Since the 1970s, middle-class educated Ecuadorian women have engaged in activism for gender equality in civil, political, social, and economic sectors in Ecuador. Ecuador has enacted legal frameworks to promote equality between men and women in the workplace. However, women remain at a disadvantage regarding salaries, working hours, and access to education. Moreover, the current educational needs have accentuated the importance of integrating technology in the classroom which have changed teaching practices based on teachers’ pedagogical approaches as well as teachers’ gender. Teachers’ decision-making process is influenced by sociocultural norms about gender roles. This ethnographic case study explored the interactions between men and women teachers regarding the use of technology in the classroom utilizing the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) to examine decision-making processes. Sixteen Ecuadorian elementary teachers, nine women and seven men teachers with five to 26 years of teaching experience, from a private school, participated in the study. Utilizing constant comparison analysis, two themes emerged: teachers’ persuasive argumentation and teachers’ philosophy of education. Regarding the presentation of arguments about the use of technology, participants evidenced different approaches based on their gender. For example, men participants with experience and status dominated the discussion, while women participants listened to the different points of view presented before providing their own point of view and their justification. Concerning teachers’ philosophy of education, men and women participants stated different approaches to teaching and learning. Men teachers were more focused on professional development opportunities and using technology as an aid for their work, whereas women teachers were more focused on nurturing students’ skill development. While both men and women teachers used technology in the classroom, their teaching philosophies were quite different; women teachers took a more holistic approach to considering technologies’ positive and negative impacts upon students. Although Ecuador’s government supports equality in the workplace, this study suggests that gender differences in decision-making leads to men’s voices dominating workplace situations; thus, provisions within school policies are needed to achieve the desired equality of the genders in the workplace.

Author Biography

Ximena D. Burgin, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Educational Technology, Research, and Assessment in Northern Illinois University. Dr. Burgin’s research focuses broadly on culturally responsive classrooms to understand in-service and pre-service teachers’ utilization of cultural characteristics and approaches to teaching ethnically diverse students. She is also interested in studying other factors influencing teacher’s teaching practices such as gender in educational settings.