1411 Views
  1. Marley Jarvis
  2. http://ilabs.washington.edu/outreach-staff/bio/i-labs-marley-jarvis-phd
  3. Outreach and Education Specialist
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Washington, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
  1. Sapna Cheryan
  2. https://depts.washington.edu/sibl/sapna-cheryan/
  3. Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Washington
  1. Allison Master
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Houston
  1. Andrew Meltzoff
  2. http://ilabs.washington.edu/institute-faculty/bio/i-labs-andrew-n-meltzoff-phd
  3. Professor and Co-Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Washington

Who Likes Computer Science? How Gender Stereotypes about Interest Shape Child...

NSF Awards: 1849902

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

Stereotypes that girls are less interested than boys in STEM can cause a gender disparity in children’s motivation in STEM. Our video describes an NSF-funded research study that found gender stereotypes about interest in computer science reduced girls’ interest in and choice of a computer science activity. We presented 8- and 9-year-old children with two computer science activities, of which one was stereotyped (“Girls are less interested in this activity than boys”) and one was nonstereotyped (“Girls and boys are equally interested”). We told children that girls and boys were equally good at both activities, so we could control for stereotypes about ability. Girls were less interested in the stereotyped activity and less likely to choose it, compared to the nonstereotyped activity. While there was no gender gap in interest in the nonstereotyped activity, there was a gender gap for the stereotyped activity. This was related to girls’ sense that they would not belong with others doing the stereotyped activity. Given that interest stereotypes about gender and STEM are pervasive in society, this may impact girls’ activity choices, as well as future career decisions. Interventions that specifically combat interest stereotypes may increase girls’ sense of belonging and, in turn, may help increase girls’ participation in STEM fields.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (66 posts)
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 04:54 p.m.

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for taking the time to watch our video! We’re glad you’re here and are looking forward to the discussion. The findings that inspired this video are part of an on-going field of research for us. Our studies investigate how we can help more students foster interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), with a particular focus on reducing current gender gaps in STEM motivation and participation. What we think is particularly noteworthy about this study is that we found experimentally that merely hearing about a stereotype linked to a computer science activity caused girls to be less interested in trying that activity. Some of our other research has found that these stereotypes that "girls are less interested in STEM than boys" are strongly related to girls' lower sense of belonging and interest in many STEM fields, even more so than their stereotypes about who has more ability in STEM. We welcome comments on any aspect of our project, but are especially interested in your thoughts on these questions:

    1. How have you seen girls affected by the stereotype that girls are less interested than boys in STEM?
    2. How can we encourage young girls and other underserved and underrepresented children to feel a sense of belonging in STEM?
    3. Do you have suggestions for important next steps for our research?
     
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    Marley Jarvis
  • Icon for: Elsa Gonzalez

    Elsa Gonzalez

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 01:38 a.m.

    Congratulations Allison!

    We need to talk, very interesting work!

     

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 10:24 a.m.

    Thanks, Elsa! Yes, I'd love to talk more about your work with Latinas in STEM, and ways to promote their resilience. We're hoping to take a more intersectional approach to gender stereotypes in our future studies.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    Lead Teacher
    May 11, 2021 | 12:33 a.m.

    I really enjoyed your video and project.  What were some big lessons you learned through your work?  What can we do as teachers to prevent stereotyping in our own classrooms?  

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 10:52 a.m.

    Hi DeLene,

    Thanks so much! These are terrific questions.

    1. One big lesson that we've learned is that these stereotypes start early. We found that kids start to believe these gendered stereotypes about interest in engineering by 1st grade, and about interest in computer science by 3rd grade (in a manuscript currently under review). The study in this video was with 8- and 9-year-olds--our findings here show that girls at this age are already very sensitive to STEM stereotypes. So, it's important for parents and teachers to start early too, in trying to prevent stereotyping. 

    Another big lesson is that stereotypes are different across STEM fields. We've found that these gender stereotypes are much stronger for computer science and engineering than for math and science. In fact, a lot of middle- and high-school students in our research studies believe that girls are more interested than boys in math and science. We've made a lot of progress in encouraging girls in math and science--now it's time to focus more on computer science and engineering.

    2. The first step for teachers is just to pay attention to the messages and signals in your classroom. Are you dividing kids by gender? That can send the signal that gender is important and meaningful. Do you assume that the boys in your class are going to be more interested in a new STEM activity? That can send the signal that girls aren't expected to enjoy STEM as much as boys. A second step is to take a more active approach in countering stereotypes. If you see stereotyping happening in your classroom, call it out, and talk with students about how unfair it is to judge people based on stereotypes. As another example, we've found that older girls who have a growth mindset (i.e., believe ability in STEM can be improved with effort and the right strategies) are less affected by gender stereotypes. So one approach can be helping students stay focused on learning and building skills in STEM, instead of worrying about their performance. We're currently piloting a new intervention to see whether teaching growth mindsets can help boost middle-school girls' motivation in computer science.

    -Allison

     
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    DeLene Hoffner
  • Icon for: Jessica Moon

    Jessica Moon

    Graduate Student
    May 11, 2021 | 04:02 p.m.

    I'm really interested in the point you made here about the difference between math and science compared to computer science and engineering. I taught middle school science, and I noticed student engagement in my science lessons was fairly consistent across gender. My male students, however, would be more likely to spend free time in class doing coding-type activities than my female students.

    Now, I'm working with a computer science curriculum and we are trying to reach more female and underrepresented minority groups through our classes. Do you have any suggestions on how we could structure our curriculum to combat gender stereotypes?

     
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    Marley Jarvis
    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 06:10 p.m.

    Hi Jessica,

    This is such a great question, and I'd love to hear from computer science teachers about what they've done that has been effective!

    I'll point down to Virginia Davis's comment below, and note that using computer science in collaborative/altruistic/creative/storytelling ways seems to be a great way to get girls interested, although I think more research has been done with college students than with middle school students. For example, NCWIT has a great collection of computer science teaching materials designed with the goal of broadening participation: https://www.ncwit.org/resources/engagecsedu-website.

    I think the best way to structure the curriculum would be to make it mandatory for everyone, so that all groups are fully represented and can see each other engaged in computer science. I know we're not there yet, but CSforAll is working to get us there!

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Marley Jarvis

    Marley Jarvis

    Lead Presenter
    Outreach and Education Specialist
    May 12, 2021 | 01:49 p.m.

    Hi Jessica,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience: I would also love to hear from more folks teaching in computer science about what they've seen work well. I just wanted to mention that Girls Who Code is a great organization to be aware of, if you're not already!

    -Marley

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Jacqueline Ekeoba

    Jacqueline Ekeoba

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 12:44 p.m.

    Hi Allison, 

    I truly enjoyed your video! I'd like to read more about the study presented. Is there a way to gain access to it? Thank you for sharing this video. My teachHOUSTON team also has a video in the showcase. Feel free to check it out as well: https://videohall.com/p/2031 

    Best, 

    Jacqueline Ekeoba

     
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    Marley Jarvis
    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 01:11 p.m.

    Hi Jacqueline,

    Your video is amazing--it's wonderful to see all the "magic" that you created through your program! Thanks for sharing it.

    The paper describing this study is currently under review as a "revise and resubmit," but I can send you a copy as soon as it's in press. For now, you might be interested in the slides from our talk at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) conference last month, which show how the stereotype reduced girls' interest, sense of belonging, and choice for the stereotyped activity: https://osf.io/xkvdq/

    I'm so glad we connected here today, and would love to chat more some time!

    Best,

    Allison

  • Icon for: Cynthia Ontiveros

    Cynthia Ontiveros

    K-12 Administrator
    May 18, 2021 | 12:08 a.m.

    I would love a copy as well. I am the Principal of a Young Women's STEAM Academy in El Paso, Texas! We are constantly busting these myths/misconceptions and sharing with parents and students elements of your research! We have seen our students grow in many areas simply by focusing on their interests and motivating/encouraging them to push to their full potential.  I'd love to connect!!!

    Sincerely,
    Cynthia Ontiveros

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 01:43 p.m.

    Hi Cynthia,

    Thanks for reaching out! I'd love to connect as well--I'll send you an email. I'd love to hear more about the ways you've been motivating your students in STEM!

    -Allison

  • May 11, 2021 | 02:44 p.m.

    Interesting video. Are you looking at values differences in addition to stereotypes. In our research, we have found that women and other underrepresented groups have more communal values and that if they believe engineering is NOT a helping profession they are less interested.  We are studying how framing engineering as a helping profession, consistent with the NAE's Grand Challenge Scholars program, affects student attitudes toward engineering careers.

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 04:30 p.m.

    Hi Virginia,

    I really enjoyed your video too! We haven't been looking at values with younger students, although Sapna Cheryan and I worked with an honors student at UW who looked at whether adding collaboration to a syllabus would change perceptions of communal values in a computer science class for undergraduates.

    We do have a longitudinal study where we ask children about what people can do with computer science, and it will be very interesting to code their answers to see whether they talk about opportunities to use computer science to help people!

    I agree this is a great direction for future interventions with kids to change their gendered perceptions of computer science and engineering, if they see more ways to use those fields to help others.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    Lead Teacher
    May 11, 2021 | 03:55 p.m.

     

    • In your research, did you find that boys feel a bias towards them when they hear about "Girls in STEM clubs" or other "girls-only" opportunities?  I worry that our push for girls to feel more included in STEM may backfire on the boys interest levels and self-esteem.  What have you found? 

