22 SES 12 B, Inclusion and Diversity in Higher Education Settings
Strengthening the position of women and minorities in science and engineering is a serious task in the European Union and its member states. Reflecting science education from an inclusive perspective is seen as a contribution to increase the number of women and minorities in so called masculine areas of study as physics or civil engineering. Teachers in science education in Germany are expected to motivate “young people with migration history” (e.g. immigrants or descendants of immigrants in the second and third generation) and young women to choose careers in mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology (MINT). “About 330.000 additional university and college graduates in these subjects will be needed by 2013 in Germany alone” states the webpage of the project National Pact for Women in MINT Careers, launched by Federal Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan. Educational research on gender, natural science and technology is performed for secondary education and higher education. The results show a need for changes in curricula as well as in teaching methods, including not only the process of imparting knowledge but at the same time the reflection of discriminatory or encouraging interactions in the class room. Nevertheless, traditional concepts of gender such as gender as a binary category, doing gender, or stressing the difference between women and man dominate educational research on gender and MINT in German speaking countries.
In April 2012 I started a two year teaching and curriculum development project at the institute of education in the department of human sciences at Technical University, Darmstadt/Germany called “Gender Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Science Education”. Aim of the project is to rethink science education through postmodern and postcolonial gender studies and transdisciplinarity and to create an innovative space for future science teachers—in schools providing general education as well as in vocational training—to reflect their presumptions and prejudices on gender, culture, and scientific competencies. For this reason I extended the curriculum for teachers in high schools and vocational training (Lehramt Gymnasium und Berufsschule) by adding new items and issues to this field, most of all by discussing the social dimension of science and the gender question in science. I developed transdisciplinary courses for undergraduate and graduate students coming from natural science, science education (teacher training), and educational science (pedagogy). As a second step and based on the experience with the transdisciplinary courses I have started to develop a ‘Module on Heterogenity’ with a main focus on Gender Studies and Natural Science. It is composed of four courses on feminist theory, gender and biology, gender and physics, and pedagogical practices. This module provides free space for future teachers to reflect their presumptions and prejudices on gender, culture, and scientific competencies as a first step to diversify their ideas and actions in science and science education. With the next accreditation round we plan to implement this module into the teacher training curriculum.
Andersson, Kristina, Anita Hussenius & Christina Gustafsson: Gender Theory as a Tool for Analysing Science Teaching. In: Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 25 (2009), 2, p. 336-343. DOI 10.1016/j.tate.2008.09.011 Bauer, Robin & Helene Götschel (eds.): Gender in Naturwissenschaften - Ein Curriculum an der Schnittstelle der Wissenschaftskulturen. Mössingen-Talheim (Talheimer Verlag) 2006 Godfroy-Genin, Anne-Sophie (ed.): Women in Engineering and Technology Research. Proceedings of the PROMETEA international conference, October 26-27, 2007. Berlin (LIT-Verlag) 2010 Götschel, Helene & Doris Niemeyer (eds.): Naturwissenschaften und Gender in der Hochschule. Aktuelle Forschung und erfolgreiche Umsetzung in der Lehre. Mössingen-Talheim (Talheimer Verlag) 2009 Götschel, Helene: No space for girliness in physics: understanding and overcoming the masculinity of physics. In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, 2013 (forthcoming), DOI 10.1007/s11422-012-9479-y Hussénius, Anita, Kristina Andersson, Annica Gullberg & Kate Scantlebury: Ignoring half the sky: A feminist perspective on the missing standpoints in science education research. In: Nasser Mansour & Rupert Wegerif (eds.): Science Education for Diversity. Theory and Practice. Heidelberg (Springer Publishing) 2013 (forthcoming) Knoll, Bente & Brigitte Ratzer: 'Gender-into-teaching' at the Vienna University of Technology. Experiences and reflections on an Austrian project'. In: European Journal of Engineering Education, 34 (2009): 5, p. 411-418 Sagebiel Felicitas et al.: How to change stereotypical images of science, engineering & technology? In: Soziale Technik 4/2009. Graz (IFZ-Eigenverlag) 2009, p. 17-19 Thaler Anita & Jennifer Dahmen: Science Education in Europe – Images, Approaches, Innovations. In: Freddy Malpica et al. (eds.): Proceedings of the 2nd International Multi-Conference on Society, Cybernetics and Informatics. Volume I. IIIS Orlando 2009, p. 220-224 Wächter Christine: Challenging Cultures of Engineering – How words, concepts and images (de)construct engineering as a male domain. In: Women in science and technology. Creating sustainable careers. European Commission: Information Society and Media, Brussels 2009, p. 69-81
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