Gender and STEM Education

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 9616

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute for the Future of Education and School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, 64849 Monterrey, N.L., Mexico
Interests: educational innovation; gender equality; higher education; Industry 4.0 and innovation; continuing engineering education and lifelong learning

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Guest Editor
School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, 64849 Monterrey, N.L., Mexico
Interests: interdisciplinary education; gender studies in STEM education; teaching and learning of mathematics and physics; faculty development

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for the Future of Education and School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
Interests: educational innovation; higher education; science education; equity and inclusive education; learning analytics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a resolution to encourage girls and women to be leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Although many advances have been made in recent years to comply with SDG5 (gender equality), the gender gap remains a challenge in all sectors of society and the economies of countries around the world. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have an essential responsibility in shaping women's participation and achievements in STEM. Beyond inclusive strategies in their internal policies, the quality of teaching, female role models among teachers, curricula, learning material design, the availability of resources and equipment, and the nature of assessment practices all play a relevant role in the preparation of women for their equitable incorporation into the workplace. This Special Issue of Education Sciences aims to gather researchers from different fields of higher education in a discussion forum on the paradigm shift to achieve gender equality; guarantee inclusive, equitable, and quality education; and promote professional development opportunities for all women in STEM. Articles can be original research, research-to-practice, and innovative practice articles employing quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method designs, empirical case studies, experimental approaches, survey findings, systematic reviews of the literature, and conceptual-comprehensive analysis papers.

Prof. Dr. Patricia Caratozzolo
Prof. Dr. Angeles Dominguez
Prof. Dr. Claudia Camacho-Zuñiga
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • gender perspective
  • gender equality
  • professional development
  • women labor force
  • female leadership
  • higher education
  • women in STEM careers
  • Agenda 2030
  • gender issues in STEM education
  • attraction, mentoring, and retention

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

25 pages, 10863 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Influence of the Affective Domain on the Attitudes of Middle School Students toward Mathematics from a Gender Perspective
by Mariana Gutierrez-Aguilar and Santa Tejeda
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060594 - 30 May 2024
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Women’s representation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a powerful resource to motivate girls to study STEM degrees and fulfill the growing demands for professionals in these fields. From their youth, positive attitudes toward mathematics are characteristic of girls and boys [...] Read more.
Women’s representation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a powerful resource to motivate girls to study STEM degrees and fulfill the growing demands for professionals in these fields. From their youth, positive attitudes toward mathematics are characteristic of girls and boys who study STEM degrees. This research aims to identify the association between gender stereotypes and attitudes toward mathematics. The 6° grade generation from a middle school in Monterrey, Mexico, first answered tests on attitudes toward mathematics and gender stereotypes in mathematics. Afterwards, a sample group underwent a 4-week intervention during which students saw videos of STEM professionals and answered a questionnaire on student’s self-perception in STEM careers. Finally, the tests were reapplied with a questionnaire on the use and ease of mathematics. Quasi-statistical and discourse analysis were used to obtain the results. These are presented through a model that highlights the mediating role that the mathematical self-concept and the interest/enjoyment for mathematics have in the association between gender stereotypes and attitudes toward mathematics. The role of gender on female’s lower mathematical self-concept is also exposed, suggesting subsequent lines of research on improving self-concept as an approach to equitably increase students’ interests in STEM degrees from their youth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
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18 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Structural Impediments Impacting Early-Career Women of Color STEM Faculty Careers
by Johnny C. Woods, Jr., Tonisha B. Lane, Natali Huggins, Allyson Leggett Watson, Faika Tahir Jan, Saundra Johnson Austin and Sylvia Thomas
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060581 - 28 May 2024
Viewed by 580
Abstract
Women of Color faculty continue to experience many challenges in their careers, especially in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. As such, more research is needed that considers structural issues inhibiting their success. Using structuration theory and critical race feminism as [...] Read more.
Women of Color faculty continue to experience many challenges in their careers, especially in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. As such, more research is needed that considers structural issues inhibiting their success. Using structuration theory and critical race feminism as a conceptual framework, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 faculty and administrators in STEM departments at higher education institutions to investigate their perceptions of structural impediments impacting early-career Women of Color STEM faculty careers. Our findings revealed the need to establish policies that are clear, documented, and transparent. Additionally, incremental approaches to tenure and promotion evaluations should be reconsidered, especially when this approach may position Women of Color faculty to appear as if they are underperforming, when the opposite may be true. Furthermore, as higher education institutions endeavor to diversify the professoriate, this study is significant in enabling institutions and STEM departments to be aware of systemic issues confronting them to make significant inroads in retaining and advancing Women of Color faculty in these disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
22 pages, 3285 KiB  
Article
Gender and STEM Education: An Analysis of Interest and Experience Outcomes for Black Girls within a Summer Engineering Program
by Trina Fletcher, Kerrie Hooper, Danay Fernandez Alfonso and Ahlam Alharbi
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14050518 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 827
Abstract
An effective way to increase the participation of historically excluded students in engineering education is through informal programming that covers science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This study is part of a broader investigation conducted by Fletcher aimed at evaluating the programs offered [...] Read more.
An effective way to increase the participation of historically excluded students in engineering education is through informal programming that covers science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This study is part of a broader investigation conducted by Fletcher aimed at evaluating the programs offered by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) as part of the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program at different sites. The study collected pre- and post-assessment data from 1235 girls across twelve sites to determine if there were significant differences in interest- and experience-related outcomes at single-gender and coeducation sites. The study found that the two single-gender sites out of the twelve sites had statistically significant differences in participant responses in favor of single-gender sites, with one site showing a significant association with overall enjoyment of the program. The study used social cognitive theory (SCT) and intersectionality to guide the research and found that the site type had a significant association with the results. These findings suggest the need for further exploration of the impact of site type within informal education programs, especially those targeting historically excluded populations in STEM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
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16 pages, 655 KiB  
Article
Views on Gender Differences in the Physics Classroom
by Natascha Musters, Rian Aarts, Marije Van Amelsvoort and Marc Swerts
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14050457 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 975
Abstract
Concerns about the differences between boys and girls in educational achievement, school careers and educational choices have existed since the last century. Despite ongoing research, we still do not have a complete picture of gender-based differences in education. In particular, there is little [...] Read more.
Concerns about the differences between boys and girls in educational achievement, school careers and educational choices have existed since the last century. Despite ongoing research, we still do not have a complete picture of gender-based differences in education. In particular, there is little comparative research on how teachers and students experience and deal with gender differences in their classrooms. Therefore, this study focuses on teacher and student perspectives on gender differences in the physics classroom of Dutch upper secondary education. The data were collected through questionnaires distributed among physics teachers (N = 72) and students (N = 212). The questionnaires for students and teachers were designed to reveal their perceptions of gender differences in the classroom, focusing on student learning characteristics and teacher–student interactions. Gender differences are reported to a larger extent by teachers than by students, especially in the area of students’ learning characteristics (e.g., boys showing more talent and interest in physics, girls showing more effort and self-regulation) and some in teacher–student interactions (e.g., girls asking teachers more questions). We conclude that concerns about differences between boys and girls are still present and need further research. More work is needed to fully understand the implications of these differences, which are expected to have an important impact on classroom interventions and guidelines for teachers to use in their classrooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
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13 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Relationships and Gender Differences in Math Anxiety, Math Self-Efficacy, Geoscience Self-Efficacy, and Geoscience Interest in Introductory Geoscience Students
by Molly M. Jameson, Julie Sexton, Dina London and Jennifer M. Wenner
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040426 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1368
Abstract
While the role of affective factors in learning is well understood in geoscience, math attitudes have been overlooked. This study sought to explore the relationships between math attitudes and geoscience attitudes, namely math anxiety, self-efficacy, and geoscience interest. Baseline data were collected from [...] Read more.
While the role of affective factors in learning is well understood in geoscience, math attitudes have been overlooked. This study sought to explore the relationships between math attitudes and geoscience attitudes, namely math anxiety, self-efficacy, and geoscience interest. Baseline data were collected from 245 undergraduate students enrolled in introductory geoscience courses at three colleges and universities in the United States, with self-report measures of math anxiety, math self-efficacy, geoscience self-efficacy, geoscience interest, and demographic information. Results show strong relationships and predictive values of math attitudes for students’ geoscience attitudes, particularly for female-identifying students. This research provides important empirical support for the study of math attitudes in geoscience; additionally, educators can use this knowledge to inform their understanding of their students’ math attitudes and possible interest in geoscience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
22 pages, 1242 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Challenge-Based Learning in Undergraduate Engineering Programs from Competencies and Gender Perspectives
by Gilberto Huesca, Adriana Rodríguez-Rosales, Vianney Lara-Prieto, Maria Ileana Ruiz-Cantisani and Joaquín Acevedo
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(3), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14030255 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Active learning strategies are widely studied, but perspective on their effectiveness in complete undergraduate studies or about their contribution to closing the gender gap are still required. Challenge-based learning has been around for more than a decade. However, results have been collected in [...] Read more.
Active learning strategies are widely studied, but perspective on their effectiveness in complete undergraduate studies or about their contribution to closing the gender gap are still required. Challenge-based learning has been around for more than a decade. However, results have been collected in limited time and application environments, for example, one semester or one activity in a course. In this work, we present a quantitative study that was applied to results of the National Center for the Evaluation of Higher Education’s Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Standardized General Examination of 4226 students comparing those who received a traditional educational model and those who received a challenge-based learning educational model. A statistical analysis of communication and disciplinary competencies found that the traditional educational model induces a greater marginal significant result in the test. Additionally, we found that female students perform better in communication competencies while male students perform better in disciplinary competencies. Our results confirm that challenge-based learning is as effective as a traditional educational model when applied during complete undergraduate studies while developing competencies like critical thinking, long-term retention, leadership, multidisciplinary teamwork, and decision-making. Challenge based learning is a prolific learning strategy for evolving into a new way of teaching in undergraduate programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
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11 pages, 232 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Gender Gap: Motivation, Procrastination, Environment, and Academic Performance in an Introductory Physics Course in a Human-Centered Private University in Northeast Mexico—A Case Study
by Humberto Martínez-Huerta, Wendy Xiomara Chavarría-Garza, Osvaldo Aquines-Gutiérrez and Ayax Santos-Guevara
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14020186 - 13 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1196
Abstract
Progress has been made in recent decades toward achieving gender equality, but today, the gender gap is still noticeable, especially in STEM fields. In support of Goal 5 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, [...] Read more.
Progress has been made in recent decades toward achieving gender equality, but today, the gender gap is still noticeable, especially in STEM fields. In support of Goal 5 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, we analyze the context of a private university in northeastern Mexico using a sample of 249 students (157 males and 92 females) enrolled in the first-year engineering course Physics I. The sample presents better academic performance in favor of women by the end of the course as reported through the final course score (F); thus, we explore potential gender differences in student profiles, such as their motivation and level of procrastination using Kruskal–Wallis correlation tests, and measuring the effect size with Cohen’s d. Our tests reported here reveal significant differences in extrinsic motivation (EMO) and intrinsic motivation (IMO), where females obtained higher means in IMO, while males reported higher levels of procrastination (PRO). Contrary to other cases in the literature, the sample presents better academic performance in favor of women. Our findings here aim to encourage programs and strategies that strengthen women’s intrinsic motivation to support women’s empowerment and keep reducing the gender gap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
14 pages, 1874 KiB  
Article
Edutuber and Gender in STEM
by Lucía Amorós-Poveda and Abraham Bernárdez-Gómez
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14010040 - 29 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
The gender gap in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is nothing new. Recent research warns of this through programs and initiatives that use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a resource to reduce this gap. However, new questions and [...] Read more.
The gender gap in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is nothing new. Recent research warns of this through programs and initiatives that use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a resource to reduce this gap. However, new questions and some areas of concern are arising out of the mass use of digital repositories. The possibility of consuming and producing video (prosumers) in these digital ecosystems brings to light the prejudices and stereotypes in these fields through their content. Considering the YouTube repository, this research analyses the edutubers on 81 STEM channels from a gender perspective in 190 immersions. Through a critical approach, oriented towards change for social transformation, an exploratory and descriptive paper has been written. It employs a mixed quantitative–qualitative method. The results are described in the form of four descriptive grids about edutuber environments where an evident gender gap in the STEM edutubers can be observed, and guidelines are subsequently outlined to attempt to eliminate it. It is concluded that the educational resources offered by YouTube are popular and have a significant impact on the young population, but these resources inherit past behaviours that also entail a new risk associated with the use of ICT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
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