     

     
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    DeLene Hoffner
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 04:51 p.m.

    Hi DeLene,

    We haven't looked directly at this issue, but some of our other research has found that broadening the image of computer science (to avoid the masculine/"geeky" stereotypes) can promote girls' interest in a way that doesn't harm boys' interest (Master, Meltzoff, & Cheryan, 2016). I have mixed feelings about the affinity groups that you mention that divide children by gender. I know these groups can create a great sense of community and belonging for the students in them, but I also worry that they reinforce this idea that "gender matters in STEM." In order to change everyone's stereotypes, I think it's so important for girls and boys to do STEM together, so that everyone sees how much girls can enjoy and succeed in STEM.

    -Allison

     
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    DeLene Hoffner
  • Icon for: Myriam Steinback

    Myriam Steinback

    Facilitator
    Independent Consultant
    May 11, 2021 | 10:40 p.m.

    Allison, I agree, having boys and girls do STEM together is important. Your project supports their interest when there is no preconceived preference (boys like this more etc). In research we did (https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ409390) comparing girls and boys and their interest in and engagement with math when in girls-only and boys-only schools, changed significantly when they merged and had classes together. Boys were distracted with the girls, and the girls didn't want to seem nerdy. With time, however, they collaborated.

     
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    DeLene Hoffner
    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 08:17 a.m.

    Hi Myriam,

    Thanks for sharing! That's so interesting, especially how it highlights the ways that classroom dynamics can shift over time.

    I think we're all working to solve two different problems: 1. How do we get to equity in STEM? and 2. Once we get there, how do we maintain equity?

    I think the single-gender classrooms/clubs/summer camps may help increase engagement for girls to help get them started when they're facing the current inequitable situation and negative stereotypes. But once we get a critical mass of girls engaged in STEM, we may want to shift strategies so that all students are included together. Then the computer science/engineering stereotypes can start to fade away, just as the math/science stereotypes seem to be changing.

    -Allison 

     
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    Myriam Steinback
  • Icon for: Myriam Steinback

    Myriam Steinback

    Facilitator
    Independent Consultant
    May 12, 2021 | 12:33 p.m.

    Allison, thanks for clarifying. I see the two problems you are trying to solve. It's also important to note that the students you are working with are younger than those we studied - best to have those stereotypes fade sooner/earlier!

     
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    Marley Jarvis
    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Rechele Brooks

    Rechele Brooks

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 08:10 p.m.

    I noticed that you used neutral terms ("reducing" and "searching") rather ones I would quickly associate with computer science. From your work, have you found descriptions and phrases that make science seem more approachable? Are there different ways we should describe STEM to help students feel welcome? 

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 08:35 a.m.

    Hi Rechele,

    Great question! We wanted to use neutral-sounding names so that children wouldn't be influenced by the name of the activity (and of course we balanced the names, so that half the children heard the stereotype for the reducing activity and half the children heard the stereotype for the searching activity).

    In our work, we've looked at visual cues that make computer science more welcoming, but haven't yet looked at descriptions. Other researchers have found that talking about "doing science" can be more inclusive for girls than talking about "being a scientist," because girls have the perception that they don't fit the image of a scientist. Another study found that saying things like, "girls are just as good as boys at STEM!" can actually reinforce the very idea we're trying to counter. There may be many other ways that the language we use sends signals to girls that STEM is not for them.

    Examining effects of different descriptions is definitely a direction we would love to pursue in the future!

    -Allison

     
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    Marley Jarvis
  • Icon for: Shakuntala Gopal

    Shakuntala Gopal

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2021 | 10:24 a.m.

    This is a very important topic and fabulous video. It reminds me of this book I read about this idea of "figured worlds" where students' own notion of what they can and cannot do is shaped by these social influences. Students construct the world they believe they can maneuver and never reach outside of it because they simply cannot conceive of it. 

    I often feel like there is a focus on encouraging underrepresented groups to pursue paths that are unwelcoming, but I don't see this as successful unless there are built in structures for retention and support. As in, if we do encourage more girls to enter STEM, what do we do about all the boys who may have been exposed to the same stereotypes that girls don't do STEM or become scientists, engineers, etc.? This reminds me of another text about the struggles of women in the world of physicists. What are your thoughts on this? 

     
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    Marley Jarvis
    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 01:25 p.m.

    Hi Shakuntala,

    Thanks for sharing the book recommendation--I agree that students' beliefs are so important in shaping what they think is possible for themselves!

    I see the concern that our efforts to recruit more girls into fields like computer science and engineering means that we might be sending them into unwelcoming or hostile environments where they are underrepresented. I think it's absolutely important for us to change boys' stereotypes as well, so that they can help create a welcoming environment where girls feel valued in STEM.

