar answers so they were placed here.Perseverance/self discoveryPerseverance/self discovery is singled out because it is a category that only thefemale students mentioned. It must also be pointed out that these students werealso from only one school whose program includes more students from theacademic stream. This offers at least a couple of explanations why such animportant learning experience is not mentioned more often. First, these studentsare more likely to persevere at all subjects. Second, academically oriented studentsoften have to persevere with hands-on activities in order to succeed and would bemore likely to identify that need. The fact that they feel they have succeeded in thisclass is a credit to the teacher. The academic orientation is reflected in many of theresponses to the open ended questions, some of which have already been quoted, atleast in part. The sense of self reliance and perseverance is clear in the responsesgiven below. The value of this lesson in this context cannot be denied, especially forfemales in relation to technology. As the students put it:46“I have learned a lot in this class, including how to work things through tothe best you can because it will be better at the end. This class has given me alot of confidence, now I know I can do things myself no help needed.”“The most important thing is to work hard and not drop it if I get to aproblem.”“The most important thing I’ve learned is not give up on my project when aproblem occurs. . . . it is the most important thing I have learned that willprobably help me for the rest of my life.”“The most important thing I have learned in this class is that you can doanything you want if you put your mind to it.”“I have learned to use my head in putting things together as I wouldanywhere.”“I learned that the ability to make quality items is not such an impossiblegoal, and that the guided experienced manipulation of your hands is almostas useful a skill as rationalizing, etc.“The ability to do things with my hands any time I want to. I can do thing[jJ in real life (3-D) rather than on paper (2-D).”“The most important thing I’ve learned in this class is learning how to usemy brain in ways other than those in my life before. Because I feel it isimportant for me as a girl to learn technology for life when I am on my own.”Ouestion 2: Do you plan to take technology education next year? If so, why? If not,why not?Fifty-two percent of the female responses to this question were y with anadditional ten percent who answered maybe! This response verifies the fact that theprograms selected for study are meeting the needs of female students otherwise theywouldn’t be signing up again. It contradicts the studies reviewed in the literaturewhich indicated that even with intervention strategies, female students failed tosign up for higher level courses. And it says that technology education can be made47attractive to females in spite of the patterns of the past. (The male students are evenmore definite with a rate of 79% yes + 5% maybe.) The reasons given for thesechoices can be seen by referring to Figure 7.There are only three more responses than female students for this questionwhich indicates that very few students gave more than one answer. The method ofcalculating percentage is the same as that used for question number one.Yes, because its funThe main reason for choosing to take technology education again was becausethe students had fun and enjoyed the class. Twenty-two percent (26) of the femalestudents gave this answer. Many students simply said it was fun but a numberadded further comments such as:“Yes. I would because it is fun and neat to learn new things.”“Yes I am. Because it’s fun and you learn a lot.”“Yes, It is fun and helpful.”“Yes, Because it is an awsem [j] course.”“Yes. I injoy [jçJ it very much and would like to learn more.”“Yes I do, this is because I thought this year was fun and interesting.Hopefully next year will be the same, I’m sure it will.”“Yes, because I enjoy making things with wood and my teacher cool.”“Yes. I enjoy it very much, I have learned a lot and I had fun at the sametime. I want to know more, its like a drug you get hooked and want more.”“Yes, because it’s fun to work with wood, mind and hands at the same time.It’s challenging.”“Yes because I enjoy making things and learning processes.”Doyouplantotaketechnologyeducationnextyear?No,perceivedlackofabilityNo,graduatingNoanswerNo,lackofinterestNo, don’tlikecourseNo, courseselectionDon’tknow!MaybeYes,skillbuildingYes,careerYes,makingthingsYes,broadeneducationYes, generalinterestYes,funandenjoymentDMalesmales0510152025303540Percentageofstudents49These responses are a compliment to the teachers and the nature of the programsthey are delivering.Yes, because of general interestHalf as many female students (13) would take technology education againbecause they are generally interested in the course or see it as valuable. One studentexpressed herself by saying:“Yes, because right now I don’t know what I would take as a course when Igraduate from high school, and the more knowledge & experients [j] youhave, the better choice you’ll have.”A second student says simply:“Yes, cause I really like it. Technology is around us. We have to learn it.”and a third student expresses a more pragmatic approach when she writes:“Yes, I think I will be taking technology next year because it will help me laterand its fun!! My dad works in demolition and I help him sometimes so itsgood for me to know lots in technology.”The importance of general knowledge about technology came through muchmore strongly on the closed questionnaire (see Figure 8). More than eighty percentof the females answered with a positive response (“yes” or “probably”) to questionnumber 1, “I like knowing about the various kinds of technology that I use everyday.” and question number 9, “Technology is all around us so we should learn aboutit and understand how it affects us.” The question (number 31) dealing withapplication of that knowledge, “Technology Education has helped me tounderstand the world around me.” is not nearly so convincing (only 41% positive).It appears that our programs need to make stronger connections between theclassroom and the world outside.50Cl)a)0000a)10Figure 8.Technical Knowledge1 00go80706050403020100E1 Don’t knowNot reallyEJ Probably• Yes000—-CC)— 0)ci00 >•O0). 0—-CLLa)ci0Cl)LLJ0C0)00o 0).._ 0cc,00-da)C’)0Figure 8. Responses to individual closed questions in the Technical Knowledgecategory.51CareerThe connection between technology education and career does not appear tobe very clear. None of the students mentioned career in relation to (open ended)question one and few indicate that the reason they would take technology educationagain is because it would contribute to their career (only four percent [51). Another2.6% of the students (3) said they would take technology because it would notcontribute to their career. Given the pervasiveness of technology in our society it isnaive, to say the least, to think that career will not involve technical knowledge.It is true that course selection at the ages of 13 and 14 is not nearly as critical to futureoptions in North America as it is in Europe but the socialization around careers isprevalent here also (see J. Gaskell, 1984). Technology education is a general coursethat is not designed to lead directly to a career but as such, essential non sex-biaseddiscussion of careers within the course is appropriate and possible. One of theProvincial Curriculum Intentions (see Appendix E) specifically addresses includingcareers and it does not appear that this is happening. Even the students whomentioned career are divided on how technology education will help:“I plan to take it next year because I think It [I1 will be needed for the career Iplan to pursue. The skills may be important.”“Yes I do want to take a technology course because it may help me to get thejob I want (Fx artist) and I also find it interesting.”“Yes, i [sil do plan to take technology education next year because i [sic] enjoyit and in my future this is the catagory [sic] i [sic] plan to study and have a jobin!”“Probably if I graduate I will go to the University of the Cariboo [sic]. Because Ienjoy using these kinds of machines and I like working with wood.”52“Yes, I do, I think it’s important for drafting & technology skills to be learned.I would like to become something with this field. I will take ‘drafting’ in mylater years. It’s what I plan for my career.”Answers to the closed questions on career tend to reinforce the idea thatcareers are not being discussed in the classroom (see Figure 9). Question number 21reads: “The concepts and skills I have learned in Tech Ed will help me decide whatkind of work I would like to do when I finish school”. Only 32% of the femalesanswered “Yes”, followed by 20% answering “Probably”. That leaves nearly half theclass that don’t think technology education will help decide on careers or else don’tknow. Responses to question number 37 (31% “Yes” and 34% “Probably”) are moreencouraging but this question reflects student awareness of necessary job skills morethan job opportunities. This question reads: “The things we are learning in Tech Edwill probably help me get a job”.Don’t knowAll responses that were put into the ‘1 don’t know” category whichconstituted ten percent of the female total were strictly “not sure”, “maybe’ or “Idon’t know” answers with little elaboration. Five students expressed the followingthoughts, “1 might, but it depends on what my other choices are.” These answerswere included here rather than in the course selection category because they weremore positive than negative in tone. One student didn’t know about next year butdidn’t close her options when she answered:“I haven’t decided yet, but if I don’t take it next year I can take thesame course the year after”.No, because of course selectionOf the reasons given not to take further technology courses, course selectionranks the highest. Twenty-three female students (19.6% of responses) gave this astheir reason. In my experience, it has often been true that music students or French53Figure 9.Career1 00908070Coa)C’)C0050c 403020100E Don’t knowDIbNot reallyEJ Probably• Yesci)Qa)c’J‘..1 a)-da)-cia)u_ c C.)a)d.0C.)a)-d.00)•—0r-a)dFigure 9. Responses to individual closed questions in the Career category.54students simply do not have room in their schedules to include a technology course.However, it is difficult to know how many of the students who gave this answerchoose other courses because of lack of interest in technology education. Thestudents themselves reflect this ambivalence:“Probably not. I would like to, but I will only have two electives and I want totry lots of. other courses.”“No, mainly because I don’t have enough electives to take this course again.If I had five electives to choose, I probably would.”“No, I would but there are too many required courses and in my one or twoelectives I’m picking things that interest me the most ie. psycology [sic] andhistory.”The percentage of students not taking technology education because of courseconflict is actually surprisingly low considering the number of required coursesstudents must take coupled with our school system’s emphasis on universityqualifying subjects.Lack of interestTen of the females stated that they would not take technology educationbecause they were not interested in the subject or didn’t feel it would contribute totheir careers. Some students said directly:“No, because this is not really what I want to do.”“I am not taking technology next year because I would like to trysomething else next year.”“I do not plan to take technology ed. next year. This is because I do not plan ajob using this, and I am not interested in technology as much as I am in arts. Idon’t like building things.”“No, I don’t think so. I will learn enough this year, [sic] so that I can do thingswith my dad’s tools & machines at home. I won’t be making a career out ofthis. I will take courses that will be beneficial to me.”55Another student was more evasive when she said:“I’m not taking it next year because I personally think its just not for me.”No, because of perceived lack of abilityIt seems appropriate to mention the listing that appears at the top of Figure 7.There is no “other” grouping for this question as all answers but these two, logicallyfell into the categories listed. Two male students indicated the following sentiments.“No, because I’m more of an academic student and I was never good atbuilding things with my hands.”“Probably not, because I’m not that creative.”It is interesting that none of the female students expressed these attitudes since thesocialization process stated in the literature tends to make us believe it would befemales who would hold them.Ouestion 3: If I could change the tech ed course, I would...This question was intended to give the students an opportunity to offer someconstructive criticism of the course as well as indicate areas of interest that mightnot have been covered by the closed questions or the way the first question wasworded. Most of the students took advantage of this opportunity to criticize whilesome indicated areas of special interest. Many students gave more than one answer.The categories of responses are shown in Figure 10. Calculation of percentagefollows the pattern set for the former questions.Change in course contentThis category includes the most responses and covers a wide variety ofsuggestions. Overall, students wanted to eliminate book work and journal writing,increase the hands-on work (more projects) and increase time in a given areaaccording to specific interest such as electronics or working with wood. There was aIfIcouldchangethetechedcourse,IwouldInapplicableanswersTeacher/StudentratioStudents’choiceMoretimeNoanswerAddcomputers/computerskillsChangesincousestructureFacilities IequipmentWouldn’tchangeChangeincoursecontent0Males•Females051015202530Percentageofstudents57difference between male and female answers in that the males would be inclined towork with mechanics and the females did not mention this area at all. Severalfemale students (10) agreed with the student who said,“do more projects and have this subject more longer [çJ in the year.”Five students expressed a desire to lengthen the time spent on a specific part of theprogram that they found particularly interesting. One student suggested we might,“ask some professionals to come to my classroom.”This student did not indicate the advantage of that professional being femalethough the GIST study made a point of doing just that. Other suggestions include:“have poster of designs we are assigned to make or want to make.”“make it a more hands-on class, like knowing how to fix a VCR, radio, orstero [jçJ. Like taking them apart and putting it [jç] back together. That’smore fun than sitting in class all day taking notes.”and a multifaceted suggestion that we“reinforce the ideals of kids teaching kids and of drafting & hands on work asequally important (and all around education of technology-past/present/future should be a small ‘side-course’ within courses - but notthe focus).”Wouldnt changeFigure 10 indicates that 20.5% (24) of the female students would not changethe course. If we were to interpret the “no answer” category as a vote for no change,this figure would jump to 33% (39). It appears that many of our students are happywith the programs they are being offered. As a matter of fact, a closer look at Figure10 reveals that the female students are happier than their male counterparts. This isverification that the programs studied are encouraging a change in clientele toinclude the female students. Students expressed themselves in the following ways:58If I could change the tech ed course, I would “not know what I would change.I like this course the way it is. Our teacher has made it a fun course but he isalso teaching us at the same time.”“No, there’s really nothing I would like changed, except working withdifferent people. Whether [j.ç] smart or dumb.”If I could change the tech ed course, I would “not because it is fun to workwith machines and computers.”If I could change the tech ed course I would “do nothing because we have thebest technology school in B.C.”If I could change the tech ed course I would “not. I like it the way it is.Probably because of the teacher and the way he works with us. He is fair toeveryone and he is a friend to us. He makes the course fun even thoughthere are some boring parts.”“If I could change the tech ed course I wouldn’t because I think its [j] great asit is. I have gained lot’s [k] due to it.”“I don’t think I would change anything about this course because once you getinto a higher grade you are learning a whole bunch of new stuff and your [.]doing neat things on the computer.”Add computers and computer skillsThis category could have been included in the topic of changes in facilitiesand equipment but it was significantly large enough and specific enough to let standon its own. Given our society’s use of computers, it is not surprising that studentswho do not presently have the opportunity to work with them would request to doso. As many as seven students from one school responded with the idea that theirchange to the tech ed course would:“make it so that we could work and design on computers.” or“Also our Tech Ed course needs to encorporate [.jsome computerdesigning into it. The computer and design skills would be veryhelpful in tec-ed [jç] and in the future.”59In another school three students mentioned getting computers with one ofthem going so far as to say,If I could change the tech ed course, I would “make more computerskills, animation skills. [j] more visual stuff, a more broader [k.]outlook on this field.”Areas of interest in closed questions not yet addressedThere are four areas of interest that were included on the closed questionsand deserve attention but have not been discussed as part of the open-endedresponses. Three of the areas, design, problem solving and social awareness areconsidered core concepts in technology education and as such need to be addressed.The fourth, skills, deals with the value of the “hands-on” component (a hallmark ofindustrial education/technology education), its transferability and the broader rangeof skills included in technology education (communication and self evaluation).DesignDesign was certainly acknowledged in the open ended questions but it did notemerge as most important for very many students, a reason for taking the courseagain or something students would add to the course. This does not mean studentswere not interested in design or did not understand its merit. A glance at Figure 2shows that female students were sixty percent positive about design as a whole, andstudy of Figure 11 tells us that 86.9% of the females gave positive answers toquestion 40: “It is important for me to know how to design and make things”. Inresponse to question 4: “I like being able to design the project I am supposed tomake”, 76% of the female students gave a positive answer. Fewer females like todraw out their ideas (question 6) (I have found in my experience that they wouldrather use trial and error with the materials), and some apparently have not doneprototyping (question 22) as the number of “I don’t know” responses is at 35%. The000III%ofresponsesC)-0103—J03CD0oo000000IIIIIIII+L________________________________I-’.I-i (D (D 0 C’) (D 1 0 I—.I-.0 C’) (D (D C’) C Cd) (D (D C,) 0I C’) D 0 0 0 z 0 CD Q ID 0 D 0Q.4(M):Likedesigningproject0.4(F):Likedesigningproject0.6(M):LikedrawingideasQ.6(F):LikedrawingideasQ.22(M):MakingprototypesQ.22(F):Makingprototypes0.23(M):Presentingdesignideas0.23(F):PresentingdesignideasQ.40(M):Usefultoknowdesign0.40(F):Usefultoknowdesign+ +I1-1-I •l -I -I +jjcsq (D I’riiID CD CD D.1.Iia’61one thing students didn’t like about the design process was presenting their ideas tothe class (question 23). Sixty five percent of the male students and fifty-four percentof the female students gave negative responses to this question.Problem solvingProblem solving as a method of delivering technology education is suggestedto be the “keystone” of the program in British Columbia (Fraser et. al, 1992). Use ofproblem solving in the program is one of the criteria by which a course wasconsidered to be teaching technology education. Yet very few (8 female and 8 male)students mentioned it as most important. In attempting to understand why thiswas so, I realized that the questions in the closed list dealing with problem solvingattempted to place it in the context of a hands-on setting. Question 14 reads: “Ienjoy solving problems that require using my hands”, and question 32 says:“Solving problems by making things is exciting”. Although the answers arepositive for the most part (Figure 12), it is possible that students were responding tothe making rather than the problem solving portion of the question. Consequentlyit is difficult to know if students recognize the value of problem solving or think itis an interesting way to approach the course.Social effects of technologyRecognizing the social effect of technology is another core concept of therevised BC curriculum. However, it is one that did not get mentioned very often (8female responses and 4 male responses) on the open ended questions. More femalestudents (32% “Yes” and 30% “Probably” on Figure 2) seem to realize the significanceof the social effects of technology than those that don’t, but that leaves 38% whodon’t think there is a problem or else don’t know the effects of technology onsociety. Given the position stated in the literature that females are more likely to besensitive to these issues, it is interesting that these percentages are the very same forthe male students (Figure 2a). Some differences show up when looking at theindividual questions (Figure 13) but the differences are small. It is notable that only620ci)0C00ci)0Figure 12.Problem Solving1 0090807060504030201000 Don’t knowNo0 Not reallyD Probably• Yes0)C> 0). .9- 0 -0)C> 0)0 .,— >..‘-‘.0.001000)C0Exci).00a-00)C0ci).00a-Figure 12. Responses to individual closed questions in the Problem Solvingcategory.63about 38% of the female students answered positively to question 33, “Studying thehistory of technology helps me understand the ways technology influences my life”.The male percentage is higher (about 50%) but this information causes me towonder how well our programs are addressing social issues. It also causes me towonder how well our programs are making connections between the classroom andthe daily lives of the students.SkillsThe opportunity to integrate the broad range of skills that make uptechnology education programs (interpersonal skills, communication skills,problem solving skills and critical thinking skills along with hands-on skills) maybe the most significant contribution the field has to offer students. Students, weremore likely to focus on a single skill than the sense of integration but their answersindicate the variety of skills offered in the programs. Some students said the mostimportant thing they had learned in the class was a specific skill,“In this class I learned how to use the router.”“How to make a movie”“How to use the video camera”Other students chose to take the course again so they could increase their skill level.This awareness is reflected in the following answers:“Yes, so that I will continue to use my skills for as long as I can. The longer Itake tech ed the longer I will remember.”“Yes, I do plan to take this next year because I enjoy drawing things and itimproves the way I draw and will help me in my further schooling.”Comments on skill, in connection to making things were made earlier butthat dealt with only one of the questions in this category. A look at the usefulness(D-‘-.r\)cz.uio-..icoCOo00000000000Q.5(M):Tech.I;,)dev.affects0societycn (DQ.5(F):Tech.dev.affects0societyQ.36(M):HowQtechnologyaffectsjobsQ.36(F):Howtechnology0affectsjobscrq[::Q.16(M):UseofC)I’Zenergy0-1- o-‘ CDQ.16(F):UseofenergyQ.27(M):(DTechnologyCchangesworld__Q.27(F):TechnologychangesworldOQ.33(M):Hist.(I) 00oftech.affectsmeCDQ.33(F):Hist.0oftech.affectsme%ofresponsesa’65and transferability of the skills learned in the program (about 75% positive responsefor each). Some variations occur when one looks at the individual questions butthese are as great or greater between questions than they are between sexes (Figure14). Neither sex thinks the concepts and skills learned in tech ed will providealternatives for hobbies (question 28) but females are even less convinced (36%“Yes” and 36% “Probably”). On the other hand, the strongest positive response onthe Figure is from females who affirm use of skills to make things just for fun(72%)! They seem to have missed a connection there somehow. More of thefemales (81% positive response) than males ( 75% positive) think the skills learnedin tech ed are useful to all students (question 7). This question was intentionally notput in terms of gender so it is hoped the students answered it in relation to all typesof students, i.e. academic, challenged or ethnic. For the most part, female studentsfelt they were gaining technical skills that could be used in other parts of their life(79% positive on question 25), but in two schools, not one female student answered“Yes” to this question while in one other, eighty-six percent of the female studentsanswered “Yes”. Perhaps this is a bit of evidence of the variation among theparticipating programs in terms of the skills they taught as well as the interpretationfemale students gave their usefulness.%ofresponsesI\)C.).010)JCOCD0000000000+0 0I-I-.ICD CD C,, 0 C,, CD rj) 0 -a 0 (I) CD CD C,, 0 ci, I-..CD -a -a O CD 0+IQ.7(M):Useskillslearned0.7(F):UseskillslearnedQ.17(M):UseskillstomakeforfunQ.17(F):Useskillstomakeforfun0.25(M):Useskillsoutsidetech.ed.Q.25(F):Useskillsoutsidetech.ed.Q.28(M):HobbyalternativesQ.28(F):HobbyalternativesQ.41(M):CommunicationskiNsQ.41(F):CommunicationskillsQ.42(M):Self-evaluation0.42(F):Self-evaluationD -o 0 0 0 z 0 (5 0) z 0 Q 0 z 0+1111+I’p--]-I-I.C,) C’)+II0 a’67Chapter FiveDiscussionThe purpose of this study has been to discern the thinking and orientations offemale students in technology education programs in British Columbia, as well as tolearn from those students which aspects of the course content are interesting andrelevant to them. The specific research question has been: What aspects oftechnology education courses in British Columbia do female students perceive to beimportant, attractive and interesting?This discussion will focus on the results that have just been described and,whenever applicable, link the findings to the literature which provides the backdropfor this study.Areas of importance to female studentsMachinery and equipment (including computers)Given the assumptions that exist in our society about gender expectations, onewould not have predicted that female students would have indicated use ofmachines and equipment to be the most important thing they learned in technologyeducation. This finding could indicate various things. One would be that femalestudents have learned to understand the significance of the use of machines in theclasses and in our society and appreciate the opportunity to gain the ability tooperate them. Two students seemed to understand the value of being able to makethings for themselves when they said:“Yes, I plan to take tec [sic] ed next year because I need to complete myfurniture set. Tec [sic] ed saves money and I need and want to learn how touse the rest of the equipment so that I will be able to do simple chores aroundthe house or make more complicated things for the house.”“I’ve learned how to use stuff, like machines, tools ect... [sic] I also learnedhow I can make things 3 times better & cheaper than what I buy in the stores.”68One student said the most important thing she learned in class was:“How to work with a computer because it’s imporant [icJ thing toknow when I get a job”.A student from a different school stated:“I’ve learned how valuable it is to know computer skills.”A fifth student expressed a small sense of wonder at her accomplishment.“I have never used the machines before or knew [jçJ how people have beenable to design wood like they have. I never thought that I could makesomething out of wood and actually have it turn out.”Students in the original conversation interview stated that learning how to usemachines gave them a sense of confidence and accomplishment. One student inthis study reiterated this stance when she wrote:“The most important thing would be safty [sic] and confidence. When youknow how to be safe on a machine and you know how to work a machineyou get more confidence in yourself.”Another student in the same class wrote:“I have learned that using machinery is not very difficult.. . Before, Ibelieved that woodworking was just a “man’s” [sic] job - but now I realize thatit takes more than braun [sic] to operate machinery - it takes a great deal offorethought and brain power.”This student seems to have entered this class with a mind-set of what she could dowith machines and discovered that mind-set to be wrong.I have often heard the statement from colleagues- “The reason girls are notin the technology labs is because they are intimidated by large, noisy equipment.” Itis important here to repeat the finding that this was not so for 74% of the females inthis study. I would venture to say that when females are taught proper and safe useof any equipment, they are given the emotional as well as physical tools to functionsuccessfully with them. Catton’s (1982) position applies here. He says that the waysubject matter is taught is more important than the content itself. If we recognizethat female students are not likely to have had previous experience with machines69and equipment (even in play), our approach to teaching the use of machinery andequipment should take this into account. This does not mean girls are afraid oreven reluctant around machinery, it just means they are unfamiliar and lackconfidence when entering the classroom. They need time and space without thepressure of competition for the equipment to gain the confidence they speak of intheir responses.Making thingsIt seems reasonable that making things would be listed as important if usingmachinery and equipment is important. It has not been explicitly stated but it can befairly assumed that students used the machinery to produce the things that aremade. The importance of making things seems to be connected to a sense ofaccomplishment. One student said:“That I can make things by myself with only the guidance of a teacher a little.”Another declared:“That I can make things that are useful to me.”While a third female student gave the unusual (1 out of 117 students)response of:“Probably, because in grade 11 technology you get to make go-carts which Ithink would be really interesting learning how to create the engine and thebody. I think it could help me understand my car better.”This sense of success and accomplishment in the tech lab is important to these girls.Choosing items to make that are meaningful to the female students can only serveto strengthen the significance of the activity (see Appendix A).SafetyAs was mentioned in the previous chapter, the relatively low number ofresponses that claimed safety to be the most important thing learned in class was abit surprising. My experience in the trades taught me that female trades people wereconsiderably more safety conscious that male trades people. One further70observation that might explain this finding is that female students view safety as somuch a part of the use of machinery and equipment even without stating sodirectly, that they didn’t think of it as a separate factor. Most (9 out of 14) of theresponses linked safety with machines or tools - “How to work safley [sic] with themachines and materials”; “safety of the machines”; “how to use machines safely”;“use equipment safely” and “safety with power tools”.Use of machines and equipment, making things and safety are all reminiscentof traditional industrial education. Since the programs selected for this study werethose with a different philosophy and approach from traditional programs, thequestion comes to mind - “Why did these topics emerge at the top of the list?”.Perhaps the answer is that students are tied to their concept of what technologyeducation is supposed to give them and don’t recognize the importance of criticalthinking, group work, problem solving by making and other factors that constitutethe present day method of delivery. Perhaps the answer is that technologyeducation classes are the only places where making things with machines occurs.Perhaps the answer is that making things with machines is what IS important to 13to 17 year old female students in technology education classes and the approachtaken by the teachers in these classes is the element that made them femaleinclusive. Surely gaining a sense of confidence and accomplishment is animportant lesson for anyone to learn. Perhaps learning that lesson through makingthings with machines is especially important to females. If these topics areunderstood to be the concepts and contexts girls associate with technology, the nextquestion becomes “What do female students need to know in order to fully functionin our society?” This is the question de Klerk Wolters (1989) raised in his review ofthe PATT research. This is the question that must be answered in order to developmeaningful programs for our female students. In developing these programs, thefindings of this study would indicate that making things with machines ismeaningful to female students and should not be left out of the formula.71Attractiveness of technology to femalesYes, because its funFemales in this study choose to take technology again because it is fun! Thisis a very complimentary statement, especially when the numbers of both male andfemale students are considered (see Figure 7). It is quite rewarding to have studentssay that they want to take a course because they had fun learning. However, studentresponses didn’t indicate what makes a course enjoyable. Nor did they give us anyinformation about the ultimate usefulness of the things students were learning. Itis wonderful to provide students with opportunities to have fun learning. It isnecessary to provide students with opportunities to have fun learning what theyneed to know to survive in our technological world. Since the relationship betweentechnology and society is part of the directive from the provincial TechnologyEducation Curriculum/Assessment Framework, this is an area that merits furtherresearch.Yes, because of general interestAlthough students appear to be attracted to technology education because theyare generally interested in the area, many of them like those in the Raat (1985)study seem to have less ability to recognize technology in their daily lives. (Note theanswers to Q 31 on Figure 8.) It may be that teachers need to make moreconnections between classroom experiences and the “real world” of the students. Itmay be that more time needs to be spent helping students realize the historical andcontemporary effects of technological development on their lives. Two studentsactually suggested such activity as changes they would make to the course.