Secondary girls perceptions of advanced ICT subjects: are they boring and irrelevant?
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This paper reports on two questions from a survey of year 11 and 12 girls' perceptions of the two advanced computing subjects available within Education Queensland (EQ). The two subjects are Information Processing Technology (IPT) and Information Technology Systems (ITS). Similar to trends in other Western countries, the Queensland experience demonstrates that the number of girls enrolling in IPT and ITS are declining to a level which causes concern. Therefore engaging girls in advanced-level computing subjects has become a priority. Girls from 26 government (GS) and non-government schools (NGS)(n=1453) participated in a survey which was conducted by members of the research team at James Cook University (JCU) as part of a larger Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant project. The current paper examines responses to 'The subjects are interesting' and 'I am interested in computers' with particular attention to how attitudes of Non-Takers of IPT/ITS diverge from those of Takers. Mann-Whitney U test comparisons found significant difference in attitudes between these groups. These data were reinforced with rich qualitative responses indicating these subjects were generally perceived by girls in high school as boring, dull and uninteresting.
Australian Educational Computing
© The Author(s) 2006. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified