Practical Approaches to Increase Girls’ Interest in Technology Education

  • Sonja NiiranenEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Technology Education book series (CITE)


Education has an important impact on preparing children and young adults to participate in future society. To introduce a more equitable gender balance in technology-oriented fields and, consequently, in the labour market, our knowledge of technology education and gender-related issues should continue to expand and to receive attention. Numerous studies have indicated the importance of how technological activities are conducted in class and how teachers can influence students’ motivation through the application of different pedagogical approaches. This chapter draws on research to enrich understanding of how to increase girls’ interest in technology education by highlighting some practical suggestions for developing technology education in the future.


  1. Acker, J. (1990). Hierarchies, jobs, bodies: A theory of gendered organizations. Gender & Society, 4(2), 139–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, R. S., Turns, J., & Atman, C. J. (2003). Educating effective engineering designers: The role of reflective practice. Design Studies, 24(3), 275–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ardies, J. (2015). Students’ attitudes towards technology. A cross-sectional and longitudinal study in secondary education. Doctoral dissertation. Antwerpen: Universiteit Antwerpen.Google Scholar
  4. Banks, F., & Barlex, D. (2014). Teaching STEM in the secondary school: Helping teachers meet the challenge. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Compton, V. (2011). Technology in the primary sector in New Zealand. The journey this far and where to next…. In C. Benson & J. Lunt (Eds.), International handbook of primary technology education. Reviewing the past twenty years (pp. 29–38). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crismond, D. P., & Adams, R. S. (2012). The informed design teaching and learning matrix. Journal of Engineering Education, 101(4), 738–797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Elshof, L. (2011). Technology education: Overcoming the general motors syndrome. In M. de Vries (Ed.), Positioning technology education in the curriculum (pp. 145–162). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. European Commission. (2013a). Gendered innovations. How gender analysis contributes to research. Research and innovation. Report of the expert group ‘innovation through gender’. European Commission. Luxenbourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  9. European Commission. (2013b). She figures 2012. Gender in research and innovation. Statistics and indicators. European Commission. Luxenbourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  10. European Commission. (2016). She figures 2015. Gender in research and innovation. European Commission. Luxenbourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  11. Klapwijk, R., & Rommes, E. (2009). Career orientation of secondary school students (m/f) in the Netherlands. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 19(4), 403–418. Scholar
  12. Murphy, P. (2007). Gender and pedagogy. In D. Barlex (Ed.), Design and technology: For the next generation (pp. 236–251). Shropshire: Cliffeco Communications.Google Scholar
  13. National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (NCCBE). (2004). Helsinki: The Finnish National Board of Education.Google Scholar
  14. National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). (2017). Background paper and brief for the review of junior cycletechnology subjects. Ireland: NCCA.Google Scholar
  15. Pavlova, M. (2009). Conceptualisation of technology education within the paradigm of sustainable development. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 19(2), 109–132. Scholar
  16. Rasinen, A., Virtanen, S., Endepohls-Ulpe, M., Ikonen, P., Ebach, J., & Stahl-von Zabern, J. (2009). Technology education for children in primary schools in Finland and Germany: Different school systems, similar problems and how to overcome them. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 19(4), 368–379. Scholar
  17. Reeve, J., Bolt, E., & Cai, Y. (1999). Autonomy-supportive teachers: How they teach and motivate students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 537–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ritz, J. M., & Fan, S.-C. (2015). STEM and technology education: International state-of-the-art. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 25(4), 429–451. Scholar
  19. Rockstroh, D. (2013). Are we there yet? Questioning whether sustainability is the destination or journey for design & technology education. In P. J. Williams & D. Gedera (Eds.), Technology education for the future: A play on sustainability (pp. 400–406). Waikato: University of Waikato.Google Scholar
  20. Sander, E. (2012). Biographies of female scientists in Austria: Results of an interview study. In C. Quaiser-Pohl & M. Endepohls-Ulpe (Eds.), Women’s choices in Europe. Influence of gender on education, occupational career and family development (pp. 107–122). Münster: Waxmann.Google Scholar
  21. Schein, E. H. (1996). Career anchors revisited: Implications for career development in the 21st century. Academy of Management Executive, 10(4), 80–88.Google Scholar
  22. Virtanen, S., Räikkönen, E., & Ikonen, P. (2015). Gender-based motivational differences in technology education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 25(2), 197–211. Scholar
  23. Volk, K. S. (2007). Attitudes. In M. de Vries, R. Custer, J. Dakers, & G. Martin (Eds.), Analyzing best practices in technology education (pp. 191–202). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Wilkinson, T., & Bencze, L. (2011). With head, hand and hearth: Children address ethical issues of Design in Technology Education. In K. Stables, C. Benson, & M. de Vries (Eds.), Perspectives on learning in design & technology education. PATT25/CRIPT8. London: Goldsmiths, University of London.Google Scholar
  25. Williams, P. J. (2009). Technological literacy: A multiliteracies approach for democracy. International Journal of Technology and Education, 19(3), 237–254. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland

Personalised recommendations