Hard and Soft Mastery Reflection by Angela Marshall
The book seems to indicate that soft mastery uses tinkering as an approach to science while hard mastery is linear and analytical in its approach. It was only after reading the entire posted article that I became aware that soft mastery seems to also be painted as feminine and delicate while hard mastery is masculine and straight forward (as least with regard to computer science).
The authors describe how giving human traits to the computer as well as using certain language to describe programs (crashes, executes, kills) can cause conflict among female programmers because they become dependent on the machine but know that “relationships are for people”.
With this in mind, I am reminded of a first grade project in which the students build a shade structure that will keep “monsters” safe from UV rays. I used to have the students work with their table group or pod until I overhead a little boy declare that the engineering had to be completed by the boys while the decorations had to be completed by the girls. It was an eye opening moment. While I would prefer to have boys and girls work together, it seems that mixed groups comprised of six year old tend to align with girls having soft mastery and boys having hard mastery.
"If every child were to be given access to a computer, computers would be cheap enough for every child to be given access to a computer."
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