Teaching and Learning

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    An examination of gender differences in elementary constructionist classrooms using Lego/Logo instruction
    (Haworth Press, Inc., 2006-01) Beisser, Sally R.
    Gender disparity exists in many educational environments despite conscientious attempts to equalize opportunities and outcomes. Research studies indicate females are less likely to effectively engage in the use of technology for problem solving. However, in a two-year study of a Midwest elementary multi-age classroom, researchers studied computer-using activity of grade 1-5 students using Lego/ Logo technologies. Teachers put in practice learning strategies that encouraged both sexes to engage in computer-oriented problem solving. Through an experimental design, observation, and teacher assessment, the results suggest that, in practice, females demonstrate significant gains in self-efficacy using computer technology in this computer- rich classroom and report positive perceptions of self. Girls report more positive assessments of female technological competence and current computer use while boys do not waver from a belief in male technological superiority. Observation and teacher assessment indicate females are solving problems without asking for help. Furthermore, girls suggest that males are not more technologically savvy than they are. Girls also indicate that boys were not more likely to be adult computer users. On the other hand, boys report only a slight shift in their gendered beliefs. © 2005 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.