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TADAA - Tools for Assessing and Developing Affecting & Attractive Narratives for Girls in Informatics



Landoni M.



Data on gender distribution in education, employment and career show that Informatics is male dominated. The first barrier encountered by girls on their way to entering the world of Informatics is at school level. Female students often believe they are not good enough, lack in experience and so find Informatics not appealing. This negative attitude is also due to male and female roles being stereotypically defined in society where Informatics is labelled as a male thing. We argue that this bias and its influence on study and career choices of girls and young women have to be addressed if we want society to benefit from inclusive, useful, usable, and attractive technological solutions for all to use.

We propose an investigation into how technology could support teaching Informatics as a means to promote such a change. We are inspired by project DiVers where an e-learning tool was developed to help teachers in higher education to become more aware of and adopt a gender diversity approach in their teaching. And project FESTA where narratives describing “incidents of resistance to females in Informatics” were analysed and interventions proposed to mitigate negative attitudes. We advocate for an earlier intervention as gender stereotypes influence children soon in their lives. As the combination of content and teaching methods defines the narrative that should attract girls towards Informatics, here we propose a collaborative design approach involving teachers, children and parents to produce tools that support teachers towards the adoption of gender diversity teaching methods and the selection of stereotype-aware content as a meaningful step towards gender balance in Informatics

Project TADAA, Tools for Assessing and Developing Affecting & Attractive Narratives for Girls in Informatics, aims at answering the following broad research question and sub-questions:

RQ: How can we use collaborative design involving teachers, children and parents to produce tools for ensuring gender diversity in teaching Informatics ?

• RSQ1: How can we collaboratively design tools to help teachers and parents assess the presence of gender biased elements in their narratives?

• RSQ2: How can we collaboratively design tools to provide teachers with scaffolding towards the adoption of a gender diversity-oriented teaching method for Informatics ?

While TADAA will not magically sort gender balance in Informatics, it will boost on-going research and provide evidence of the necessary steps to foster a needed shift. The design process will be driven by teachers, children and parents working with researchers. Together, we will define activities and procedures to support inclusive teaching. At the same time, we will study how technology can play a supportive role in detecting evidence and raising awareness on the presence of stereotypes and their influence on children’s decisions about their future study and careers. Project TADAA will contribute to the Child Computer Interaction (CCI) community by running intergenerational collaborative design involving children and adults, teachers and parents, not just researchers as common in this community. The design of tools to be used for detecting the presence of stereotypes in school teaching and mitigating their effect on children’s future choice is original and could have a beneficial impact on the quest for gender balance. Overall, we expect our project to contribute to Cost Action EUGAIN – Gender Balance in Informatics, and in particular to Working Group 1, co-chaired by the applicant, in our effort to investigate why girls avoid Informatics when moving from School to University.

Additional information

Start date
End date
48 Months
Funding sources
Swiss National Science Foundation / COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology