Do Stereotypical vs. Counter-stereotypical Role Models Affect Teacher Candidates’ Stereotypes and Attitudes toward Teaching Computer Science?



stereotypes, role models, teacher candidates, attitudes, computer science


Computer Science (CS) stereotypes promote the mindset that nerdy White males who have a high IQ and are technology enthusiasts are the ones to succeed in the field, leading to gender and racial disparities. This quasi-experimental study investigated if exposing teacher candidates to a stereotypical vs. counter-stereotypical CS role model affects their stereotypes and attitudes toward teaching CS. Participants exposed to a counter-stereotypical role model reported a statistically significant decrease in stereotypes about social skills, and slightly weaker stereotypes about appearance, cognitive skills, and work preferences. Participants exposed to a stereotypical role model reported no changes in stereotypes. Participants in both groups showed increasingly positive attitudes toward teaching CS. Implications for CS teacher education are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Lucas Vasconcelos, University of South Carolina

Lucas Vasconcelos is an Assistant Professor in the Learning Design and Technologies program at the University of South Carolina. His research agenda seeks to broaden participation of minorities in computer science and STEM fields through technology-enhanced learning experiences. Specifically, his scholarly efforts revolve around computer science education, stereotypes, block-based coding, educational robotics, scientific modeling, and debugging.

Fatih Ari, University of South Carolina

Fatih Ari is an Assistant Professor in the Learning Design and Technologies program at the University of South Carolina. He earned his Ed.D. in Instructional Technology with a minor in Management Information Systems, and his M.S. in Software Engineering from Texas Tech University. His research interests include design and development of online learning environments, feedback design and delivery, multimedia learning, and computer science education.

Ismahan Arslan-Ari, University of South Carolina

Ismahan Arslan-Ari is an Associate Professor in the Learning Design and Technologies program at the University of South Carolina. She is also the director of the South Carolina Center for Assistive Technology and Educational Research. Her research mainly focuses on multimedia learning, human computer interaction, the use of assistive technologies and online learning.

Lily Lamb, University of South Carolina

Lily Lamb is an undergraduate honors student majoring in Computer Engineering at the University of South Carolina.


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How to Cite

Vasconcelos, L., Ari, F., Arslan-Ari, I., & Lamb, L. (2023). Do Stereotypical vs. Counter-stereotypical Role Models Affect Teacher Candidates’ Stereotypes and Attitudes toward Teaching Computer Science?. International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools, 6(2).