Computer Courses in Adult Education in a Gender Perspective
Minna Salminen-Karlsson (Uppsala University, Sweden)
Copyright © 2010. 22 pages.
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In this study of computer courses in municipal adult education, 173 questionnaires from 10 Swedish adult education centres with students taking a basic computer education course were analyzed. The main findings were that men consistently reported greater computer competence, while computer interest or computer attitudes did not show gender differences. The gender differences in computer competence were significant even in the youngest age group. Young women were also the most distinctive group by being the most dissatisfied. The idea that gender issues in adult computer education mainly concern computer reticent middle aged women while young women attend computer courses on a more equal footing with men does not hold in this sample. The results raise some practical questions, particularly in assessing the differences in computer competence and women’s feelings of inadequacy, taking advantage of women’s computer interest, and coming into terms with young women’s expectations.
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