Abstract

Teaching advisors work to sensitize teachers to use inclusive teaching pedagogy because it facilitates learning to all students and makes teachers aware of how the gender composition of a class and its management can promote or hamper student learning and students’ decision to pursue a career in Engineering. Teachers’ implicit gender biases have negative but also positive effects on student learning. McLoughlin (2005) study on spotlighting displays the discomfort felt by women for pinpointed by Women in Engineering Programs (WEP). Differently, Tonso’s qualitative study (2006) shows that in Engineering studies, academic and seniority status negatively affect group dynamics but gender does not. Implicit gender biases in the materials used for teacher training (Zittleman & Sadker, 2002) reinforce the masculine culture of Engineering Education (Barnard, etals, 2012; Baxter-Magolda, 1992). These raise the question of whether Engineering teacher training promotes gender-sensitivity or reinforces gender biases. This paper shows the results of our analysis of gender-sensitivity in teacher training. Data collection methods included self-evaluations of workshop design and support materials from a text and image perspective, a qualitative analysis of workshop content and peer observations. Our results confirm that teacher advisors acknowledge and react to gender biases but disagree on which tools support a gender-sensitive approach to teacher education, both at the level of the pedagogical methods used and at the level of the content presented to the teachers.

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