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MSP News: Gender Equity in STEM

April 20, 2017


NEWS IN BRIEF


Upcoming Events
1. 2017 STEM For All Video Showcase: Research & Design For Impact
On May 15th - 22nd, 2017, more than 150 projects will showcase three-minute videos of their innovative work related to STEM teaching and learning in formal and informal environments. We invite you to view the videos, discuss them online with the presenter, and to vote for the ones that you find most interesting. Please share this with your networks of researchers, practitioners, parents, and the general public. We look forward to your participation!
2. MSPnet Academy Webinar: Measuring the Impact of STEM Learning In and Out of Schools
Date: May 17, 2017 at 1:00 PM (Eastern)
Research+Practice Collaboratory MSP Presenters: Sue Allen, Vera Michalchik, Robert H. Tai, Kevin Crowley

New MSP Papers
1. "Flood Rescue: A Gender-Inclusive Integrated STEM Curriculum Unit," Emily A. Dare, Dave Rafferty, Elizabeth Scheidel, Gillian H. Roehrig, EngrTEAMS MSP, K-12 STEM Education, April 2017.
2. "'If I Had To Do It, Then I Would': Understanding Early Middle School Students' Perceptions Of Physics And Physics-Related Careers By Gender," Emily A. Dare, Gillian H. Roehrig, EngrTEAMS MSP, Physical Review Physics Education Research, August 2016.

New in Library
1. "Gender Gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Current Knowledge, Implications for Practice, Policy, and Future Directions," Ming-Te Wang, Jessica L. Degol, Educational Psychology Review, 2016.
2. "Female Senior Secondary Physics Students’ Engagement in Science: A Qualitative Study of Constructive Influences," Mary C. Oliver, Amanda Woods-McConney, Dorit Maor, Andrew McConney, International Journal of STEM Education, 2017.
3. "Gender, Interest, and Prior Experience Shape Opportunities to Learn Programming in Robotics Competitions," Eben B. Witherspoon, Christian D. Schunn, Ross M. Higashi, Emily C. Baehr, International Journal of STEM Education, October 2016.
4. "The Role of School Performance in Narrowing Gender Gaps in the Formation of STEM Aspirations: A Cross-National Study," Allison Mann, Joscha Legewie, Thomas A. DiPrete, Frontiers in Psychology, 2015.
5. "Demographic Characteristics of High School Math and Science Teachers and Girls' Success in STEM," Elizabeth Stearns, Martha Cecilia Bottia, Eleonora Davalos, Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, Stephanie Moller, Lauren Valentino, Social Problems, January 2016.


DETAILS BELOW


Upcoming Events
1. 2017 STEM For All Video Showcase: Research & Design For Impact
On May 15th - 22nd, 2017, more than 150 projects will showcase three-minute videos of their innovative work related to STEM teaching and learning in formal and informal environments. We invite you to view the videos, discuss them online with the presenter, and to vote for the ones that you find most interesting. Please share this with your networks of researchers, practitioners, parents, and the general public. We look forward to your participation!


2. MSPnet Academy: Measuring the Impact of STEM Learning In and Out of Schools
Date: May 17, 2017 at 1:00 PM (Eastern)
Research+Practice Collaboratory MSP Presenters: Sue Allen, Vera Michalchik, Robert H. Tai, Kevin Crowley

Description: "Increasingly the role of interest, identity, and relevance are understood to be critical factors in young people’s decisions to engage in and pursue STEM learning opportunities, whether in school or out of school. But recognizing, measuring, and supporting such factors have historically proven to be difficult at scale. In this webinar, sponsored by the Research+Practice Collaboratory and moderated by Sue Allen, we will hear about three new student learning assessment tools that can be used to document such learning outcomes over time: Activated Learning, Connected Learning, and Longitudinal Active Learning."


New MSP Papers
1. "Flood Rescue: A Gender-Inclusive Integrated STEM Curriculum Unit," Emily A. Dare, Dave Rafferty, Elizabeth Scheidel, Gillian H. Roehrig, EngrTEAMS MSP, K-12 STEM Education, April 2017.

"As national reform documents and movements in the United States, such as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013), push K-12 educators to begin to include engineering and integration of the STEM disciplines, there is a need to create curricula that meet a multitude of different standards. Additionally, there is a need to engage a more diverse population of students to pursue STEM careers. The 6th grade curriculum presented here focuses on an example of a teacher-created integrated STEM curriculum that combines girl-friendly instructional strategies (Haussler et al., 1998; Newbill & Cennamo, 2008) with an integrated STEM framework (Moore et al., 2014). An engineering design challenge that asks students to create a prototype of a watercraft used by the National Guard to rescue people during floods engages students in learning various physics concepts (forces, buoyancy, volume, and maximum capacity). In this article, we describe the lessons of the unit with respect to the frameworks, as well as key areas that particularly impacted 6th grade girls and boys."

MSPnet Location: Library >> MSP Papers
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31786


2. "'If I Had To Do It, Then I Would': Understanding Early Middle School Students' Perceptions Of Physics And Physics-Related Careers By Gender," Emily A. Dare, Gillian H. Roehrig, EngrTEAMS MSP, Physical Review Physics Education Research, August 2016.

