Addressing gender in STEM classrooms: The impact of gender bias on women scientists' experiences in higher education careers in Germany

Dana Kube*, Joshua Weidlich, Karel Kreijns, Hendrik Drachsler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Gender bias underlying discrimination against women are particularly salient in STEM higher education. Complementing top-down measures to mitigate these issues identified in the extant literature, we aim to highlight a complementary bottom-up approach. First, to elicit gender stereotypes and gender bias in STEM, we conducted a group concept mapping (GCM) study involving women professors, teaching staff, and scientific staff from different STEM disciplines at German universities (N = 70). We first asked them to provide statements reflecting their experience in response to the following focus prompt: ‘In my career as a STEM teacher, I experienced gender issues related to:’ Experts were then asked to thematically cluster and rank the statements according to their importance and feasibility with respect to a potential pedagogical intervention that may target these issues. Findings revealed an agreement across STEM disciplines regarding stereotypical beliefs about women, heteronomous gender roles, gender workload, sexism, and structural power relations, in that they remain significant factors for hindering female success in STEM careers in higher education. Based on their experience, however, the women saw potential in working on the awareness of gender bias with pedagogical interventions in online group learning scenarios (CSCL). Statements rated most appropriate were discussed in the light of the aspects of gender bias addressed, with a specific focus on addressing them in collaborative scripts.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • CSCL
  • Gender
  • Group concept mapping
  • Higher education
  • Pedagogical intervention
  • STEM

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