“talk more about the actual study of technology and how it effects [jJ people”“bring in more technology relative to our real life.”Rothschild (1989) and Franklin (1984) seem to think females have a specialcontribution to make to a discussion of the effects of technology on our lives. Brant72and Roelofs (1989), Catton (1986) and Grant (1986) suggest that females are attractedto technology as it relates to society. This, too, seems to be a worthwhile question forfurther research.Yes, careerThe apparent lack of awareness of the significance of technology a careerand the attractiveness of technology a career is almost alarming considering theincreasing number of jobs that require technical knowledge and skill (Thompson, et.al., 1993). Female students do not seem to make a connection between what they arelearning in the tech ed classroom and the world of work (see answers to Q 21, Figure9). Many seem to understand that they need to be able to use a computer as a tool(See Figure 2 and Figure 4 for items involving computers) but the impact oftechnology on the world of work seems to escape them (see answers to Q 36, Figure8). Many authors (Cowen, 1979; Farmer, H. S., et al., 1985; Gaskell, J., 1984; Gaskell,P. J., et al., 1990; Thompson, et al., 1993) express concern over the discrepanciesbetween males and females in the job market. Part of the motivation behind theGIST (Whyte, J., 1986a) project in the United Kingdom was to help female studentsmake the connection between subject choice and future employment. Perhapsfemale students do not see themselves in the technological portion of the workforce as was indicated in the J. Gaskell (1984) study. Perhaps female students don’trealize how many jobs require a foundation in math, science and technology.Perhaps the socialization process is at work here. In any case, this finding is causefor concern over the career related content of our courses.Maybe/Don’t knowTen percent of the female responses were “maybe” with a positive tone to theremainder of the answer. Several girls also answered “probably not, I’d like to,but I don’t have enough electives for all my choices” or a similar answer. The latterstudents were counted as part of the “No, course selection” group. However, if the“no, but I’d like to” students are put with the “maybe” students, the two groups73together represent about 13% of the students surveyed. Since I believe that in NorthAmerican society all female students need a background in technology as strong asthe one they get in English or Social Studies, I advocate encouraging all of thesestudents to take technology. A little more time spent on the significance oftechnology and technological development in and to our lives might serve to attractthese girls to technology education and convey its value to them. Including coursecontent that connects to life beyond the classroom in areas with which femalesidentify (Grant, M., & Harding, J., 1987) might also encourage these female studentsto stay in the program.No, because of course selection or lack of interest, etc.With only thirty-nine percent of the female responses on the ‘No” side of theledger in terms of course choice, it appears that females in this study are definitelyahead of the female participants in the studies reviewed in Chapter 2. It also appearsthat the technology education programs selected for this research are doing a goodjob of appealing to and meeting the needs of the female students they serve.Review of the program questionnaires supplied by the teachers for eachparticipating school indicates that for the most part, these programs ci attract femalestudents. In six of the schools, one-third of the class is female; in five of the schools,around fifty percent are females and in two of the schools, less than one percent ofthe class is female. (One of the ‘less than one percent’ schools had a class firstsemester that had fifty-percent females but the enrollment dropped second termwhen the survey was able to be administered because, as the teacher put it, “of theboys that were signed up for the course”! The other ‘less than one percent’ schoolhas a strong, high profile program but it does not appear to be geared to the girls.) Acouple of the other teachers also indicated that their female enrollment was downthis year for some reason. Obviously, such things fluctuate.74Changes to the course which indicate specific interestsChanges to course contentThere are numerous suggestions offered on how the content of the coursecould be changed, but most of them are simple changes except for those that suggestthat students be allowed to make more projects (12 out of 27 responses). The ideathat female students are interested in hands-on activity and making things is quiteclear throughout this study, both in open ended and closed questions. Five studentsreflected the position taken by Grant and Harding (1987) that girls respond totechnology that is connected to usefulness and the society at large, yet more that 80%verify a female interest in knowing about technology that effects them. (Questions 1“I like knowing about the various kinds of technology that I use every day”; andquestion 9 “Technology is all around us so we should learn about it and understandhow it affects us”, both found on Figure 8.)In an effort to confirm the areas of interest indicated on the closed questions, Ilooked at all of the answers that were seventy percent or more positive (“yes” and“probably” together). This revealed female interest in knowing about technologythat affects them and in using equipment and skills to design and make things withdifferent kinds of materials.Wouldn’t changeOne last piece of evidence of student interest can be found in the strong votefor the status quo which seems to be an indication that female students are gettingwhat they want out of the courses they are taking. The numbers of students who arechoosing to take technology education again also tends to support this position.My overall conclusion is that the programs that were chosen for this studyhave attracted the female students, made them feel successful and encouraged themto continue taking technology education. The students themselves have indicatedthat learning to use machinery to make things out of different kinds of materials is75important, attractive, enjoyable and interesting to them. Knowing about technologyas it relates to their lives is likewise important, but they tend to see this in tangible,hands-on ‘making things’ terms.Implications for the teacherAs I have suggested in the literature review and on a couple of occasionsthroughout this paper, the teacher is the key to the success of making technologyeducation attractive and interesting to female students. The core components oftechnology education such as design, problem solving, social awareness and studentcentered activities were present in all of the programs studied. However theteacher’s selection of activities and ability to have students “enjoy [them] very much[learn] a lot and . . have fun at the same time” is what makes a program work. Ihave offered some suggestions in the literature review that may assist teachers indiscerning how to help female students enjoy the courses. This study has indicatedthat the content of technology education should include using machines to makethings if you wish to interest female students and attract them to the class.Need for further researchThis study has made an attempt to discern interests that B. C. female studentshave in technology. It has also been designed to discern the attitudes and conceptswhich these students hold as they enter the classes. Since this seems to be the onlystudy in North America that I could find that deals with females in technology since1989 (Bame and Dugger), and since our relationship to technology is ever changing,it is strongly suggested that further research be carried out. This study included only13 selected schools out of approximately 1100 tech ed/industrial ed programs in theprovince. Given the need for female students to have education in technology asexpressed at the beginning of the literature review, one major area of study wouldbe to discover what is happening for the female students in other programs.76I have not dealt with the factors in the environment nor the actions andattitudes of teachers that have made the participating programs successful. Thiswould be a most valuable study. Some questions that may be appropriate to askwould include those regarding teacher contribution:What components of your teaching do you believe encourage the girls to feelthey “belong” in your class?What do you expect the girls to contribute to your classroom?How do you encourage success for the female students?What do you believe to be the factors of socialization that girls bring to class?regarding environment:Does the physical environment encourage female students to feel it is a pleasantplace to be?What kind of posters and displays cover the walls?What about cleanliness?, smell?, light?Is the social environment inclusive?How inclusive is the language - of students and of the teacher?Is access to machines, equipment and materials truly equal?What is the level of male “pushiness” in the activities?How is assertiveness rather than aggression encouraged?regarding content:How much of the content can females relate to their own experience? orenvision using in their lives outside of school?Further research is also needed to gain insight into female student preferencewith regard to the type of project made or whether the context for which the projectis made makes a difference. 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C.83Appendix A1 Women and Industrial ArtsA list of suggestions to encourage young women to enroll in technology educationtaken from:Oregon State Department of Education. (1984). High school industrial arts. Aguide for teachers. Salem, Oregon: Author. (page 14).2 A list of technological interests of boys and girlstaken from:Brand, M. & Roelofs, L. (1989). Guidelines to make technology attractive togirls: Experiences of the MENT project. In de Kierk Wolters, F., Mottier, I., Raat, J.,deVries, M. (Eds.), Teacher education for school technology: Report PATT - 4conference. (pp. 343-353). Eindhoven, the Netherlands: Pedagogical TechnologicalCollege. (page 350).841A number of strategies can be used to encourage young women to enroll inindustrial arts [technology education] classes.- Do not use sexist language, inferences, expressions or jokes.- Review course titles, course descriptions and recruitment materials to ensure theyclearly state that classes are open to both sexes and will benefit both. Use languagethat is not specific to either sex.- Review guidance materials used by counselors to be sure that neither girls norboys are stereotyped.- Eliminate policies, requirements and situations that would discourage or hinderfemales from enrolling in classes.- Display photographs, posters, wall hangings, and projects in show cases that showboth sexes involved in class work.- Point out to students the sexism implicit in most of the existing teachingmaterials and books for industrial arts [technology education]. Discuss how sexbiases are encouraged by textbooks that only show boys operating machines orparticipating in industrial arts [technology education] classes.- Prepare a brochure or a one-page flyer describing why your subject might beattractive and beneficial to young women. Distribute them through thecounselor’s office, library and homerooms.- Invite present female students in industrial arts/technology classes as role modelsin recruitment activities.- Send an informational letter to parents of potential female students pointing outthe short and long-range benefits of industrial arts [technology] education.- Present information about benefits of industrial arts [technology education] classesat open-house programs and PTA meetings.Adapted from AIAA Affirmative Action publication, Providing TechnologyEducation for all Students. 1983852Boys and girls are both interested in technical aspects of daily life: telephone,camera, record player and in spectacular and natural phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, fossils and crystals. Also the consequences of a nuclear disaster,pollution and automation are interesting to both.What girls do not like is electricity (the way it is taught at school now), energy,electronics, engines, space travel and nuclear weapons. They are interested in roadsafety, x-rays, questions on health care and everything related to food. These aremainly subjects that are related to society, the human body, safety and medicaltechnical applications.Boys are particularly interested in engines, and vehicles, space travel, nuclearenergy, weapons and electricity. On the other hand they are not so much interestedin subjects that are related to caring for people, health and food.For the subject technology education, it is important that subjects are chosen form[sil the aforementioned three groups that are not discouraging for anyone inparticular and that give all pupils the same opportunity to develop a positiveattitude towards technology. (Page 350-351)86Appendix BSubmission toThe ViewAugust 16, 1993for possible publication in theFall IssueUpdate on (Defining and) Teaching Technology Educationincluding a requestJudy DollThis technology education business is certainly an on-going process! Everyyear I gain a bit more confidence, get a little better understanding and try to put allthe pieces together so they make good sense and a good program for my students. Iam happy to say that the definition of technology that I settled on two years ago stillholds up. I said then that “It is historical, starting at the point when human beingsbegan to think of how to extend one’s natural abilities to provide food, shelter orclothing. It is a process of building on knowledge of the past to increase humanability to meet needs and desires. But most of all it is a practical application ofhuman intelligence.” The challenge comes when putting this definition intopractice in the classroom and adding a “social consequences” component.This past year I have had the privilege of working at Moscrop SecondarySchool in Burnaby where my colleague and administration were all verysupportive. It really does help to work in a supportive environment. I think Imoved a small step forward in spite of having to prove myself as a “new kid on theblock”. I tried several of the ideas I picked up from Tony Wheeler in my class atUBC last summer. Some of these have been circulating for a while, I just gotaround to using them after this class. These experiences included; developingactivities within a theme, student evaluation of many of the steps in the process ofdesigning and making a project, and putting activities in a variety of contexts(school, home, business, finance, industry, etc.). I also tried to get the idea across thattechnology is best if it truly meets a human need. Many of my students had troublewith this idea as they were used to doing assigned projects and not having to decidewhere or how or by whom that project might be used.As a result of this classroom experience and this summer’s courses at UBC, Ihave decided I need to know how the students themselves are reacting and relatingto the approaches we are taking in technology education. I have thought of87different ways I could find out what I want to know and decided that the best way isto take a survey of students enrolled in technology education classes. I want to findout what aspects of the course are interesting, meaningful, and useful to thestudents. I also want to be able to answer the often asked question of “How do I getgirls into my classroom?” I will use the information to meet my UBC courserequirements but mostly I hope to get information that can give direction to theprograms we are developing and labeling “technology education”.One of the first requirements in taking on this project is to find teachers whoare willing to participate. I have a few volunteers who have been in classes with meat UBC but I would like to survey 10-12 schools that reflect a broad representationfrom throughout the province. One of the basic reasons for this article is to let techeducators know what I am doing and invite anyone who is interested inparticipating to contact me. I would like to survey, by questionnaire, students whoare in any program that emphasizes the teacher as a facilitator, focuses on thestudents, uses problem solving as the key approach to delivering content in a“making and doing” context and deals with the social consequences of technologicaldevelopment (whether you label yourself technology education or not). Havingabout a third of the class female would also be significant. I hope to conduct thesurvey the first week of January which means I need to ask permission from yourschool districts no later than the middle of November and I need an indication ofteacher interest as soon as possible but no later than the first week in November.I can be contacted by letter at Moscrop Secondary School, 4433 Moscrop,Burnaby, B.C. V5G 2G3, by local phone at 664-8575 or by fax (available fromme personally) at the school.88Appendix C1 Teacher participation letter (sent through principal of school) andTeacher/Program Questionnaire2 Questionnaire administration instructions3 Student questionnaire891November 12, 1993Dear Principal,I am working on a graduate degree at the University of British Columbia inthe field of technology education. My name is Judy Doll and I am working underDr. Ann Anderson in the Department of Mathematics and Science Education. Thetitle of my proposed study is “What aspects of technology education do studentsperceive as relevant, interesting and attractive.” Since this field is in a period ofmajor transition, it is critical that we as educators become aware of the interests andvalues important to students. In an effort to gain this awareness, I am