Computer Club for Girls: the problem with seeing girls as the problem

Fuller, Alison, Turbin, Jill and Johnston, Brenda (2013) Computer Club for Girls: the problem with seeing girls as the problem Gender and Education (doi:10.1080/09540253.2013.772712).


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This paper presents findings from an evaluation of the Computer Clubs for Girls, an initiative originally delivered in the South East of England, designed to encourage more girls to take up information technology (IT) courses and careers. By targeting girls aged 10–14, the club aimed to provide members with a ‘gender relevant’ experience of IT, tackling issues of access, confidence and negative attitudes about IT. The evaluation, conducted over four years, included the collection of quantitative and qualitative data from members and non-members of the clubs. It included a longitudinal component in order to assess the longer-term impacts of the club. The findings support the critical view that initiatives based on assumptions about the relationship between girls and IT misinterpret ‘the problem’ about female under-representation in IT, and are unlikely to have a significant or sustained impact on what remains an occupational and subject area divided by gender typing. The paper argues for an approach which challenges the social and cultural discourses that maintain this gender divide.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/09540253.2013.772712
ISSNs: 0954-0253 (print)
Keywords: gender stereotypes, information technology, policy initiative, computer clubs
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HS Societies secret benevolent etc
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
ePrint ID: 351501
Date :
Date Event
11 April 2013Published
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2013 11:36
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 15:39
Further Information:Google Scholar

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