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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Challenging gender roles through STEM education in Nepal
by Wallenius, Todd J., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 101; 10259120
Abstract (Summary)

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education programs are currently being introduced and expanded across “developing” nations. STEM programs often conflict with hegemonic gender norms, for example by targeting girls and women in male dominated societies. However, given the cultural complexity of STEM for girls, implementing educators are rarely asked their point of view on programs from abroad. This study explored the perceptions of educators in Nepal who participated in the Girls Get STEM Skills (GGSS) program, a program funded through the U.S. Department of State for 2015/2016. The 8-month program reached 254 girls across three government schools and included the donation of 30 laptops. In August, 2016, the researcher conducted one-on-one interviews and focus groups with 18 participants at GGSS school sites in Pokhara, Nepal. Qualitative data was gathered on educators’ perceptions of teacher roles, Nepal as a developing nation, gender imbalance in STEM, and the GGSS curriculum. The study argues that educators viewed educational topics through the lens of bikas, the Nepali word for development. This suggests that the principal impact of STEM programs—as part of larger development initiatives—may be the creation and reinforcement of new social meanings rather than the tangible impacts of the projects themselves.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Li, Xin
Commitee: Grossman-Thompson, Barbara, O'Brien, Jonathan
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Education, Teacher
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Educational sociology, South Asian Studies, Science education
Keywords: Bikas, Development, Edcation, Gender, Nepal, STEM
Publication Number: 10259120
ISBN: 978-1-369-65280-2
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