Gender mainstreaming in teaching: analysis of STEM students' perception
Document typeConference lecture
Rights accessOpen Access
European Commission's projectGEECCO - Gender Equality in Engineering through Communication and Commitment (EC-H2020-741128)
The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPC-BarcelonaTech (UPC), is currently doing significant steps towards the gender mainstreaming in teaching. Indeed, some years ago some teachers already started individually to introduce gender dimension in their teaching, but it is not until the pilot project named Gender Dimension in Teaching, when a cooperative approach was adopted to reach such mainstreaming in all Bachelor and Master degrees at UPC. Within this project a group of 35 lecturers worked during one semester focusing on the four pillars of teaching (i.e. contents, classroom management, methodology and assessment), which were revised from a gender perspective. Within each pillar, gender issues were identified according to the experienced perception of the project participants. However, uncertainties aroused concerning the reliability of such a perception. Indeed, teachers’ perception might be influenced by stereotypes and prejudices that could alter the identification of gender issues. Hence, it became obvious that more reliable data concerning students’ perceptions was needed. In order to assess this issue, a survey design, test and improvement process was carried out . The first consensual version of the survey was answered by 548 students, 30% of which are women, from 3 Bachelor and 4 Master STEM degrees. The percentage of women was similar to that of the UPC students’ community (27,2% in 2018-2019) but significantly higher than 20,70%, what corresponds to the women’s proportion in the 7 studied degrees. This first comparison already makes evident the different degree of awareness related to gender issues, where women capture more biases than men. Indeed, these differences have been found in most of the survey’s answers related to the students’ observations on attitudes and facts in the frame of UPC degrees. Within the survey, different aspects such as teacher’s gendered attitudes, gendered roles in the teamwork and male and female referents are analysed. Surprising results are found, such as the fact that 76% of students have frequently detected one of the following issues: different treatment by the teacher, use of sexist language, use of stereotyped images or a biased assessment. Also, the results regarding referents are interesting, showing a significant gender bias in both the number and type of referents. Indeed, despite the number of male referents is low (54%), the number of female referents is really scarce (24%) and, to our opinion, devoted actions to provide female referents are required. Moreover, women have more referents in the personal circle whereas men have more internationally known and actual referents. All these aspects have been analysed for each of the participant degrees providing valuable information to define degree specific actions to improve gender mainstreaming in teaching. Moreover, the detailed data analysis has allowed to identify the correct wording of the key questions and the type of available answers in order to build a new survey to assess students’ perception all along UPC experience.
CitationMas de les Valls, E. [et al.]. Gender mainstreaming in teaching: analysis of STEM students' perception. A: International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation. "ICERI 2020: 13th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation: conference proceedings: 9-10 November 2020". 2020, p. 9479-9484. ISBN 978-84-09-24232-0. DOI 10.21125/iceri.2020.2095.
- Departament de Física - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- Departament d'Organització d'Empreses - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- Departament de Matemàtiques - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- TN - Teoria de Nombres - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- SCOM - Supply Chain and Operations Management - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- GREENTECH - Grup de Recerca en Tecnologies Renovables - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
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