This has been sitting in my in-box as I try to come up with a reply.

I went through library school before "coding" was an issue, although I 
did do some statistical work on computers (punch cards). But for me the 
"moment" was simply being given a task with the assumption that I would 
be up to it. I also suggest group work, with students selecting their 
own groups, or opting to work alone. Group work can be less intimidating 
than having to ask questions in front of an entire class, especially if 
the class is coed, and especially if it has a few "know it alls" who 
like to one-up everyone else. It's the class dynamic (and how you handle 
it) that is more important than the content of the class for encouraging 
women. And it is also the hardest thing to get right. ;-) Pay close 
attention to your students and what they are telling you about how 
comfortable they feel in the class. If anyone says "I guess I don't get 
it" or "I think this is a stupid question, but..." then your response 
will make a huge difference. And don't let the class fall prey to the 
"know it alls." They are absolute poison in the learning environment.

Good luck!


On 2/14/13 8:34 AM, Shearer, Timothy J wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I'm teaching systems analysis at SILS (UNC CH) this semester.
> Though the course is required for the IS degree, it's not required for the
> LS degree.
> However, the majority of my students this semester are LS.  And the vast
> majority are women.
> Apropos of the part of the thread that dealt with numbers:
> For those of you who came into this community and at some point went
> through a MSLS or MSIS program I am wondering if there are things I could
> try to do that might have an impact on better aligning the ratio of men to
> women in code4lib and the technology end of the field in general to that
> in the general population?
> Was there a moment of clarity?  A person who said or modeled the right
> thing?  A project that helped uncover a skill you didn't know you had?
> And, I am not just interested in what I can do through one class, but also
> what the curriculum and school could do more holistically.
> Thanks,
> Tim

Karen Coyle
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