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Engineering Education: How to Design a Gender-Inclusive Curriculum Dr Jean Armstrong

Summary: Engineering Education: How to Design a Gender-Inclusive Curriculum
Dr Jean Armstrong
Department of Electronic Engineering
La Trobe University
Professor Gilah Leder
Graduate School of Education
La Trobe University
Despite recent efforts to increase the numbers of females in engineering courses, the proportion has plateaued at an average of
less than 20%. To increase the proportion further many believe that the way engineering courses are structured and presented
must be changed. Demand for change in engineering education is also coming from a number of other directions as has been
demonstrated in recent surveys of engineering graduates and engineering employers.
Despite the lack of research on the interaction of gender and the nature of engineering courses, there has been much research in
closely related fields such as secondary school science and mathematics. In general, this work has shown that girls are more
interested in science if the total context rather than isolated technical tasks are emphasised.
Engineering courses should be changed so that they better meet the expectations of employers and graduates. This can be done
in a way which also makes them better suited to female students. Content of courses should be pruned to eliminate the
overload. Engineering topics should be treated in a total context which includes social, environmental and political
considerations as well as technical aspects.
Engineering Education in Australia is currently the subject


Source: Armstrong, Jean - Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University


Collections: Engineering