ICT Use, Self-Efficacy, and the Future of Eighth-Grade Students: A Qualitative Study of Gender Differences

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In this study, gender differences in ICT, identified in ICILS 2018, are examined to learn more about how eighth-grade students relate to gender issued stereotypes and perceptions within the field of ICT. Specifically, three conclusions derived from analysis of the Danish results of ICILS 2018 are addressed: A) In eighth grade, boys are more likely than girls to use ICT for technical activities, for exchanging information, and for accessing content on the internet, whereas girls are more likely than boys to use ICT for social communication; B) Boys tend to be more positive than girls about studying and working with ICT in the future; and C) Girls are on average less confident about their technical ICT skills than boys, even though girls on average have better computer and information literacy (CIL) scores than boys and equally high computational thinking (CT) scores in ICILS 2018.
In six different focus groups, 44 Danish eighth-grade students (15 girls and 29 boys from two different schools) were interviewed during the spring and summer of 2022. All these students had participated in the ICILS 2023 field trial and were therefore familiar with the study. They were introduced to the results of ICILS 2018 showing gender differences with regard to ICT use, studying and working with ICT in future, and ICT self-efficacy. They were then asked to discuss whether the results surprised them, what they thought had caused the differences, and whether/how they thought these differences should be eliminated. Afterwards, their discussions were coded in NVivo software and analyzed qualitatively to find out how the students related to these issues.
The study shows that stereotypes do exist in the minds of the students taking part. They feel that stereotypes contribute to the differences between girls and boys in the ICILS 2018 results presented to them, but many of them do not regard gender differences in ICT as a problem. For example, they argue that people should have the right to do what they want to do, and that boys and girls are not the same. However, some of them do think that there is a problem and argue that they need to learn more about ICT in school to persuade them that working with ICT does not necessarily mean sitting in front of a screen and writing lines of code all day long.
Based on this study, it is argued that students need a broader conception of what ICT is, and how computers are used in society, in order to gain greater understanding of why it is important that all genders participate in developing, implementing and determining the future of digital systems to benefit our own lives as well as societies in general, both locally and globally.
Publikationsdatojun. 2023
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2023
BegivenhedIEA International Research Conference (IEA IRC) - Educational Research Centre of Ireland, Dublin, Irland
Varighed: 28 jun. 202330 sep. 2023


KonferenceIEA International Research Conference (IEA IRC)
LokationEducational Research Centre of Ireland


  • teknologiforståelse
  • kønsstereotyper
  • grundskole
  • ICILS 2023