    In one of our studies, we were surprised to see that 5th grade students at one school believed that girls were better than boys at coding--it didn't match up with the rest of our findings. This was at a school in Rhode Island where all the kids were learning to code through the CS4RI program. When we asked their teachers if they could help us understand what was going on, they said that they had an unusually strong group of 5th grade girls that year. These girls were so successful that they were not only changing their own expectations and gender stereotypes, but they were also changing the boys' stereotypes. This story gives me hope that bringing computer science into all K-12 schools can start this process on a larger scale, so we can start getting rid of these negative stereotypes in the next generation.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Shakuntala Gopal

    Shakuntala Gopal

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2021 | 01:45 p.m.

    Thank you so much for sharing that. That story gives me so much hope as well. I am definitely on board with getting more girls in STEM and having them "set the story straight" about what they are capable of, but I often worry about the harm that is caused in the process and what we can do outside of encouraging our young women to support those who do pursue the field. And on that note, thank you so much for this article!!

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Marley Jarvis

    Marley Jarvis

    Lead Presenter
    Outreach and Education Specialist
    May 12, 2021 | 01:57 p.m.

    Hi Shakuntala,

    Thank you so much for bringing this up - systemic-level changes are an essential part of building a more equitable STEM workforce. I think this highlights the mandatory role that institutions need to play in making spaces welcome to everyone. This means, at a systemic level, rooting out sexism, ableism, racism, etc. We have a lot of work to do, but this systemic and system-level work is crucial while also working at the individual level of stereotypes and bias. Thanks so much for the important discussion and highlighting this!

    -Marley

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Adriana Moscatelli

    Adriana Moscatelli

    Founder
    May 12, 2021 | 10:56 a.m.

    Hi Allison,

    I am glad to read about your new research. Every day, as I spend time with a majority of male colleagues at Google (and previously at Microsoft, I am reminded of how important your research is.

    Thank you for your contributions,

    Adriana.

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 01:10 p.m.

    Hi Adriana,

    Thanks for stopping by! And thank YOU for all your contributions through Play Works Studio and the Robiis to help encourage young girls in robotics and coding! 

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Andrew Meltzoff

    Andrew Meltzoff

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Co-Director
    May 12, 2021 | 01:16 p.m.

    Hi Adriana, If this research is successful with children, we should be able to prompt more young girls to be interested in STEM during their K-12 yrs, and thus increase the number of women in the pipeline. But, even after that, society may need other strategies to RETAIN women in the STEM workforce, because these are two different things.  

    One possibility is that even within people already in the STEM workforce, we can help. That is, some folks have (thankfully) given up the stereotype that women have less ability in STEM than men, but \ still harbor the INTEREST stereotype that women are intrinsically less interested in STEM.....and this interest stereotype may be as pernicious as the more famous stereotypes about abilities. So work with adults to try to reduce the interest stereotypes could be very useful to help make a better working environment and retain more women in the STEM workforce once women get there.

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Josie Melton

    Josie Melton

    Facilitator
    Post-Doctoral Researcher and Senior Instructor
    May 12, 2021 | 03:06 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this important work! I agree with the above comments about also needing to shift perceptions of people in the workforce.

    Has your team looked at whether presenting CS as more collaborative or cooperative increases girls' interest in choosing CS activities? I think one stereotype is that STEM fields, and CS in particular, require solitary, uncollaborative work, which may also limit students' perceptions and affect their interest.

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 05:51 p.m.

    Hi Josie,

    Great question! In addition to the gender stereotypes we looked at in this study, there are many stereotypes about the field of computer science that seem to differentially affect girls and boys. These stereotypes about computer science as being uncollaborative definitely seem to deter girls more than boys. We haven't studied this yet for computer science, although we do have other research showing that increasing children's feelings of connection can help motivate them in STEM.

    Some other stereotypes about STEM that deter girls more than boys include beliefs that you have to be a genius or that STEM isn't family-friendly.

    This is yet another reason why it's so important to push for mandatory computer science education! Once students get to see examples of the creative, collaborative ways they can use computer science to make the world a better place, they won't have to rely on these outdated perceptions any more.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Josie Melton

    Josie Melton

    Facilitator
    Post-Doctoral Researcher and Senior Instructor
    May 13, 2021 | 03:34 p.m.

    Yes to more computer science education, and I suspect that earlier CS experiences may help young students build their own ideas about CS before they adopt these common stereotypes. I look forward to reading more about your work!

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 03:42 p.m.

    Yes! We have research showing that early positive experiences with coding can increase 6-year-old girls' interest and self-efficacy for coding/robotics. It's so important to make these early experiences more common for girls!

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Catherine Horn

    Catherine Horn

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 05:11 p.m.

    Allison - So excited by this work and to have you as a colleague! I wonder what you are learning from this and other related work about age/developmental triggers/tipping points for particular vulnerability to stereotype threat. Are you finding that it is more substantively cumulative and/or that there are specific moments in development where we are especially vulnerable to such threats? Can't wait to know what you learn and where this work takes you next!

    cathy 

     
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    Marley Jarvis
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 06:20 p.m.

    Hi Cathy,

    Thanks for coming by and joining the conversation! You are speaking to my heart as a developmental psychologist.

    One note is that transitions can be very vulnerable times, since kids are trying to figure out how they feel about a new environment and whether they belong there. I think the implication for teachers is to make sure they start the school year sending lots of messages to girls that they belong in STEM and can succeed in this class.

    A second note is that we've been looking cross-sectionally from elementary school through high school at how students develop these gender stereotypes about STEM, and when those stereotypes start to have a negative impact on girls' motivation in STEM. From our data, it really looks like middle school is a critical time, because these stereotypes start to relate to girls' lower sense of belonging and confidence in STEM. Girls' interest in STEM also starts dropping during this time, so the gender gaps in motivation emerge. We're currently working on interventions that might help girls at this age, including teaching them to have growth mindsets.

    Stay tuned and we'll keep this conversation going in the future!

    -Allison 

     
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    Marley Jarvis
  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    Lead Teacher
    May 13, 2021 | 09:40 a.m.

    Bravo to all for this wonderful discussion! Thank you for viewing and adding your questions and expertise. Please share the STEM Showcase with others so they can participate in the discussion too. Let's get more educators involved in viewing these top projects. Voting and discussion ends on May 18th at 8PM EDT. (but viewing is open anytime) https://stemforall2021.videohall.com/

    For presenters, what are your next steps going forward?

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 10:35 a.m.

    Hi DeLene,

    Thanks for this question!

    One important step is to expand this research from the lab to the classroom. We submitted an NSF CSforAll grant in February where we proposed to look at how these gender-interest stereotypes affect whether girls are willing to sign up for an elective computer science course.

    We want to dig deeper into where these stereotypes come from, so we also proposed to look at the cues that reinforce these stereotypes, like whether girls are underrepresented in the course.

    We're also working to take a more intersectional perspective, to look at how gender and racial/ethnic stereotypes might push Black and Latina girls away from computer science and engineering.

    Finally, a major priority for us is to examine interventions that can counteract these stereotypes. Those might include:

    (a) giving girls more information about how much other girls have enjoyed the course,

    (b) teaching them to have a growth mindset,

    (c) helping them recognize that gender differences in STEM can be caused by external factors, and not because girls and boys are inherently different.

    We love presenting in this showcase (this is our third year here) because we get such valuable feedback and suggestions from this community, so we welcome hearing what other directions you all would suggest!

    -Allison

     
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    Marley Jarvis
  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    Lead Teacher
    May 16, 2021 | 01:19 a.m.

    Thank you for your wonderful response.  Your next steps sound amazing and I wish you all the best on your continued success.  

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 01:25 p.m.

    Thank you so much, DeLene!

  • Icon for: Becky Tapley

    Becky Tapley

    STEM Education Specialist
    May 14, 2021 | 08:59 a.m.

    I love the research you are doing here. In my personal experience in the classroom, I saw the shift in engagement in STEM shift in the middle school years. It's noteworthy that it's actually taking root at earlier ages in your study. In the ACRES project  (https://videohall.com/p/1918) one of our modules focuses on STEM identity and career connections, while in the module about mathematics, we've been focusing a great deal on growth mindset. So your work is very relevant!

    I'm curious what software you used for the animation, as we are engaging in using animation for assessment purposes in ACRES. Thanks for the incredible work you are doing!

     
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    Allison Master
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 14, 2021 | 09:32 a.m.

    Hi Becky,

    I love your video! It's so great to see how you were able to help teachers make the shift to online learning last spring. We're finishing data collection this spring for a 3-year longitudinal study (with students currently in 4th-10th grades) where we look at the development of STEM identity in math, science, and coding; I'm looking forward to sharing what we find about how this changes from elementary to middle school!

    I'll let Marley share what software she used to make this video. But our team has also made short videos to teach growth mindsets to middle school students. It's amazing how much we were able to do just using Powerpoint with animation and audio recording, and we're embedding those videos into Qualtrics so we can assess students' beliefs and attitudes afterwards. Feel free to send me an email if you'd like to see an example: amaster@uh.edu.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Marley Jarvis

    Marley Jarvis

    Lead Presenter
    Outreach and Education Specialist
    May 14, 2021 | 10:39 a.m.

    Hi Becky,

    I like to draw into Procreate (a $15 app) on my iPad and then insert the stills into iMovie where I piece them together with sound effects and music. Your strategy can either be to make individual drawings and piece them together later (like a flip book, what I did), or you can draw and animate within the same program, for example by using a screen recording to capture your drawing process, which can make a fun animation. Another option is to export a GIF of all the individual stills. GIFS and screen recordings work really well for simple and/or short animations that don't require a lot of extra editing.