conducting aquestionnaire survey of students in present technology education classrooms. Iwant to question all the students but I will be writing my major paper/thesis onfemale students’ perceptions of the course. I have limited my data analysis tofemales because of my personal time limitations, my personal involvement ingender issues and my belief that the information I gather from focusing on femaleswill enhance technology education courses.I expect the survey to take one class period of time from the students duringthe second week of January, 1994. Identities of all participants will remainanonymous since no indication of identity will appear on the questionnaire. It isimportant to note that any student has the right to refuse to participate at any timeand such refusal must not jeopardize their standing in the class. In the case of non-participants, I would need for an alternative activity to be provided that would notin any way minimize the importance or interfere with the completion of thequestionnaire.In order to gather information that will answer my concerns, I have securedapproval from your district office to do research within your district. Now I seekyour cooperation and am requesting that (name of teacher), as the teacher oftechnology education in your school, be approached to administer a surveyquestionnaire of the students in at least one of your technology education classes. Iam also requesting that (he or she) fill out the accompanying questionnaire thatdescribes the nature of the technology education program being taught. If you haveany questions or need clarification on any part of this request I can be contacted byletter at Moscrop Secondary School, 4433 Moscrop, Burnaby, B. C. V5G 2G3, by phoneat 664-8575 or by fax at (664-8581). Or Ann Anderson can be contacted at 822-5298.Any information obtained in connection with this study that can be identifiedwith your school will remain confidential.90I am truly grateful your consideration of my request and would like you toreturn of the attached consent form as soon as possible but no later thanNovember 30, 1993.Sincerely,Judy DollCOPY OF CONSENT FORM Please retain for your recordsI,_______________________ , agree! do not agree (circle one) to participate in a questionnaire survey todiscern the interests and attractiveness of the program for students enrolled in at least one technologyeducation class.Signature Date91“What aspects of technology education do students perceive asrelevant,interesting and attractive.”Teacher /Program QuestionnaireNameSchoolHome phone (optional)Name of your course(s) No. of studentsNo. ofgirlsNature of your technology education program:(If additional space is needed, feel free to write on the backs of these pages or addpages of your own.)How do you use a design component in the course?In what ways is your program student centered?92How do you see yourself as a teacher facilitator?In what ways are you able to include a social awareness component?Teacher involvement in this project includes:a) Agreement to participate - includes the amount of time it takes to fill out thequestions regarding your program that are listed above and return of the signedform that accompanies this questionnaire.b) Thirty minutes to one hour of time the first week of January to receive, reviewand organize administration of the questionnaire. (Parental permissionMUST be signed for each student who participates.)c) (?minutes) Time to prepare an alternative seat assignment for those studentswho do not participate. (Parents may not grant permission or students mayforget to return the permission form.)d) Thirty-five to fifty minutes (depending on nature of class) of class time one dayduring the first week of January to administer the questionnaires to participatingstudents.e) Return of the questionnaires by the end of the second week of January.93In appreciation of your participation in this study I expect to provide you witha copy of the finished project, trusting that it will be helpful in your on-goingprogram development. I will also be reporting results of the research in The Viewin hopes that the information I find will be of help to all teachers in the field.Please return this information, and the signed participation form to Judy DollC/o Moscrop Secondary School, 4433 Moscrop, Burnaby, B.C. V5G 2G3 no later thanNovember 30, 1993. I want to print the required number of questionnaires andparent‘Tletters of permission to participat& before the Christmas break so I can havea chance to enjoy the holidays too. Thanks.SchoolTeacheraddressin fullThis is to acknowledge that I have received a copy of the consent form and allattachments for my own records.Signature: Date:I, (Teacher ), agree/do not agree (circle one) to participate in aquestionnaire survey to discern the interests and attractiveness of the program forstudents enrolled in a technology education class.SignatureDate942Questionnaire administration instructions1. Please look over the entire questionnaire to estimate the amount of time your specific classwill need for everyone to answer all of the questions. A maximum of one class period shouldbe used, 25 - 30 minutes seems to be adequate.2. Please prepare an activity for those who are not participating (and those who finish early)that will maximize the honesty and usefulness of all answers given. Even though this is not a“test”, the atmosphere and respect given to testing is requested for this endeavor.3. Please give the parental permission letters to students two to three school days before youexpect to administer the questionnaire and encourage your students to return them to you by theday before the questionnaire is administered. You should use your own discretion on theamount of time needed for students to return the letters. The ethics committee policy at UBCstates that any student who has not returned a permission letter should not complete thequestionnaire.Please have your students fill in the name of your school on the parental forms along with thedate the forms must be returned to you on both the letter and the return form.4. Please help the students understand the value of their honest opinions in developingtechnology education programs that are of genuine use to them. As much as possible, pleaseallow the students to interpret and answer the questions themselves.5. It is important that the students read the entire page of instruction including the example foranswering and that they be guided to give demographic data (age, grade and gender) ONLY (nonames or other means of identity please) on the answer sheet. (Please see the sample answersheet.) I also need for you to identify the open ended questions (second page of questionnaire)by gender so the answers will be of use to me. You can collect them separately, turn the cornerof the page or mark them in some other way as long as you tell me how you have “coded” thefemale responses.6. Please administer the questionnaires and then return (1) the second page only of thequestionnaires, the scan form answer sheets and the signed portion only of the parental lettersof permission to Judy Doll, do Moscrop Secondary School, 4433 Moscrop, Bumaby, B.C. V5G2C3 by the end of the first week in May unless alternative arrangements have been made withJudy Doll or Dr. Anderson.Enclosed you will find letters of permission for the parents, and enough questionnaires andbubble sheets for the number of students some of you indicated would be participating in thestudy. I am sending 30 copies to cover administration to at least one class to those schoolsthat have 50 to 90 students in technology education. You may use the questionnaire in morethan one class if you so choose. I am using a standard NCS answer form and the form needs tobe the same for me to scan it for the information. It will also be necessary to make copies ofboth the letter and the questionnaire. Please feel free to make copies or call me to work out away to get more copies of everything from me. I genuinely appreciate your participation and theinvestment of time and energy you are giving. Thank you.953Student QuestionnaireParticipating students,The title of this study is “What aspects of technology education do students perceiveas relevant, interesting and attractive.” It is being conducted by Judy Doll who is agraduate student at the University of British Columbia under the direction of Dr.Ann Anderson. If you have any questions or need clarification on any part of thisexercise you can contact Judy Doll at Moscrop Secondary School in Burnaby, 664-8575 or Ann Anderson at UBC, 822-5298. The purpose of the study is to find out theaspects of the technology education program that YOU as students find interesting,valuable, meaningful and relevant to your lives. It is hoped that with thisinformation, teachers who are developing curriculum for the classes will be able totruly meet the needs of