Computer programming, ICT and gender in the classroom: a male-dominated domain or a female preserve?


Morris, David and Trushell, John 2014. Computer programming, ICT and gender in the classroom: a male-dominated domain or a female preserve? Research in Teacher Education. 4 (1), pp. 4-9.
AuthorsMorris, David and Trushell, John

This paper describes a small-scale empirical study grounded in teaching experience which draws upon two principal areas of research: psychological gender and attitudes towards programming and ICT (information and communications technology) in primary schools. The sample group for this study comprised 24 Key Stage 2 pupils who undertook two computing tasks using applications that align with the current UK Primary Computing National Curriculum (DfE 2013a). All children completed a Children’s Sex Role Inventory (CSRI) questionnaire to determine their psychological gender, as well as a computer attitudes (CA) instrument to ascertain their views on computing and ICT. The children’s responses to both instruments were then tested for internal reliability. The pupil participants involved in this research undertook two tasks, which involved the use of programming software, Microsoft Windows LOGO (MWL), and a desktop publishing (DTP) program, Microsoft Publisher. Work samples were then graded to a set of criteria and awarded an overall mark. Although boys marginally outperformed girls overall, the difference between the means did not achieve significance. However, when Pearson product moment correlations were taken between the performances of boys’ means and girls’ means, respectively, across the programming and DTP tasks, they indicated different tendencies. The findings of this small-scale study are limited, but would appear to demonstrate that gender differences do exist in terms of performance across different applications.

Keywordscomputing; gender; ICT; programming
JournalResearch in Teacher Education
Research in Teacher Education
Journal citation4 (1), pp. 4-9
PublisherUniversity of East London, Cass School of Education and Communities
Publisher's version
Publication dates
Print20 May 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited22 May 2014
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