33 SES 02 A, Gender Equality in Education
Educational and professional biographies follow very distinct gender-typical patterns across most OECD countries (e.g. OECD, 2017). Not only does this horizontal segregation lead to a recruitment shortage in the workforce sector, it also fosters the reproduction of gender stereotypes, which attribute emotional, communicative competences to women and rational, technical competences to men, essentially contributing to the persistence of unequal life chances for women and men (Makarova, Driesel-Lange, Lüthi, & Hofmann, 2017).
The question of why gender-typical career paths are reproduced in career choice was addressed by Linda Gottfredson. According to her theoretical framework (Gottfredson, 2002, 2005), occupational aspirations are incorporated in the individual self-image, which is developed during the socialization process from early childhood through adolescence. In this process, the sex type of an occupation is especially crucial for the choice of career because the ‘wrong’ sex type of an occupation is more fundamental to one’s self-concept than the prestige of an occupation or individual interests (Gottfredson, 2002). The judgment whether an occupational sex type is right or wrong for oneself is embedded in different social expectations. These are associated with the socio-culturally established gender roles, children and adolescents acquire in their socialization processes within diverse socialization contexts (e.g. family, school, peers, media) (Makarova & Herzog, 2013).
When it comes to explaining the gender-atypical choice of a profession, two factors can be identified as crucial. Firstly, insight into various occupational fields and especially in gender-atypical professions through either direct or indirect experiences were found to facilitate the choice of a gender-atypical career. Secondly, role models as well as support and positive reinforcement by the agents of an immediate social environment (e.g. family, school) were found to be among the factors which motivate young people to choose a gender-atypical career (Driesel-Lange, 2017; Herzog, Makarova, & Aeschlimann, 2014; Makarova, Aeschlimann, & Herzog, 2016). Furthermore, it has been shown that digital learning tools can be used to convey knowledge about different professional fields and to simulate career-related experiences. One major advantage is the possibility to customize the tools to fit the abilities of certain target groups. For educational purposes, serious games are increasingly used in teaching, as they have an explicit and carefully elaborated educational intent (Breitlauch, 2012; Martens, Diener, & Malo, 2008).
Very often occupational fields are predominantly associated with masculine or feminine traits. Thus, a serious game ‘like2be’ (www.like2be.ch) for gender-inclusive career education in secondary schools was developed. It aims to deconstruct stereotypical images of careers as gender-segregated and to broaden young people’s perspectives with regard to potential occupational fields. The software was designed for adolescents to encourage gender-atypical career choices. Especially for those who are about to enter the process of occupational choice, the game should broaden their career perspectives. The development of the serious game was accompanied by ongoing evaluation within the primary target group (pupils in the 7th and 8th grade) to insure usability and fulfilment of educational intent (Makarova, Lüthi, & Hofmann, 2017).
Since the serious game ‘like2be’ offers opportunities within the curriculum of career education in secondary schools, teachers can be considered as the secondary target group of the serious game. Therefore, the study aimed to assess teachers' attitudes in relation to the serious game ‘like2be’ as well as their opinion on the applicability and effectiveness of the game. In addition, the present study addressed the question as to what extent willingness to use the game in the classes is dependent on previous knowledge in the domain of career education, teachers’ attitudes towards the use of digital media and teachers’ potential stereotypical connotations of the suitability of certain occupations either for girls or for boys.
In order to answer the research questions, trainee teachers who were enrolled in teacher education at the University of Münster were asked to test the serious game ‘like2be’. After at least five rounds the participants were asked to take part in an online-survey. In total, 92 trainee teachers (77.2% female and 22.8% male) who were 23.6 years old on average agreed to participate in the study and filled out the questionnaire of the online survey in the autumn semester of 2017. The suitability of the educational game was assessed with questions about game design (including game duration, game logic, difficulty level, tension in the game, and feedback in the game). Moreover, newly developed scales were used to assess the use of the serious game for the purpose of career education, as well as the anticipated effectiveness of the game. In addition, trainee teachers’ knowledge and attitudes with respect to the subject of career education were operationalized. We also investigated trainee teachers’ attitudes towards use of digital media for educational purposes as well as trainee teachers’ attitudes towards gender roles and their opinion on suitability of certain occupations for girls and boys.
