The purpose of this study is to examine the views of teachers on the number and situation of women in STEM areas as well as ways to encourage female students to STEM areas. We carried out the study through basic qualitative research. The participants of the study included 39 teachers from Turkey, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Romania. For data collection, focus group interviews were carried out in each country. The collected data were analyzed through content analysis. The study yielded similar findings in almost all the countries showing that the number of women was not sufficient, and the participants mostly had negative views regarding the visibility of women, gender equality, and societal roles posed to women. We found that female students could be encouraged to STEM areas through the use of appropriate role models who carried some inborn and achieved traits.


STEM, female students, encouraging female students to STEM, basic qualitative research

Author Bio(s)

Aysin Kaplan-Sayı is an associate professor and director of Gifted and Talented Education program at Bahcesehir University. Originally, she was an English teacher and taught English for eight years at elementary schools of Ministry of Education. She worked for Children Universities since 2011. She also founded a children’s university in Istanbul - Aydin University. She worked as a science communicator and director of Istanbul Aydin Children’s University for five years. She has written 15 articles, 10 chapters, and four books about creativity/ gifted and talented education in Turkish and in English. Her main study fields are gifted and talented education, differentiated teaching, creative thinking, critical thinking and STEM education. Please direct correspondence to aysinkaplansayi@gmail.com

Nihal Yurtseven is an associate professor at Bahcesehir University. Her academic research interests include UbD-based school development, instructional design, professional learning communities, curriculum development, and individual differences in learning. Since the beginning of her doctoral studies, she focused on teachers’ design-oriented professional development and she wrote one of the first doctoral dissertations about UbD (Understanding by Design) in Turkey. Yurtseven has published several scientific articles, book chapters and conference papers. She has conducted seminars, workshops and presentations at various educational institutions and conferences within the scope of the above-mentioned fields of study, with particular emphasis on the integration of UbD into schools (in different levels and branches). Please direct correspondence to nihal.yurtseven@es.bau.edu.tr

Şirin Karadeniz is the president of Bahcesehir University who is a professor of computer and instructional Technologies. She has written 32 articles, 13 books, 8 paper presentations nationally and internationally. She has carried out eight different projects on different topics and she is the member of TUSIAD Education Department, Education Association of Future, Educational Sciences and Application Association and Turkish Informatics Association. She also rewarded as the most female successful educator of 2016 by KAGIDER and called as one of the female technology leader. She got fund from TUBITAK, DAAD Germany and Bahcesehir University. Her main study is on technological leaders. Please direct correspondence to sirin.karadeniz@bau.edu.tr

Sinem Vatanartıran is the Vice President of the BAU Global Education Network and President of Bay Atlantic University who is a professor of Educational Leadership and Administration. With the British Council scholarship, she attended Trainer Training course at St John & St Marks College, England in 2000. She started her carrier as an English teacher and she has demonstrated a long commitment to education, particularly science education. In 2005, she became a Principal within the Bahcesehir Colleges network of high schools in Turkey, and in 2006 Dr. Vatanartıran established the first Science and Technology High School in Turkey which is famous for its success especially in STEM fields. In 2008, she established Turkey’s first Children’s Science Museum, housed at Bahcesehir College for attracting students into Science. She also formed Turkey’s first career services center, the Ugur Career Services Center. Dr. Vatanartıran has been a prolific publisher in the field of education, including a weekly column in a national newspaper, Vatan. Please direct correspondence to svatan@bau.edu.


Acknowledgements: Thanks to our Project Partners: Şükran Ülgezen Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School, Challedu, AIJU, CASA Corpului Didactic Teleorman and EUPHORIA.NET who helped to gather the data from five different countries. Declarations: The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Funding: This study is funded by Turkish National Agency with the number of 2019-1-TR01-KA201-074648 as a European Union Project, FEMALES. Author Contributions: A. Kaplan-Sayı participated in the study's design: conceptualization, methodology, data curation, writing – original draft preparation, writing – review and editing, visualization, and supervision. N. Yurtseven participated in the study's design, conceptualization, methodology, analyzed the data, validation, investigation, data curation, writing – original draft preparation, writing – review and editing. Ş. Karadeniz and Sinem Vatanartıran participated in the study's design, methodology, collaborated on interpreting the results, visualization, and supervision. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.







To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.