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