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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2017019307
pages 193-210

PLAYING MENTOR: A NEW STRATEGY FOR RECRUITING YOUNG WOMEN INTO COMPUTER SCIENCE

Jody Clarke-Midura
Utah State University, Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, 2830 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-2830
Frederick Poole
Utah State University, Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, 2830 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-2830
Katarina Pantic
Utah State University
Vicki Allan
Utah State University, Computer Science, 4205 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-4205

ABSTRACT

This exploratory study examined the effectiveness of a pedagogical approach in which high school females mentored middle school peers during a one-week camp focused on how to program using App Inventor. Most research on mentors focuses on the effect on the mentees rather than the mentors. Through mentoring, participants are given the opportunity to learn through self-generated explanations, reciprocal teaching and exposure to a diversity of strategies for solving computer programming problems. In this innovative approach, the study purposefully examined how the role of acting as a mentor influenced the mentors' self-efficacy and interest in computer science. Students completed a Social Cognitive Career Theory survey at three time points: before training, after training, and after mentoring. In addition, simple open-ended responses were collected to further explore the intricacies of being a mentor. Despite the study s small sample size, a significant increase in self-efficacy was observed over time, and promising results in regards to interest in computer science.


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