Guidance, Gender Equity and Technology Education.Report as inadecuate

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A study examined the role of guidance in girls' decisions about whether or not to take technology education as an elective in high school and to consider future careers in technological fields. The researchers reviewed the literature on guidance and looked at the results of interventions designed to attract girls to nontraditional fields. Eighteen guidance counselors in three school districts in Connecticut were interviewed. Three barriers to greater participation of girls in technology education were identified: lack of information, lack of connection, and lack of flexibility. Guidance counselors agreed that students were not well informed about technological careers and tended to see careers as male and female. Girls in middle schools failed to make the connection between what they were learning in technology education classrooms and careers in technological fields. Many guidance counselors cited lack of flexibility as a problem in advising students to take technology education. For students entering high school, graduation requirements allowed room for no more than one or two elective subjects. Some suggested strategies to increase gender equity were as follows: make gender equity a clear focus of career days or fairs; have middle school students visit technology labs at high schools; bring guest speakers, especially women, into the technology classrooms; forge links with local business/industry; create more flexible course structures; introduce career centers in middle schools; and develop interdisciplinary courses linking technology education and other academic departments. (YLB)

Descriptors: Career Choice, Career Planning, Counselor Role, Course Selection (Students), Educational Research, Enrollment Influences, Females, Guidance Programs, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Nontraditional Occupations, School Counselors, Sex Discrimination, Sex Fairness, Sex Stereotypes, State Surveys, Student Attitudes, Student Educational Objectives, Technical Occupations, Technology Education

Author: Silverman, Suzanne; Pritchard, Alice M.


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