Gender & Design
A perennial Teaching Controversy related to design involves
ways that best support male and female designers in
achieving their best work, and whether such support
is warranted. In what design roles, if any, do girls
and guys typically excel? Is it better to have mixed-gender
or same-gender design teams? Some UK research in Design
& Technology suggests that there are greater gender
differences in performance in design than any other
subject taught there.
MOVIE 1 presents both the feelings and opinions of
teachers, students, and researchers as they describe
their experiences and evidence about this hot-button
issue. As you watch other DITC videos or observe your
own students, see if the statements made in MOVIE 1
match your own evolving views. Also, consider these
questions regarding MOVIE 1:
1. What different strengths do students and educations
note about male and female designers?
2. Dominance in team designing can take many forms.
When have you seen of this in DITC movies? Do you see
any gender patterns related to dominance in them? How
about in your own classes? (Hear a tech ed student's
perspective on performance differences in mixed and
same-gender design teams in the Students'
Design Talk page.)
3. How do you respond to the trends noted by Kimbell?
What teaching approaches come to mind?
4. Choosing design tasks that are of equal interest
to both male and female students can be a challenge
in itself. What sorts of design tasks favor one gender
or another? Which design tasks found in or outside of
DITC are gender neutral in your view?