The results show that most of the participating trainee teachers consider use of the serious game ‘like2be’ suitable for the purpose of career education in secondary education. The following areas found the greatest approval: as an introduction to career education (84.1%), to show qualification requirements for certain occupations (74.0%), to intensify the examination of one's own career choice (73.0%), to show the complexity of the career choice process (63.0%), to convey the central aspects of the career choice process (59.0%), as an opportunity for youth to explore their own vocational interests (58.1%), as an addition to professional coaching (54.9%), or as an addition to assessment of vocational interests (55.3%). About half of the respondents (49.4%) think that the electronic game can help young people to reduce difficulties in career choice processes. Finally, 45.1% of trainee teachers recognized the potential of the serious game ‘like2be’ in reflection on gender-related issues of career choice. Regarding estimates of the effectiveness of the serious game ‘like2be’ for gender sensitive career education in secondary schools, our results show that trainee teachers with an egalitarian attitude towards gender roles foresee greater potential for the serious game ‘like2be’ in broadening young people’s career choice spectrum. Furthermore, those trainee teachers who anticipate fewer hurdles in using digital media and who are open to use of digital media in their teaching estimate higher effectiveness for the serious game. Finally, trainee teachers who already have prior knowledge in the subject area of career education and who attach great importance to this topic see a greater potential in serious games more than those who have not yet attended any courses on the subject area of career education.
Breitlauch, L. (2012). Conceptual Design for Serous Games Regarding Didactical and Playfully Requirements. In J. Wimmer, K. Mitgutsch & H. Rosenstingl (Eds.), Applied Playfulness. Proceedings of the Vienna Games Conference 2011: Future and Reality of Gaming (pp. 91–97). Wien: New Academic Press. Driesel-Lnge, K. (2017). Förderung gendergerechter Übergänge in den Beruf. In H. Fasching, C. Geppert & E. Makarova (Hrsg.), Inklusive Übergänge. (Inter)nationale Perspektiven auf Inklusion im Übergang von der Schule in weitere Bildung, Ausbildung oder Beschäftigung (S. 191 - 209). Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt. Gottfredson, L. S. (2002). Gottfredson’s Theory of Circumscription, Compromise, and Self- Creation. In D. Brown & L. Brooks (Eds.), Career Choice and Development (pp. 85–148). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Gottfredson, L. S. (2005). Applying Gottfredson’s Theory of Circumscription and Compromise in Career Guidance and Counseling. In S. D. Brown & R.W Lent (Eds.), Career Development and Counseling. Putting Theory and Research to Work (pp. 71–100). Hoboken: Wiley & Sons. Herzog, W., Makarova, E., & Aeschlimann, B. (2014). Berufswahlentscheide von Frauen: Erfahrungen im Berufsfeld machen es aus! Panorama – Bildung, Beratung, Arbeitsmarkt, 28(2), 27. Makarova, E., Aeschlimann, B. & Herzog, W. (2016). „Ich tat es ihm gleich“ – Vorbilder junger Frauen mit naturwissenschaftlich-technischer Berufswahl. bwp@ Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik – online (published online April 2016). Makarova, E., Driesel-Lange, K., Lüthi, J. & Hofmann, M. (2017). Serious Games in der schulischen Berufsorientierung: Ein Instrument zur Entdramatisierung von Geschlecht? In M. Kampshoff & B. Scholand (Hrsg.), Schule als Feld – Unterricht als Bühne – Geschlecht als Praxis. Empirische Analysen und theoretische Erkenntnisse im Anschluss an Bourdieu und Goffman (p. 180-198). Münster: Waxmann. Makarova, E. & Herzog, W. (2013). Geschlechtersegregation bei der Berufs- und Studienwahl von Jugendlichen. In T. Brüggemann & S. Rahn (Hrsg.), Lehr- und Arbeitsbuch zur Studien- und Berufsorientierung (S. 175–184). Münster: Waxmann. Makarova, E. Lüthi, J. & Hofmann, M. (2017). Innovative Wege einer gendersensiblen Berufsorientierung: Das elektronische Lernspiel like2be. In T. Brüggemann, K. Driesel-Lange & C. Weyer (Hrsg.), Instrumente zur Berufsorientierung – Instrumente zur Berufsorientierung – Pädagogische Praxis im wissenschaftlichen Diskurs (p. 239-252). Münster: Waxmann. Martens, A., Diener, H. & Malo, S. (2008). Game-Based Learning with Computers – Learning, Simulations, and Games. In Z. Pan, A. D. Cheok, W. Müller & A. El Rhabili (Eds.), Transactions on Edutainment 1 (pp. 172–190). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. OECD (2017). The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle. OECD Publishing: Paris.
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