The research on the gender stereotypes and biases present in education, and the interventions to mitigate its effect, have been the topics of a symposium organized by Gender and ICT in the 4th International Congress of Educational Sciences and Development. The event took place on June 25th in Santiago de Compostela and was coordinated by Milagros Sáinz, director of Gender and ICT. It aimed to analyse the influence of gender roles in the motivation and the educational choices of adolescents’ girls and boys, and discuss experiences and good practices in different education stages to address these stereotypes and counteract its effects.

The symposium started with a presentation of Carolina Cárcamo, Amparo Moreno and Cristina del Barrio, from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), on the study of academic performance of children in mathematics and language. Their communication explored the theoretical and methodological contributions that have tackled this subject from the hypothesis of gender differences and from the point of view of gender similarities.

Milagros Sáinz, in her turn, focused on the motivations of boys and girls at secondary school and their evaluation of their own competences  regarding several academic fields. The results of her research show that girls perceive themselves to be less competent than boys in technological and scientific fields traditionally related to the male gender role, such as Physics, in spite of their good marks. Milagros Sáinz discussed in her presentation the factors that explain this phenomenon and its educational and theoretical implications.

Sara García Cuesta presented several initiatives carried out by the Gender Equality Unit at the University of La Laguna oriented to promote scientific and technological vocations in secondary school girls and to encourage the interest of boys by humanistic fields and other professional careers traditionally occupied by women, such as education or care-related disciplines. Finally, Amparo Ramos López, from the University Miguel Hernández, offered an interesting presentation on three initiatives adressed to teachers and students at university level in order to enhance their gender perspective and raise awareness of the existing gender inequalities.

This symposium was organized by the Gender and ICT research group with the support of the project “Challenges to the persistence of gender roles and stereotypes in the choice of higher education studies from a longitudinal approach. The role of families and teachers” (FEM2014-55096-R, Principal Investigator: Milagros Sáinz) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

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