    Allison's absolutely right that Powerpoint allows you to do a lot of this, including being able to draw into it and create an animation. They do a good job of hiding this feature, but some YouTube tutorials should help a lot. Photoshop and Gimp (a free, open source program comparable to Photoshop) also are great options for drawing stills and making GIFs. Another free program to check out is Autodesk Sketchbook, which is useful for drawing animations as well. I haven't used it, but know lots of folks who love it.

    In general, if you have a tablet or other digital drawing surface, you might benefit from Procreate or Gimp/Photoshop for the ability to draw more complexity. But if you are only making simple animations with shapes and lines or drawing with a computer mouse, then I'd take a look at Powerpoint or Autodesk Sketchbook. 

    Hope that helps! I look forward to seeing your group's animations in the future!

    -Marley

     
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  • Icon for: Becky Tapley

    Becky Tapley

    STEM Education Specialist
    May 14, 2021 | 10:47 a.m.

    Thank you, Marley and Allison! I will pass this info on to the team members who are actively involved in this aspect of the project. Such great tips!

  • Icon for: Bree Barnett Dreyfuss

    Bree Barnett Dreyfuss

    K-12 Teacher
    May 14, 2021 | 10:03 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing! We see so many subtle and not subtle clues pushing girls away from STEM. And thank you for sharing the additional links to research.

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 14, 2021 | 11:02 a.m.

    Thanks, Bree! I loved seeing the efforts to build girls' physics identity and belonging in your video.

    Our research has been focused on computer science and engineering, but physics is also one of the fields in which women are extremely underrepresented. Our research has found that middle/high school girls are more interested in science than in language arts, math, coding, or engineering--it looks like your program can help tap in to that general science interest when girls get to physics class.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Sarah Kirk

    Sarah Kirk

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2021 | 10:54 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing. Even as a woman Chemistry professor, I have had to combat these stereotypes with my own daughter. How are you sharing out this information more broadly to schools and programs for children?

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 14, 2021 | 11:23 a.m.

    Hi Sarah,

    I enjoyed your video on creating a support network for women faculty in STEM! It speaks to the point Shakuntala Gopal raised above, that we also need to make sure we have structures and systems in place to support women as they advance in their STEM careers.

    I've experienced this with my daughter too; even though she knew many women doctors, when she was 4, she turned to me and asked, "Mom, men are doctors and women are nurses, right?" I think many children go through this developmental stage where their gender stereotypes are surprisingly strong (particularly shocking for parents who are trying to teach egalitarian attitudes). Luckily, their stereotypes generally get more flexible in elementary school, and we see lots of middle schoolers in our studies who think stereotypes are unfair and tell us they're ready to "break the gender stereotypes"!

    Thanks for asking this great question! Our Lead Presenter Marley Jarvis is part of the amazing Outreach & Education Department at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington. They share the results of our studies with teachers, parents, and policymakers. They've also made free learning modules on topics such as early STEM learning and math stereotypes. In addition, I've given talks at teacher conferences like Learning & the Brain and the Texas Computer Science Teachers Association. We've also written op-eds to spread the word about our research in the Washington Post and the LA Times.

    -Allison

     
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    Ellie Prince

    Undergraduate Student
    May 15, 2021 | 06:09 p.m.

    Thank you so much for such important work! s so much for sharing this important work! It's incredibly eye-opening to know that children pick up on these explicit and implicit stereotypes so early on. I wondered if the COVID-19 pandemic environment has heightened or lessened these effects as students spend less time around their peers in-person but also consume less banter including these harmful stereotypes? Thank you again!

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 01:35 p.m.

    Hi Ellie,

    What a great question! We are very interested in this too.

    When the pandemic started, we were in the middle of a 3-year longitudinal study with students who started in grades 2-8. We're about to finish the study next month, and we're very interested to see whether it looks like the pandemic affected kids' stereotypes and interest in computer science.

    We're planning to look at how it affected each individual student's responses, and we can also look at whether each cohort of students seems different. For example: if we look at kids who were in 6th grade in 2018-2019, 2019-2020, or 2020-2021, how do their responses differ on average?

    Kids pick up on stereotypes from all kinds of sources other than peers, like media. So, if kids increased their screen time during the pandemic and watched more TV and movies that have gender stereotypes, that could affect their stereotypes too.

    -Allison

     
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  • Icon for: Oriana Bennett

    Oriana Bennett

    Undergraduate Student
    May 16, 2021 | 12:38 a.m.

