22 SES 05 A, Inequality and Diversity in Higher Education Settings
In the process of Taiwan’s higher education expansion in recent years, the numbers of male and female students for undergraduate level are getting equal. The phenomenon of gender segregation by fields of study, i.e. women concentrates in humanities and men in science and technology, however, remains unchanged. Moreover, the gender gap in humanities becomes closer from undergraduate to doctoral level, whereas women in science and technology fall farther behind men. These phenomena suggest that the higher education process may operates differentially for men and women in the process, and more specifically, that college experiences may function in opposite directions for the gender minorities in departments of unbalanced gender composition. There are quite a few studies on the “leaky pipeline” phenomenon of women in science and technology in the European and North American context, but few studies have been conducted in the Asia context. In addition, very limited research is found on men’s learning experiences in female concentrated fields, no matter in Europe, North American, or in Asia. This research aims both at developing dialogue with European and North American research on the topic of women in science and technology, and investigating men’s learning experiences in female-concentrated fields. More specifically, my research questions include the following: What are the college experiences of these gender minorities in departments of unbalanced gender composition such as engineering and arts and humanities? Are these experiences different for men and women as gender minority in their departments? And how such college experience may affect students’ learning outcome? Three lines of research literature shed insights to the inquiry of the above questions: the feminist approach to the issues of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the chilly climate for women in higher education, and the social psychological approach to college student learning.
Astin, A. W. (1977). Four Critical Years: Effects of College on Beliefs, Attitudes, and Knowledge. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. ____________(1993) What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. Blickenstaff, J. C. (2005) Women and Science Careers: Leaky Pipeline or Gender Filter? Gender and Education 17(4):369-386. Hall, R.M. and Sandler, B.R. (1982) The classroom climate: A chilly one for women? Washington: Association of American Colleges. Hall, R.M. and Sandler, B.R. (1984) Out of the classroom: A chilly campus climate for women? Washington: Association of American Colleges. Pascarella, E.T., Whitt, E.J., Edison, M.I., Nora, A., Hagedorn, L.S., Yeager, P.M., and Terenzini, P.T. (1997) Women’s perception of a “chilly climate” and their cognitive outcomes during the first year of college. Journal of College Student Development, 38(2): 109-110.
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