Equity in Technology Education = TEquity

by Eric Sutkay, LakeView Technical Academy

       It may not be easy to talk about – in fact you may have an extremely difficult time figuring out what you can actually do in your classroom to promote it.  You may not even be aware that it exists, but it is important, one of the most important things facing our careers – gender equity in the classroom.  Soon it will be a whole lot easier for you to acquire resources, ask questions and build a classroom, shop or lab that is gender equitable!

      Gender equity in Technology Education is not new, but quite frankly it should be on everyone’s mind.  If girls, in particular, are not taking your classes or building and making projects that are fun, exciting, and relevant, then they are filling the seats of other elective classrooms.   In reality, if the enrollment isn’t high enough in your classes, they may not run.  Getting girls excited about Technology Education could start a whirlwind of good things for your program and what was once a “boys only” area where the boys got “dirty,” will soon become a place where both genders can work together and create things that you as an educator never thought you would see.

If you were at the WTEA annual spring conference, you might have noticed the Gender Equity concept.  People in the technology education field are already asking questions about engaging female students in our classes.  They see the importance of having girls in their classrooms, and most would agree that some of the female students are the best students in their classes!  I tend to agree.  With this in mind, the WTEA and Department of Public Instruction are working on gender equity and are creating the “TEquity” initiative.

This may be the first time that you have heard of the term “TEquity,” and it may raise some questions, but the perfect person to direct those questions to will soon be your district director.  The TEquity project is aimed at educating educators on how to successfully create and implement a gender equitable classroom and curriculum.  This is a curriculum that you will design using available resources from the many educators that are already doing great things with gender equity!  TEquity will provide you with resources necessary for you to encourage female students to take your class, help them be successful in your subject area, as well as in their technology based career and life, and most importantly to have fun doing it.  Let’s start talking about Gender Equity; ask your district director about TEquity today!  Look for the  two-hour session at the upcoming 2013 WTEA Conference (March 14-15th, 2013 @ Chula Vista in the Wisconsin Dells).  Can’t wait to see you there!