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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3747

Title: Women engineers and the influence of childhood technologic environment
Authors: Mazdeh, Shahla
Keywords: Education;Women engineers--Vocational guidance;Engineering--Early childhood education
Issue Date: Dec-2011
Abstract: This phenomenological multi-case study investigated the influence of women engineers‘ childhood exposure to engineering concepts on their preparation for an engineering profession. An ecologic model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) was used as the conceptual framework of this research. Twelve professional women engineers from various age and racial/ethnic groups, with rich engineering experiences, were selected through a purposeful sampling. An in-depth phenomenological interview was used as the initial method through which data were collected to capture the essence of the participants‘ experience of the phenomenon. The data collection for each case occurred via two interviews, i.e. a primary in-depth interview and a short follow-up interview. In particular, the participants‘ childhood technologic environment as the source of exposure to engineering concepts was studied in terms of its richness of engineering concepts, the role it had played in the development of the participants‘ technologic literacy, its significant elements, and its overall role in the process of participants‘ preparation for an engineering profession. The findings of the study were analyzed through phenomenal analysis. Five themes were identified: (1) Childhood exposure to engineering: Passive exposure, (2) Childhood training and practice: Active exposure, (3) Support system: Facilitation, (4) Trend of change in technology, and (5) Contributing factors for engineering preparation. These themes became the basis of the textural description of this dissertation. The results revealed that the twelve professional women engineer participants, indeed, had ample access and exposure to engineering concepts during their childhood. Their childhood environment allowed them to develop the schemata upon which they were able to build their technologic literacy and engineering field of interest so that they could pursue an engineering career and thrive and succeed professionally. It is concluded that childhood exposure to engineering concepts facilitates the development of technologic literacy for women which contributes to pursuing and succeeding in an engineering profession.
Description: Thesis (Ph.D., Education)--Drexel University, 2011.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3747
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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