Dr. Thiemo Leonhardt

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Thiemo Leonhardt

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Establishing a Talent-fostering Learning Environment for Girls in Computer Science

Different gender specific behaviours of girls and boys are recognisable by parents from birth, and show themselves in more stable emotions for girls, and higher irritability and impulsivity for boys. However, research into the differences in development of interests, attitude, and professional orientation, or even their origin, hasn’t yielded any unambiguous results. These differences lead - amongst others - to a significantly smaller representation of women in computer science and other technical subjects. There are numerous measures and initiatives which try to introduce girls and young women to computer science and other technical subjects. Since the reasons for these gender specific differences are still mostly unclear, most measures lack a scientific basis. In this thesis, the state of the art of research in different research areas is summarised and measurable differences in fundamental attitudes towards technical subjects between boys and girls are identified. The didactic measures, conceived from these observations tightly focussed on girls in the age range of 11-12 years, are presented, and the evaluated medium-to-strong effects discussed.