"This study examined the perceptions of 6th grade middle school students regarding physics and physics-related careers. The overarching goal of this work was to understand similarities and differences between girls' and boys' perceptions surrounding physics and physics-related careers as part of a long-term effort to increase female interest and representation in this particular field of science. A theoretical framework based on the literature of girl-friendly and integrated STEM instructional strategies guided this work to understand how instructional strategies may influence and relate to students' perceptions. This convergent parallel mixed-methods study used a survey and focus group interviews to understand similarities and differences between girls' and boys' perceptions. Our findings indicate very few differences between girls and boys, but show that boys are more interested in the physics-related career of engineering. While girls are just as interested in science class as their male counterparts, they highly value the social aspect that often accompanies hands-on group activities. These findings shed light on how K-12 science reform efforts might help to increase the number of women pursuing careers related to physics."

MSPnet Location: Library >> MSP Papers
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31638


New in Library
1. "Gender Gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Current Knowledge, Implications for Practice, Policy, and Future Directions," Ming-Te Wang, Jessica L. Degol, Educational Psychology Review, 2016.

"Although the gender gap in math course-taking and performance has narrowed in recent decades, females continue to be underrepresented in math-intensive fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Career pathways encompass the ability to pursue a career as well as the motivation to employ that ability. Individual differences in cognitive capacity and motivation are also influenced by broader sociocultural factors. After reviewing research from the fields of psychology, sociology, economics, and education over the past 30 years, we summarize six explanations for US women's underrepresentation in math-intensive STEM fields: (a) cognitive ability, (b) relative cognitive strengths, (c) occupational interests or preferences, (d) lifestyle values or work-family balance preferences, (e) field- specific ability beliefs, and (f) gender-related stereotypes and biases. We then describe the potential biological and sociocultural explanations for observed gender differences on cogni- tive and motivational factors and demonstrate the developmental period(s) during which each factor becomes most relevant. We then propose evidence-based recommendations for policy and practice to improve STEM diversity and recommendations for future research directions."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31788


2. "Female Senior Secondary Physics Students’ Engagement in Science: A Qualitative Study of Constructive Influences," Mary C. Oliver, Amanda Woods-McConney, Dorit Maor, Andrew McConney, International Journal of STEM Education, 2017.

"Prompted by fewer females compared to males enrolling in physics and advanced mathematics at both secondary and university levels, our research investigated the views and experiences of female students currently studying upper secondary school physics. We interviewed 18 female students about influences they considered important to their own science education, interest in science, and future science-related aspirations. Our purpose was to identify the experiences that these students most strongly associated with the generation and maintenance of their engagement in science, particularly represented in this research by their enrolment in upper secondary physics."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31787


3. "Gender, Interest, and Prior Experience Shape Opportunities to Learn Programming in Robotics Competitions," Eben B. Witherspoon, Christian D. Schunn, Ross M. Higashi, Emily C. Baehr, International Journal of STEM Education, October 2016.

"While there are currently measurable differences in participation by gender in the STEM fields, growing evidence suggests that a number of external factors influencing girls' opportunities to learn and participate in STEM activities may predict continued involvement in fields like CS and robotics. Our study suggests that ensuring greater levels of involvement in programming within robotics competitions, particularly for females, may lead to increases in those students' motivation to pursue additional opportunities to learn programming. However, follow-up studies with a team-level analysis will help to illuminate whether individual interest and choice of activity or the particular organization of teams within different competitions are the main factors driving the different levels of programming involvement observed for males and females."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31789


4. "The Role of School Performance in Narrowing Gender Gaps in the Formation of STEM Aspirations: A Cross-National Study," Allison Mann, Joscha Legewie, Thomas A. DiPrete, Frontiers in Psychology, 2015.

"This study uses cross-national evidence to estimate the effect of school peer performance on the size of the gender gap in the formation of STEM career aspirations. We argue that STEM aspirations are influenced not only by gender stereotyping in the national culture but also by the performance of peers in the local school environment. Our analyses are based on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). They investigate whether 15-year-old students from 55 different countries expect to have STEM jobs at the age of 30. We find considerable gender differences in the plans to pursue careers in STEM occupations in all countries. Using PISA test scores in math and science aggregated at the school level as a measure of school performance, we find that stronger performance environments have a negative impact on student career aspirations in STEM. Although girls are less likely than boys to aspire to STEM occupations, even when they have comparable abilities, boys respond more than girls to competitive school performance environments. As a consequence, the aspirations gender gap narrows for high-performing students in stronger performance environments. We show that those effects are larger in countries that do not sort students into different educational tracks."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31791


5. "Demographic Characteristics of High School Math and Science Teachers and Girls' Success in STEM," Elizabeth Stearns, Martha Cecilia Bottia, Eleonora Davalos, Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, Stephanie Moller, Lauren Valentino, Social Problems, January 2016.

"Given the prestige and compensation of science and math-related occupations, the underrepresentation of women and people of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors (STEM) perpetuates entrenched economic and social inequities. Explanations for this underrepresentation have largely focused on individual characteristics, including uneven academic preparation, as well as institutional factors at the college level. In this article, we focus instead on high schools. We highlight the influence of the intersec- tion between race and gender of female math and science teachers on students' decisions to major in STEM fields. Theoretically, this article extends the political science concept of representative bureaucracy to the issue of women's and disadvantaged minorities' underrepresentation in STEM majors. We analyze longitudinal data from public school students in North Carolina to test whether organizational demography of high school math and science faculty has an association with college major choice and graduation. Using hierarchical pro- bit models with an instrumental-variable approach, we find that young white women are more likely to major in STEM fields and to graduate with STEM degrees when they come from high schools with higher proportions of female math and science teachers, irrespective of the race of the teacher. At the same time, these teachers do not depress young white or African American men's chances of majoring in STEM. Results for African American women are less conclusive, highlighting the limitations of their small sample size."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/31790