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Significant Reduction in Gender Grade Disparities in a Reformed Introductory Physics Course Documents

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Significant Reduction in Gender Grade Disparities in a Reformed Introductory Physics Course 

written by Wendell H. Potter, Charles De Leone, Catherine M. Ishikawa, Jacob Blickenstaff, and Patrick L. Hession

In 1996 we switched from a traditionally structured introductory physics course for biological science majors at the University of California, Davis to a reformed course incorporating the implications for instruction that follow from a constructivist view of learning. In the traditional course there was a persistent and stable pattern of course letter-grade distributions in which males received a disproportionate share of high grades and females received a disproportionate share of low grades. This gender disparity has been significantly reduced for the same population of students in the reformed course. This paper is a preliminary report of this data.

Published July 26, 2001
Last Modified March 7, 2009

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