    Thank you so much for performing this research and sharing your work! I really enjoyed learning more about this research because stereotypes, especially those that concern gender in education, are extremely prevalent and not widely talked about on a systemic level. I am very interested in continuing the conversation about how we can cultivate a sense of belonging for underrepresented populations in STEM at a young age and am wondering if having an emphasis on educators breaking down the gendered stereotypes in the classroom would help this issue. In addition, I am also curious if this is something that solely applies to girls. What about the LGBTQ+ population and different gender identities, especially among children and adolescents who are still discovering themselves? I think this could be a point of continued research so we can better assess how to assist young children in breaking down these stereotypes.

     
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    Marley Jarvis
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 01:49 p.m.

    Hi Oriana,

    Thanks for bringing up this issue!

    Yes, I think that educators can have a big impact on underrepresented students in the classroom. They can send all kinds of signals to students about their potential to succeed and how much they are valued there.

    It's very true that girls are not the only ones who face barriers into STEM. Gender identity is a very important part of this story. Some research suggests that, the more that girls identify with their gender, the more susceptible they are to gender stereotypes.

    We're starting to look at this in our research by changing the way we measure gender identity. We let students identify their own gender (so that they aren't limited to the binary choices of "girl" or "boy"), and we're also trying a new measure that gives them a continuum on which to note their gender identification.

    Given that transgender girls show the same kind of gender cognitions as cisgender girls, I suspect that gender stereotypes affect them in a similar way. If the stereotypes say "computer science is not for girls," then transgender girls may believe that they do not belong in computer science. We don't have a large enough sample from our surveys yet, but we hope to be able to look at this issue in the future.

    We definitely need more research on belonging in STEM for the LGBTQ+ population, and NSF is starting to make policy changes to support this research. There's still so much work to do to support these students in STEM!

    -Allison

     
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    Lauren Grove

    Undergraduate Student
    May 16, 2021 | 02:23 p.m.

    Thank you so much for sharing about this incredibly important topic! Researcher like this makes me hopeful that we can work towards raising a generation where every gender feels welcome in every area of study.  I love the part of the video where it says we should not make womxn feel like they have to "fit in," but rather we need to diversify who society believes belong in these roles. Forcing womxn to repress their femininity in order to enter male-dominated spaces is just another way to make womxn feel like outsiders. Great work!

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 05:18 p.m.

    Thanks, Lauren! Definitely agree that we need to broaden the stereotypes about who belongs in these fields!

    -Allison

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    Kira Conte

    Undergraduate Student
    May 16, 2021 | 06:41 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your important work! Countering math stereotypes reminds me of the work of Youcubed (https://www.youcubed.org/) and Professor Jo Boaler! We need to keep spreading the message of STEM is for all leaners! 

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 09:20 a.m.

    Hi Kira,

    Yes, absolutely! We need to change these messages that "STEM is only for some" or beliefs that "I'm not a math person." My hope is that giving children more early, positive experiences doing coding and engineering activities can help them spark an interest in these fields that can grow. We just need to keep removing these psychological barriers that are pushing girls away.

    -Allison

     
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    Karen Villanueva

    Undergraduate Student
    May 17, 2021 | 11:20 p.m.

    Thank you so much for this research! I think it's important to be mindful about what we teach children, especially at young ages. I do have two questions: How do authoritative figures influence gender disparities (does hearing stereotypes, or a lack thereof, from people in positions of authority, like the experimenters, have a greater impact on whether children subscribe to these ideas)? I'm also curious, is there research on whether socio-economic or generational stereotypes influence related disparities (for example - whether FLI students are less likely to take STEM courses)? 

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 04:27 p.m.

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for these questions.

    1. Oh, that's interesting! I don't know of any research comparing how much stereotypes influence children when they come from different types of sources. I could see it going either way: maybe they would most believe the authoritative figure because that person is a knowledgeable adult, but maybe they would also be most likely to believe other kids, especially when it comes to how much kids are interested in things like a computer science activity.

    2. I don't know whether this has been linked to stereotypes, but students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to pursue STEM careers. They have fewer opportunities to take STEM courses and less support from the people around them. There have been some very interesting interventions aimed at first-generation college students to boost their engagement on campus. I think there's probably a lot of similarity between the ways that first-generation students and women in STEM classes can feel intimidated by other students who have more experience and tend to dominate in the classroom.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Dija Manly

    Dija Manly

    Undergraduate Student
    May 17, 2021 | 11:54 p.m.

    This research is fascinating! This research is so important in illustrating the ways that stereotypes can limit the possibilities that marginalized groups can imagine for themselves. I was wondering if there has been research done about influencing people to do things utilizing stereotypes--for example, if we started telling girls that girls do computer science, would we see an increase in interest? Or are these stereotypes only affective in halting behavior?

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 01:34 p.m.

    Hi Dija,

    Thanks for your feedback!

    This is a great question! I have a few thoughts.

    1) I think that kind of positive stereotype may be necessary but not sufficient for promoting interest. Interest is shaped by a lot of personal factors too, so there's no guarantee that many or most girls would become interested if we changed the stereotype. Removing the negative stereotype is like opening the door: now girls are better able to see for themselves whether they want to walk through, but they may still choose not to enter.

