How Can Encouragement Increase Persistence in Computing? Encouragement Works in Academic Settings (Case Study 1)
Encouragement increases self-efficacy, which is the belief in one’s ability to successfully perform a task. Because we are more likely to engage in tasks that we believe we can perform successfully, encouragement may be especially useful for attracting women to male-stereotyped fields such as computing. Simple though encouragement is, fewer than half of the faculty members in the average computer science department in the United States say they do it. This case study shares examples of the role encouragement from teachers, faculty members, and advisors has played in students’ decisions to pursue and persist in computing.