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Critical Review

Eileen (Lin Peng)


University of Prince Edward Island



The article named Computer programming, ICT and gender in the classroom: a male-

dominated or a female preserve?, written by David Morris and John Trushell, was published in

April 2014. The authors wanted to look at why men are dominating IT area while women are

moving away from this field. The authors chose a cohort of year six pupils to complete the

investigation. The participants were divided into four groups based on their psychological gender.

Some tasks were completed by participants to see how gender classification affected their

performance. Data from the research of Morris and Trushell showed that the girls had almost

same performance in the diverse applications. However, boys had different results across the

applications with various strengths or weaknesses. This result also can provide an explanation

about why there are more males than females in computing.


One weakness of the article is that the authors fail to adequately explain some

information. Firstly, they did not fully interpret some elements of the background of this topic. In

the introduction section, authors mentioned the very first computer programmers of the 20th

century were all females (Morris & Trushell, 2014, P.4), but as time went on, fewer and fewer

women entered the computing area. I think the authors did not provide persuasive describe about

why women could dominate computer programming in the past, but nowadays women are

getting farther and farther from this field. Providing the reasons why women are no longer

dominate in computing would help the readers understand how this study could contribute to

finding solutions. Secondly, there are some complex charts or tables showing the result of the

task; however, the authors explanation of how the results were interpreted is too short and not

detailed enough, and I am also confused to understand how the authors got the numbers in the

charts for their results. Without proper background and explanation of the data analysis, it is

difficult to be sure that the results are trustworthy. The authors should have clearly explained the

process, so the reader could understand the task and purpose more deeply.

The article included many acronyms and specialized terms that were not defined. There

are many acronyms in this article, and some of them did not have relevant explanation, such as

GCSE. Also, some jargons make the reader confused, like androgynous. These terms are specific

to this area of study or to this research project. The authors should have provided definitions and

explanation to these technical terms, so that the reader can understand this article and its topic

that may not be familiar to them.

The article had a suitable methodology and clear structure. The authors used quantitative

research methodology which was appropriate. This is mainly because the authors used

questionnaires and tasks to collected the data and made some charts to illustrate the statistical

correlation between psychological gender and task performance. The advantage of using this

type of numerical analysis is that the results of the study are clear. The article was well-

structured. The reader could follow the subtitles to find the main point. The language of this

article is easy to understand, because there are little long complex sentences. Although the

authors did not always provide clear explanations, the methodology and structure helped the

readers to follow the main steps and have a general understanding of the results.


Through investigation and research, the authors found that in diverse kinds of

applications, the performance of boys and girls are different. While the authors sometimes lacked

some background information, process explanations, and terminology definitions, the

methodology was appropriate for the purpose of the study and the structure is easy for readers to

track. Overall, this article is helpful to the field of gender studies; however, I suggest future

readers should have a good understanding of gender types and psychological gender before

reading this article.



Morris, D., & Trushell, J. (2014). Computer programming, ICT and gender in the classroom: a

male-dominated domain or a female preserve?. Research in Teacher Education, 4(1), 4-9.