students. You are simply expected to answer all of thefollowing questions to the best of your ability. There are no “right” answers, but I doask you to please be as honest as possible.You have a right to refuse to participate or withdraw at any time without hurtingyour standing in the class. This activity should take 35 - 50 minutes to complete.You are expected to respect the participation of other class members by notdisturbing them while they complete the questionnaire. If you complete thisquestionnaire, it will be assumed that your personal consent to participate has beengiven. Your participation is completely anonymous since there is no indication ofidentity on the questionnaire and there should not be any name on the answersheet.Student QuesonnehePlease respond to the following statements on the bubble sheet provided. Use only pencil soyour answers can be read by the computer. Please respond according to the scale listed belowbased on your agreement with the statement. Your first response is probably the best, but wedo want honest answers. Your teacher will tell you how much time you will have to completethe questionnaire. If you finish early, you will be given an assignment to be worked on until theend of the allowed time.Scale: A - Yes B - Probably C - Not really D - No E - Don’t knowEXAMPLE:Q. Michael Jordan should get back in the game.If you strongly agree you should fill in circle (A) on the mark sheet.If you think its a good idea but aren’t that enthusiastic, fill in circle (B) on the mark sheet.If you think he has a right to quit playing basketball if he wants to, fill in circle (C) on the mark sheet.If you are glad he has quit and hope he stays at home, fill in circle (D) on the mark sheet.If you don’t know who Michael Jordan is or don’t care what he does, fill in circle (F) on the mark sheet.96Scale: A - Yes B - Probably C - Not really D - No E - Don’t know1. I like knowing about the various kinds of technology that I use every day.2. I like putting simple machines together to see how they work.3. I like learning how to use the equipment.4. I like being able to design the project I am supposed to make.5. It is important to discuss the affects of technological development on oursociety.6. I like to draw out my ideas on paper before I make a project.7. I think all students can use the skills we learn in this class.8. I really enjoy working by myself.9. Technology is all around us so we should learn about it and understand how itaffects us.10. Knowing how to use tools and equipment safely helps me feel confident in thetech ed shop.11. Tech Ed has shown me how science and math concepts can be applied.12. Knowing how to make things myself can save me money.13. I prefer learning how to work with only one material such as plastic or woodrather than having lots of options.14. I enjoy solving problems by making things with my hands.15. I am frightened by large, noisy machines and/or equipment.16. Learning about the use of energy can help me save money and maybe save theenvironment.17. I can use skills I have learned in this class to make things just for fun.18. I learn a lot from my classmates when we work in teams or groups.19. Knowing how to properly set up and use equipment makes me feel good aboutmyself.20. Knowing how things are made helps me make better decisions about things Ibuy.21. The concepts and skills I have learned in Tech Ed will help me decide what kindof work I would like to do when I finish school.22. Making prototypes is fun and useful.23. I like presenting my design ideas to the class.24. It is important to know how to work safely in the tech ed lab.25. I am gaining technical skills in this class that I can use in other parts of my life.97Scale: A - Yes B - Probably C - Not really D - No E - Don’t know26. Computer drafting is fun.27. It is important to understand how technology changes the world.28. The concepts and skills I have learned in tech ed provide me with alternativesfor hobbies I enjoy.29. The things I learn on the computer in this class help me in other areas of mylife.30. I am able to use concepts learned in tech ed to help me in my math and scienceclasses.31. Technology Education has helped me to understand the world around me.32. Solving problems by making things is exciting.33. Studying the history of technology helps me understand the ways technologyinfluences my life.34. I will be able to use what I have learned about machines for the rest of my life.35. Working in groups teaches me how to get along with others.36. It is important to talk about how technology affects people’s jobs.37. The things we are learning in Tech Ed will probably help me get a job.38. The group skills taught in Tech Ed are important for me to know.39. Learning to use the computer in the tech ed lab is important.40. It is useful for me to know how to design and make things.41. The communication skills I have learned are useful to me.42. I have learned how to evaluate my work honestly in this class.43. It makes me feel good to know how to identify and use tools.44. I am able to fix things at home because of things I have learned about tools inthis class.45. I like learning how to work with lots of different materials.98Please answer the following three questions carefully. Give some thought to thebest answer you can give so your information and opinions will help teachers whoare choosing activities for technology education classes.1. What is the most important thing you have learned in this class?Why do you choose this answer?2. Do you plan to take technology education next year? If so, why? If not, why not?3. If I could change the tech ed course, I would99Appendix D1 Figure 2a. Male responses to formalized questions by category.2 Figure D 1. Responses to individual formalized questions in the Group /Individual Work category.3 Figure D 2. Responses to individual formalized questions in the Math / Sciencecategory.4 Figure D 3. Responses to individual formalized questions in the ConsumerChoice category.Technical KnowledgeMachines & EquipmentDesignSocial EffectsSkillGroup/Individual WorkSafetyMath / ScienceMaterialsProblem SolvingCareerComputersToolsConsumer Choice100- t () - 01 0) -J 0) CD 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0I II_____-jIii-DCDC)CD3CDCDC,)0CDCl)-<DZZDCD ‘ 000CD —0U)a)U)C00U)a)e0Figure Dl.101Group / Individual Work1 009080706050403020100Don’t knowNoNot reallyD Probably• Yes0)C00Co0)C00Cco00:U).o.0)Cod“C—.0C20U)0DCodC0L() )U)0Do —C(c__‘U) 0Co °C’)0U)02Ici) 0Co U)0Figure Dl. Responses to individual closed questions in the Group / IndividualWork category.%ofresponsesCD-.)C).010)0)CD000000000000CD rj oQ.11(M):Tech.ed.showsmath-CDsci.application0Q.11(F): Tech.ed.showsmath/scienceapplication0 0) CDC)Q.30(M):C)CDConceptsfromCD0) I-. 0tech.ed.helpinmath-sci.0) CDQ.30(F):Conceptsfromtech.ed.helpinmath-sd.(I) C.) -S.CD CD C.) 0 ‘-C-<-zzCDoco0—C908070Cl)ci)Cl)005040302010Figure D3. Responses to individual closed questions in the Consumer Choicecategory.Figure D3.1031 00Consumer choice0 Don’t knowNo0 Not reallyD Probably• Yes00)C0)Cl)- ci)Ciru) 0C’JEd0)Cci)> C0CCC—‘Cc’J00)C0 E .9C >0 1)C’] o104Appendix EBritish Columbia Technology Education1992 Draft Curriculum Intentions1. The learner will have opportunities to develop the ability to solve technologicalproblems.2. The learner will have opportunities to develop the ability to make things andexplore technology.3. The learner will have opportunities to develop the ability to deal ethically withtechnology.4. The learner will have opportunity to develop lifelong learning patterns to helphim or her function effectively in a changing technological environment.5. The learner will have opportunities to acquire skills and attitudes to enable himor her to work with technology both independently and as a cooperativemember of a group.6. The learner will have opportunities to develop appropriate attitudes andpractices with respect to safe work and personal health.7. The learner will have opportunities to gain competence in working with tools,materials, and processes to produce high-quality work.8. The learner will have opportunity to develop language and visual communications skills to investigate, explain, and illustrate aspects of technology.9. The learner will have opportunities to apply and integrate skills, knowledge,and resources across disciplines and technological activities.10. The learner will have opportunities to explore and pursue technologicalcareers and associated lifestyles.11. The learner will have opportunities to become a discerning user of materials,products, and technical services.Fraser, D., Anderson, S., Bastone, C., Doll, J., Hall, L., Kenyon, T., Keiwitz, K.,Kovich, A., Trant, P., & Wilson, G. (1992). Technology Education: PrimaryGraduation: Curriculum/Assessment Learning Guide. Victoria, B.C.: The Queen’sPrinter.

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