There is a consistent and enduring lack of gender balance in the uptake of computing. In England, approximately 20% of pupils taking GCSE Computer Science are female, and this proportion drops to around 13% at A-level. The Gender Balance in Computing programme is funded by the Department for Education and is a collaboration between the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Behavioural Insights Team, Apps for Good and WISE Campaign.
Desk-based research will also explore how Computer Science is presented at GCSE subject choice evenings and in options booklets.
At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we are conducting the largest-ever set of trials on interventions that aim to overcome barriers for girls engaging with computing in school, with a focus on teaching approaches, promoting a sense of belonging in computing, using computing for real-world problem solving and connecting non-formal learning experiences in computing with formal learning.
The findings from the storytelling trial have already been published and the others will be following throughout 2022.
Rizvi, S., Sentance, S., Childs, K., Leonard, H., Quinlan, O., & Waite, J. (2022, October). Use of storytelling to increase engagement and motivation in computing in lower primary schools. In Proceedings of the 17th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 1-2). https://doi.org/10.1145/3556787.3556876
Childs, K. (2021). Factors that impact gender balance in computing. In Understanding computing education (Vol 1). Proceedings of the Raspberry Pi Foundation Research Seminar series. rpf.io/seminar-proceedings-vol-1-childs
Leonard, H.C., Quinlan, O., & Sentance, S. (2021). Female pupils’ attitudes to computing in early adolescence. Proceedings of UKICER 2021, 5. https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3481282.3481289