Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Education Practices Influence Women Engineer Shortage

Date:
December 31, 2008
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
As the need for engineering professionals grows, educators and industry leaders are increasingly concerned with how to attract women to a traditional male career. A new study found the impact of the engineering curriculum and obstacles, including self-efficacy and feelings of inclusion, can impede women's success in the predominantly male discipline of engineering.

As the need for engineering professionals grows, educators and industry leaders are increasingly concerned with how to attract women to a traditional male career. A new University of Missouri study found the impact of the engineering curriculum and obstacles, including self-efficacy and feelings of inclusion, can impede women’s success in the predominantly male discipline of engineering.

MU researchers examined the role of self-efficacy, the belief in one’s capabilities to execute the course of action required to produce desired goals, to understand why women continue to be under-represented in engineering. Their findings suggest a strong sense of self-efficacy, especially for women students who are under-represented in engineering classrooms, can help students persist and succeed.

“Efficacy applies to any situation; it is particularly important in choosing and executing constructive action in situations that can be barriers to successfully achieving the ultimately desired outcome,” said Rose Marra, associate professor of information science and learning technologies in the MU College of Education. “In engineering, these barriers might include negative stereotypes, active discouragements by peers or faculty, or scoring poorly on a calculus exam.”

In the study, Marra evaluated 196 undergraduate women engineering students throughout a two-year period at five public institutions in the United States. The researchers examined the students’ engineering career expectations, self-efficacy, feelings of inclusion, efficacy in coping with difficulties and math outcomes efficacy. The assessment provided a better understanding of students’ overall self-efficacy.

“We compared the students’ assessments from each year. The results indicate that women students show positive progress in some self-efficacy measures, but they show significant decrease in progress on feelings of inclusion,” Marra said. “We hope that the results of the study can be used to influence engineering education practices, both in and outside of the classroom, which can impact the success of women studying engineering.”

Marra’s study, “Women Engineering Students and Self-Efficacy: A Multi-Year, Multi-Institution Study of Women Engineering Student Self-Efficacy,” which will be published in the January Journal of Engineering Education, also found a relationship between ethnicity and feelings of inclusion, which Marra hopes to examine in future studies. The study was sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Education Practices Influence Women Engineer Shortage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231005353.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2008, December 31). Education Practices Influence Women Engineer Shortage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231005353.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Education Practices Influence Women Engineer Shortage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231005353.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins