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Unpacking Gender Differences in Students’ Perceived Experiences in Introductory Physics Documents

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Unpacking Gender Differences in Students’ Perceived Experiences in Introductory Physics 

written by Lauren E. Kost, Steven J. Pollock, and Noah D. Finkelstein

Prior research has shown, at our institution: 1) males outperform females on conceptual assessments (a gender gap), 2) the gender gap persists despite the use of research-based reforms, and 3) the gender gap is correlated with students' physics and mathematics background and prior attitudes and beliefs [Kost, et. al. PRST-PER, 5, 010101]. Our follow-up work begins to explore how males and females experience the introductory course differently and how these differences relate to the gender gap. We gave a survey to students in the introductory course in which we investigated students' physics identity and self-efficacy. We find there are significant gender differences in each of these three areas, and further find that these measures are weakly correlated with student conceptual performance, and moderately correlated with course grade.

Published November 11, 2009
Last Modified October 7, 2009

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