    2) We can see this in our research when we look at correlations between stereotypes and interest in computer science. There's a strong negative correlation for girls--the more they believe "boys are more interested than girls in computer science," the less interested they are. For boys, the correlation between stereotypes and interest is positive, but it's typically smaller and sometimes is no different from 0. Sometimes they get a "lift" or "boost" in their interest from the stereotypes that favor their group, but not always. That might be because the stereotypes are less salient for them or because there are other things that shape their interest too.

    3) There is some experimental evidence that this might work. For example, one study found that preschool children liked an unattractive toy that was labeled as for their gender just as much as they liked an attractive toy that was labeled as for the other gender. So, rebranding computer science as "for girls" could help make it more appealing to girls.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Zachary Xi

    Zachary Xi

    Undergraduate Student
    May 18, 2021 | 01:05 a.m.

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching this video, especially since I personally have taken (and will continue to take) many computer science/STEM-based classes, and have found that there is a heavy gender disparity in these courses. I think that an interesting follow-up might be whether or not the creation of specific communities to support inclusive efforts might have implications that reinforce the stereotype. For example, with a few companies that I am interested in, there are specific AAPI communities within those communities to support Asian-Americans in those fields. Furthermore, while I definitely believe that these communities contribute a net positive to promoting the Asian-American experience, sometimes I think that the existence of those communities themselves indicate that being Asian-American in that field means being part of a minority rather than an accepted whole.

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 01:36 p.m.

    Hi Zachary,

    Thanks for this point! I agree--these kinds of "affinity groups" can promote belonging within the group, but they may not promote belonging to the field as a whole. I think they can be a valuable short-term solution, but the long-term goal should be to improve everyone's sense of belonging so that these kinds of groups are no longer needed.

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Dumisile Mphamba

    Dumisile Mphamba

    Undergraduate Student
    May 18, 2021 | 01:11 a.m.

    This is such interesting research! I went to an all-girls' school in a different part of the world, and was not really aware of these gender stereotypes until I graduated high school. I'm curious to know if these findings differ for women like me, who went to gender-segregated schools and thus did not interact with boys?

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 01:56 p.m.

    Hi Dumisile,

    Great question! I think this issue is controversial--some experts argue that gender-segregated schools increase gender stereotyping, while others argue that it can promote girls' confidence and sense of belonging. I think an important part of eradicating gender stereotypes is to change boys' stereotypes, which is much harder to do when the genders are segregated.

    -Allison

     
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    Dumisile Mphamba
  • Icon for: Dumisile Mphamba

    Dumisile Mphamba

    Undergraduate Student
    May 18, 2021 | 02:09 p.m.

    This is fascinating! Thank you for your thoughtful response!

     
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    Allison Master
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    Tiffany Liu

    Undergraduate Student
    May 18, 2021 | 02:05 p.m.

    This is such important work! I was wondering if girls may have internalized the belief that interests correlate directly with ability, as often gender stereotypes about STEM are based on the idea that girls are less intelligent or have less of a natural affinity for STEM subjects. In the study, girls are told that girls and boys are equally good at a certain task, but that girls are less interested in one. Do the participants ask why girls are less interested in one task, and if so, what do the experimenters say?

  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 04:02 p.m.

    Hi Tiffany,

    Thank you! Yes, I agree that we usually make inferences back and forth between interest and ability: if someone is interested, we assume they must be pretty good at it; and if someone is good at something, we assume they probably like it.

    In this particular study I think most participants just accepted the information; the experimenters never reported participants questioning that. We also had a pretty extensive debriefing after the study where we talked to all the participants about gender stereotypes, and how they can speak up and respond if they hear other people reinforcing stereotypes.

    But I think it would be a great idea for a future study to talk more to them about how they interpreted the information we gave them, and why THEY thought girls might be less interested in the task!

    -Allison

  • Icon for: Andrew Meltzoff

    Andrew Meltzoff

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Co-Director
    May 18, 2021 | 05:24 p.m.

    Another thing to add, in response to Tiffany's question, is that when we consider stereotypes in the workforce, there are these same two (interrelated) stereotypes. Some people in the tech industry say that women don't have the same programing 'ability' as men have But there are a shrinking number of people who support that (thankfully).

    However, we still see the stereotype that says "well.....ok....women DO have as much programing or STEM ability as men, but, you know, they're just not interested in programing, STEM, robotics, physics, so perhaps we can't do much about getting more women in the workforce. If they're not interested, we can't force them." 

    We think that this interest stereotype provides an "excuse" and should be combatted too, just like the older "ability stereotype" has met resistance. And "interest" is malleable; more girls and women will become more interested in computer science after certain changes are instituted. 

     
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