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Computer Courses in Adult Education in a Gender Perspective

Copyright © 2010. 22 pages.
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DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-813-5.ch012|
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MLA

Salminen-Karlsson, Minna. "Computer Courses in Adult Education in a Gender Perspective." Gender Issues in Learning and Working with Information Technology: Social Constructs and Cultural Contexts. IGI Global, 2010. 209-230. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-61520-813-5.ch012

APA

Salminen-Karlsson, M. (2010). Computer Courses in Adult Education in a Gender Perspective. In S. Booth, S. Goodman, & G. Kirkup (Eds.) Gender Issues in Learning and Working with Information Technology: Social Constructs and Cultural Contexts (pp. 209-230). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-61520-813-5.ch012

Chicago

Salminen-Karlsson, Minna. "Computer Courses in Adult Education in a Gender Perspective." In Gender Issues in Learning and Working with Information Technology: Social Constructs and Cultural Contexts, ed. Shirley Booth, Sara Goodman and Gill Kirkup, 209-230 (2010), accessed December 22, 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-61520-813-5.ch012

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Abstract

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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Background Of The Study

A gender gap in computing—a digital divide between women and men (Cooper & Weaver, 2003; Wilson et al, 2003), even in western society—has been troubling researchers and policymakers; firstly, because women are seen as being at risk of being left behind in the new citizenship, and, secondly, because computer competence is essential in a well-qualified workforce. However, today 60% of Swedish women and 69% of Swedish men use a computer daily, either at home or at work (Statistics Sweden, 2006). The picture of women as not being interested in computers and computer competence does not hold true any more. Women do use computers, and they also enrol on computer courses. But how are these courses functioning for the students—men and women? Do women and men come to the course with similar interests and similar knowledge? What about different age groups? These are the questions that this study tries to answer.

This is a study of computer students in Swedish municipal adult education centres. The main focus is on the differences between men and women, and between women of different ages when it comes to their interest in and experiences of computers and computer education.

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Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Madeleine Cæsar
Preface
Shirley Booth, Sara Goodman, Gill Kirkup
Chapter 1
Inger Boivie
This chapter explores aspects of the gendering of computer science and IT, related to epistemological issues of what computing is and what type of... Sample PDF
Women, Men and Programming : Knowledge, Metaphors and Masculinity
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Chapter 2
Ulf Mellström
This chapter investigates how and why computer science in Malaysia is dominated by women. Drawing on recent critical interventions in gender and... Sample PDF
New Gender Relations in the Transforming IT-Industry of Malaysia
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Chapter 3
Eva Maria Hoffmann
In Afghanistan, the development of information technology (IT) as an industry and an educational field is still quite young, but this provides the... Sample PDF
Women in Computer Science in Afghanistan
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Chapter 4
Johanna Sefyrin
In information technology (IT) design it is essential to develop rich and nuanced understandings of messy design realities. In this chapter Karen... Sample PDF
"For me it doesn't matter where I put my information": Enactments of Agency, Mutual Learning, and Gender in IT Design
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Chapter 5
Christina Mörtberg, Pirjo Elovaara
The Swedish public sector is involved in an overwhelming change process aiming towards creating a good-service society based on information... Sample PDF
Attaching People and Technology: Between E and Government
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Chapter 6
Marie Griffiths, Helen Richardson
The trend for women to be severely under-represented in the UK ICT (information and communication technology) sector persists. Girls continue, year... Sample PDF
Against All Odds, from All-Girls Schools to All-Boys Workplaces: Women’s Unsuspecting Trajectory Into the UK ICT Sector
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Chapter 7
Agneta Gulz, Magnus Haake
This chapter explores motivational and cognitive effects of more neutral or androgynous-looking versus more feminine-looking and masculine-looking... Sample PDF
Challenging Gender Stereotypes Using Virtual Pedagogical Characters
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Chapter 8
Martha Blomqvist
This chapter presents a study on the use of research based information on gender and IT education disseminated by Swedish newspapers between 1994... Sample PDF
Absent Women: Research on Gender Relations in IT Education Mediated by Swedish Newspapers
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Chapter 9
Els Rommes
The aim of this chapter is to explore to what extent heteronormativity, the norm that man and woman are attracted to each other because of their... Sample PDF
Heteronormativity Revisited: Adolescents’ Educational Choices, Sexuality and Soaps
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Chapter 10
Shirley Booth, Eva Wigforss
The chapter tells of two women with low educational qualifications who embark on a journey into higher education by taking a distance course to... Sample PDF
Approaching Higher Education: A Life-World Story of Home-Places, Work-Places and Learn-Places
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Chapter 11
Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, Sandra Riomar
This chapter problematizes how gender is constructed and used in the arguments of flexible distance education. By using a gender and space analysis... Sample PDF
Gendered Distance Education Spaces: “Keeping Women in Place”?
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Chapter 12
Minna Salminen-Karlsson
In this study of computer courses in municipal adult education, 173 questionnaires from 10 Swedish adult education centres with students taking a... Sample PDF
Computer Courses in Adult Education in a Gender Perspective
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Chapter 13
Gill Kirkup
This chapter examines the access women have had historically to engage in knowledge production as university scholars or students. It discusses the... Sample PDF
Gendered Knowledge Production in Universities in a Web 2.0 World
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Chapter 14
Gwyneth Hughes
Collaborative learning online is increasingly popular and the interaction between learners is documented and discussed, but gender is largely absent... Sample PDF
Queen Bees, Workers and Drones : Gender Performance in Virtual Learning Groups
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Chapter 15
Gill Kirkup, Sigrid Schmitz, Erna Kotkamp, Els Rommes, Aino-Maija Hiltunen
This chapter argues that the future development of European e-learning needs to be informed by gender theory, and feminist and other critical... Sample PDF
Towards a Feminist Manifesto for e-Learning: Principles to Inform Practices*
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