2021 CoNECD

Stereotypes and Implicit Biases in Engineering: Will Students Need to "Whistle Vivaldi"?

Presented at CoNECD Session : Day 1 Slot 1 Technical Session 4

Despite numerous calls to increase representation of women and minorities, the engineering education system is still challenged to be more inclusive of women and underrepresented minorities. Scholars have suggested that the imbalance is largely related to sociocultural factors and prevalent stereotypes and implicit biases. This study investigated how high school teachers characterize engineering stereotypes, stereotype threat, and implicit biases, and conceive their roles and responsibilities amid calls for inclusivity in the field. Data was collected through focus group interviews during a professional development effort for high school teachers. Thematic analysis revealed teacher perspectives of long-standing issues affecting diversity in engineering especially in the frameworks of social culture. The study has implications for research as well as practice by providing insight into stereotype threats and implicit biases from the K-12 teacher angle and laying out grass roots solutions at the classroom level.

  1. Dr. Stacy S. Klein-Gardner Vanderbilt University [biography]
  2. Dr. Jennifer Kouo Towson University [biography]
  3. Cheryl Beauchamp Regent University [biography]
  4. Briana O'Neal University of Maryland College Park
  5. Jackelyn Raquel Lopez Roshwalb University of Maryland, College Park [biography]
  6. Dr. Darryll J. Pines University of Maryland College Park [biography]
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