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Concerns of Women in Educational Research and Development at Three Stages of Professional Development: Student Years, Early Postdoctoral Years, and Intermediate Professional Years

Ekstrom, Ruth B.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Students, Educational Research, Employment Opportunities, Equal Education, Females, Graduate Students, Graduate Study, Professional Recognition, Sex Discrimination


This report discusses the ways in which better opportunities for advanced levels of training and job advancement could be provided for woman. Three stages of women's professional development are considered: the student years, the early postdoctoral years (one-to-five years after the degree), and the intermediate professional years. Problems related to the selection of women to graduate programs for training in educational research and development include: specific prerequisite course requirements; institutional requirements such as limiting financial aid to full-time students; differential expectations that are held for females and males by educational research faculty members serving on interview and review committees: and women's low expectations for their own careers. Both in the formal training in the classroom and in the informal interactions with others students and faculty, the woman student meets obstacles to her professional development. There is evidence to suggest that males are more often trained as research assistants while females are trained as teaching assistants. Problems faced by most women in the early postdoctoral years include the lack of postdoctoral training programs or internships for women in educational research, finding the initial postdoctoral jobs, and developing the professional skills that the job requires. Among the problems encountered by women faculty in the intermediate professional years are developing new skills, such as administration and budgeting; keeping up-to-date in areas of special research interests; and being evaluated for tenure, promotion, or a new position.

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