Teachers as role models: are there gender differences in microcomputer-based mathematics and science instruction?

by Cathy Stasz, Richard J. Shavelson, Clarice Stasz


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This paper examines whether male and female teachers differ in (1) their background or training for instructional uses of microcomputers and (2) their uses of microcomputers to teach mathematics and science. Research carried out in 60 classrooms, 49 schools, and 25 districts in California provided data on district and school microcomputer policies; classroom contexts; and teachers' characteristics, instructional decisions, and practices. A secondary analysis of these data indicated that district and school characteristics and classroom organization and composition did not differ, by and large, among male and female teachers. Furthermore, gender was unrelated to teachers' subject matter and computer knowledge, patterns of microcomputer-based instruction, and instructional decisions and practices. Both female and male teachers provide leadership in the microcomputer movement, have the relevant training and experience which contributes to microcomputer use, use microcomputers for instruction in a variety of ways, and present equally viable role models.

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