Encouraging Gender Diversity in Schools using Socially Relevant Computing

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dc.contributor.advisor Luxton-Reilly, A en
dc.contributor.author Khan, Nazish en
dc.date.accessioned 2017-07-25T00:23:38Z en
dc.date.issued 2017 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34482 en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract The objective of this research is to study the responses of high school teachers currently teaching Computer Science and programming standards as part of Digital Technologies, about gender diversity and socially relevant computing. Computer Science institutions and industry have been experiencing a gender equity problem, predominantly in the Western world (OECD, 2012; Rich et al., 2004; Spice, 2016). There is a lack of a universal solution to the problem of less females at institutions and workplaces, despite numerous successful efforts to combat the problem at a local scale. All the previous literature concerning the gender gap and perceptions held about CS has been done in other countries apart from New Zealand. The recent introduction of Computer Science into the national curriculum demands the study of ways to improve gender diversity in the field of Computer Science, in respect to the New Zealand context. It is quite significant to recognize the issue of a gender gap as a pressing concern, considering the growth of Information Technology all around the world. There are numerous benefits of work environments that are gender diverse such as: broader customer base, greater range of skills and management styles, improving decision making processes and a better reputation for the organization. Most importantly, it allows the attraction and retention of diversity-sensible talents. The gender gap starts off from the introductory levels of Computer Science classes, and worsens as women proceed ahead into higher levels. This trend is seen across schools, universities and their overall careers as well. As the main motivation for this research, studies (Buckley et al., 2008; Camp et al., 2016) have claimed that majors that are shown to contribute to social good are dominated by women. Hence, this thesis investigates the possibility of illustrating Computer Science as a more socially relevant discipline to retain more female students within Digital Technologies at high schools. We compose a set of main themes that influence the current situation of Computer Science as a discipline and that may be able to contribute to better future directions. Using a design-based research methodology, this study collaborates with high school teachers to study their position on the gender gap and the challenges and support mediums available for their teaching. This analysis results in the identification of requirements for the development of socially relevant resources for them to be effectively used to teach students. Overall, teachers responded quite positively during both the preliminary evaluation and final evaluation to the idea of integrating socially relevant computing in their teaching. They were hopeful about this approach having a long-term benefit of attracting and retaining more gender-diverse populations. Moreover, teachers conveyed optimistic responses about socially relevant computing providing a way to reduce the confusion about what Computer Science is and many related negative perceptions. This thesis contributes ready-to-use socially relevant resources that can be integrated into teaching introductory programming and highlights the massive responsibilities and undersized support that exist for teachers teaching the Digital Technologies curriculum. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264920713502091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title Encouraging Gender Diversity in Schools using Socially Relevant Computing en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Computer Science en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 639560 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-07-25 en

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