The heroic journey of the apprentice women

Published by Gisele Cavalcante on

Heroine’s Learning Journey is a proposal to increase and improve women’s self-confidence in the areas of STEM, an acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”, which represents a set of scientific learning and educational methodologies of groups in “Science, Technology, Engineering its math”.

After starting his doctorate at UFRJ in 2016, researcher Luis Felipe Costa, from the Laboratory of Ludology, Engineering and Games Simulation, had the opportunity to teach through a teaching internship. This experience was a watershed, as it was in direct contact with undergraduate students of the Fundamentals of Software Engineering discipline, that he experienced the active learning methodology, such as, for example, the inverted classroom, where the teacher leaves the central role in a classroom and students have the opportunity to interact with other learning environments, using technological tools, which support them to acquire knowledge through their own efforts.

Leaving for the field and continuing his studies in Portugal, he had the opportunity to follow the classes of Ana Moura Santos, teacher in the Department of Mathematics at Instituto Superior Técnico, who uses the same methodology as the Inverted Classroom, on the MOOC platform in Teaching to Distance.

What can be compared with his previous experience, when it became clear the transformation coming from the students due to the motivation to understand the processes and build something that made a difference.

From this experience and immersion in the study, the interest in the journeys aroused, because in them there is a whole narrative that talks about the evolution between an ordinary human being and its transformation, the researcher was based on the study of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth in “The Journey of the hero”, in which the human being performs exceptional actions, with courage and bravery and comes to solve critical situations, based on moral and ethical principles, and associates the methodology as a heroic act in the educational field and its attention to make teaching more motivating through its own previous experience.

In his research based on journeys, using masculine archetypes, he was asked by Professor Ana about the female role in these journeys, especially when it comes to the lack of them in STEM areas, since scientifically the lack of young women students in these areas has already been proven, and a One of the main reasons is the lack of motivation and the lack of credibility imposed on them (sometimes by the students themselves).

In the course of the study, among paths, motivations and teaching methodologies, research on gender equality in STEM areas and the need to fill gaps not occupied by women was expanded.

In the research map, the knowledge of the Heroine’s Journey emerged, in which, in it, the psychotherapist Maureen Murdock, analyzes her patients and their conflicts and, like Campbell, created steps to help these women overcome their problems.

In the wake of research and with the study of “male” and “female” narratives, in addition to theories of self-determination, intrinsic and extrinsic benefits that human beings need to perform some activity(widely applied in education in the motivational form of the inverted classroom style), as well as the theory of objectives that follows a line of dedication of the students, the motivational methodology called The Heroine’s Learning Journey was born.

The Journey created is composed of 12 stages thought, designed and identified to be reproduced as problems or challenges that young women need to face in order to enter and settle in areas mostly dominated by men.

These stages aim to develop the confidence and skills of the young students and, at the end, “birth” a technology apprentice who will take the title of Young Heroine. She will not be the same as when she started the journey, in addition to the new knowledge, she will also be inserted in the STEM areas.

Associated with the internships, there is also the self-regulation of learning, which works with three cycles: plan, execute and reflect, where personal effort is very important to achieve some result.

Within the journey, the cycles act through external supports that are tools technologies and mentoring from experienced people who will help them on the way to the final result, that is, the new way of acquiring skills.

The research has taken shape and now responds to a need of the European community that, through the Fostering Women’s project, wants to create a motivation/incentive for women to enter the STEM areas, the Heroine Apprentice Journey is associated with Machine Learning, Mathematics and Ethics in the Distance Learning platform of Instituto Superior Técnico, the MOOC.

The course is available with open enrollment and starts on March 31st, free of charge until July 1st.

And it doesn’t stop there, the Heroic Journeys project goes beyond the indicated methodology, it intends to make education more egalitarian, in the inclusion of all, through the mastery of its challenges, transforming, contributing and enabling each human being to be in the desired place.

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