SciGirls Strategies: Gender Equitable Teaching Practices in Career and Technical Education Pathways for High School Girls
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by engaging in hands-on field experience, laboratory/project-based entrepreneurship tasks and mentorship experiences.
Twin Cities Public Television project on Gender Equitable Teaching Practices in Career and Technical Education Pathways for High School Girls is designed to help career and technical education educators and guidance counselors recruit and retain more high school girls from diverse backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pathways, specifically in technology and engineering. The project's goals are: 1) To increase the number of high school girls, including ethnic minorities, recruited and retained in traditionally male -STEM pathways; 2) To enhance the teaching and coaching practices of Career and Technical Education educators, counselors and role models with gender equitable and culturally responsive strategies; 3) To research the impacts of strategies and role model experiences on girls' interest in STEM careers; 4) To evaluate the effectiveness of training in these strategies for educators, counselors and role models; and 5) To develop training that can easily be scaled up to reach a much larger audience. The research hypothesis is that girls will develop more positive STEM identities and interests when their educators employ research-based, gender-equitable and culturally responsive teaching practices enhanced with female STEM role models. Instructional modules and media-based online resources for Minnesota high school Career and Technical Education programs will be developed in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and piloted in districts with strong community college and industry partnerships. Twin Cities Public Television will partner with STEM and gender equity researchers from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, the National Girls Collaborative, the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU-Boulder), the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.
The project will examine girls' personal experiences with equitable strategies embedded into classroom STEM content and complementary mentoring experiences, both live and video-based. It will explore how these experiences contribute to girls' STEM-related identity construction against gender-based stereotypes. It will also determine the extent girls' exposure to female STEM role models impact their Career and Technical Education studies and STEM career aspirations. The study will employ and examine short-form autobiographical videos created and shared by participating girls to gain insight into their STEM classroom and role model experiences. Empowering girls to respond to the ways their Career and Technical Education educators and guidance counselors guide them toward technology and engineering careers will provide a valuable perspective on educational practice and advance the STEM education field.