Girls' technological knowledge
Keywords:technological knowledge, Technology Education, Technical Girls, Girlification, STEM camp
This study investigates technological knowledge among 13-14-year-old girls at a technology-focused summer camp using a Science and Technology Studies (STS) lens. As they are already interested in technology, they attend the camp out of genuine interest instead of ones to become interested. The girls' expressions of technological knowledge are aligned with societal norms associating technology with hands-on engagement and activities, solidifying their self as belonging in technology. While the camp introduced certain gendered assumptions through "girlified" tasks, the girls wished to transcend these stereotypical activities. They wanted to broaden their technological interests beyond the confines of gendered expectations. Actor networks and external recognition influence their technological knowledge, often motivating their engagement in technology. During an interview, the girls voiced dissatisfaction with existing technology education, mentioning uninspiring teaching methods, outdated materials, and a focus on theory. The girls were critical of the technology education they encountered and emphasised the value of practical learning and a longing for real-life applicable skills. Despite some finding technology classes engaging, low self-confidence in comparison to boys emerged, possibly due to teacher expectations. Their inclination towards practical experiences highlights the importance of a well-rounded learning approach. Implications for school technology education curricula underscore the significance of blending theory with practical application to keep technical girls engaged. By embracing girls' perspectives, educators can craft initiatives that resonate with their interests, rejecting the need for gender-specific content. These insights challenge the stereotype that technical knowledge is gender-bound, recognising that girls' genuine interest is an asset.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Ulrika Sultan
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