Journal of STEM Teacher Education


Drawing on an online professional development modular course that addressed critical approaches to the issues of race, immigration, English Language Learners (ELLs)/Emerging Bilinguals (EBs), and gender and sexual orientation, this paper reports teachers’ perceptions on gender stereotypes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. In particular, building on the course readings, we discuss teachers’ emergent approaches to address gender stereotypes in teaching practice that improve girls' participation in STEM fields. Data is collected from a pre-course survey and teachers’ discussions during the course. Centering on the course readings from theoretical and empirical research that address gender issues, discussion prompts were used to elicit teachers’ insights on gender stereotypes in education. A thematic analysis method was then employed to discuss strategies for challenging gender stereotypes in teaching practice from teachers’ discussion posts. Teachers recognize that gender stereotypes have been embedded in the social norms that influence teachers’ practice in an underlying way. Three promising strategies are identified to address gender stereotypes in STEM education, including integrating role models into the curriculum, developing a growth mindset, and promoting justice classroom discourse. We also discussed ways to support teachers in addressing gender stereotypes in their practices.