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Bias Towards Female Instructors of Agricultural Technology Courses
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: 2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting 2200984.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200984)
Authors: S. Kjersti Clawson, Michael L Pate, Don Edgar, Tyson Sorensen
Keywords: Agricultural Technology, Education, Engineering, Gender bias
Abstract. Agricultural Technology and Engineering have traditionally been career pathways reserve for males, yet in recent years more females have entered the profession specifically through secondary agricultural education programs. This study examined students‘ perceptions of male versus female instructors in a post-secondary welding course. The population for this study consisted of undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory welding course in the Fall of 2021. Students enrolled in either a Tuesday or Thursday lab section which were randomly assigned a male or female instructor. At week 8, lab instructors switched sections. All students had the same lecture instructor, yet different lab instructors. Female students‘ tinkering self-efficacy score was significantly lower than male students at both the week four survey (H(2) = 7.86, p = .020) and the week 12 survey (H(2) = 8.26, p = .016). The results from the week four survey showed a significant difference between male and female students on their preference of instructor gender (x2(4) = 13.12, p = .011). The result of the week 12 survey showed no significant difference between male and female students on their preference of instructor gender (x2(4) = 3.80, p = .433). We concluded that students both male and female held a higher preference for a male welding instructor during week four, however after the instructor switch, students‘ preferences significantly changed. To combat covert gender bias, we recommend collegiate and high school programs address using strategies.
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