PERCEPTIONS OF TEACHERS ABOUT CAUSES OF FEMALE UNDER-REPRESENTATION IN STEM SUBJECTS AT UNIVERSITY LEVEL
Keywords:STEM, Female, Underrepresentation, University Level, Career Prospects
The shortage of females in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills is an ongoing challenge for governments and policymakers worldwide.Last decade has seen an increase in most of the countries in female educational attainment as more females than males are enrolled in tertiary education and obtaining degrees in different discipline. However, females still remain underrepresented in STEM, with a low enrollment in these programs and even lower numbers of graduates. This low participation of women in STEM fields has been considered a critical issue in our society. It affects the rights of females to receive high quality education, to develop their skills and to improve their career prospects. Additionally, it has a negative impact on the outcomes of STEM projects. In this perspective, the basic purpose of this study was to examine perception of teachers about the causes of female under-representation in STEM subjects at University level. All teachers in public sector Universities situated in the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa comprised population of the study. A total of 161 teachers were selected randomlyas sample for the study. The major causes perceived by the teachers were: male domination of STEM careers, lack of awareness of educational and career opportunities, decision-making in course selection, lack of female mentors/role models, lack of encouragement from parents, and influence of current science curriculum, teachers, labor market, parents, and peers. It was recommended thatrespective policies be reconsidered and gender disparities be addressed and awareness among female about STEM education and career be provided. Researching effective methods for recruiting and retaining females in STEM degree programs was also suggested.
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PAKISTAN JOURNAL OF SOCIETY, EDUCATION AND LANGUAGE (PJSEL)Abbreviated KEY Title: Pak. j. soc. educ. lang. (Online) URL: http://pjsel.jehanf.com/archives.php ISSN 2523-1227 (Online), ISSN 2521-8123 (Print
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LICENSED BY: THE WORK OF PJSEL IS LICENSED UNDER CREATIVE COMMON ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL