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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Lauren E. Kost-Smith, Steven J. Pollock, and Noah D. Finkelstein
Our previous research examined gender differences in introductory physics classes at the University of Colorado at Boulder. We found: (1) gender differences in several aspects of the course, including conceptual survey performance, (2) these differences persisted despite the use of interactive engagement techniques, and (3) the post-test gender differences could largely be attributed to differences in students' prior physics and math performance and their incoming attitudes and beliefs. In the current study, we continue to characterize gender differences in our physics courses by examining the second-semester, electricity and magnetism course. We analyze student retention from Physics 1 to 2, student performance, and students' attitudes and beliefs about physics, and find gender differences in all three areas. Specifically, females are less likely to stay in the physics major than males. Despite students performing about equally on the conceptual pretest, we find that females score about 6 percentage points lower than males on the conceptual post-test. In most semesters, females outperform males on homework and participation, and males outperform females on exams, resulting in course grades of males and females that are not significantly different. In terms of students' attitudes and beliefs, we find that both males and females shift toward less expertlike beliefs over the course of Physics 2. Shifts are statistically equal for all categories except for the Personal Interest category, where females have more negative shifts than males. A large fraction of the conceptual post-test gender gap (up to 60%) can be accounted for by differences in students' prior physics and math performance and their pre-Physics 2 attitudes and beliefs. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that it is an accumulation of small gender differences over time that may be responsible for the large differences that we observe in physics participation of males and females.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
- Sample Population
= Gender: Female
= Gender: Male
- Societal Issues
= Gender Issues
Electricity & Magnetism
- General
- Lower Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
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Formats:
application/pdf
text/html
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.6.020112
NSF Numbers:
0833364
0448176
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.gb
Keywords:
Gender Differences, Interactive Engagement Techniques, Longitudinal Tracking
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 27, 2011 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 20, 2012 by Vince Kuo
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 3, 2010
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Record Link
AIP Format
L. Kost-Smith, S. Pollock, and N. Finkelstein, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6 (2), 020112 (2010), WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10752&DocID=2205).
AJP/PRST-PER
L. Kost-Smith, S. Pollock, and N. Finkelstein, Gender disparities in second-semester college physics: The incremental effects of a "smog of bias" Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6 (2), 020112 (2010), <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10752&DocID=2205>.
APA Format
Kost-Smith, L., Pollock, S., & Finkelstein, N. (2010, September 3). Gender disparities in second-semester college physics: The incremental effects of a "smog of bias". Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 6(2), 020112. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10752&DocID=2205
Chicago Format
Kost-Smith, L, S. Pollock, and N. Finkelstein. "Gender disparities in second-semester college physics: The incremental effects of a "smog of bias"." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6, no. 2, (September 3, 2010): 020112, http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10752&DocID=2205 (accessed 28 July 2014).
MLA Format
Kost-Smith, Lauren E., Steven Pollock, and Noah Finkelstein. "Gender disparities in second-semester college physics: The incremental effects of a "smog of bias"." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6.2 (2010): 020112. 28 July 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10752&DocID=2205>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Lauren E. Kost-Smith and Steven Pollock and Noah Finkelstein", Title = {Gender disparities in second-semester college physics: The incremental effects of a "smog of bias"}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {6}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020112}, Month = {September}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Lauren E. Kost-Smith
%A Steven Pollock
%A Noah Finkelstein
%T Gender disparities in second-semester college physics: The incremental effects of a "smog of bias"
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 6
%N 2
%D September 3, 2010
%P 020112
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10752&DocID=2205
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Kost-Smith, Lauren E.
%A Pollock, Steven
%A Finkelstein, Noah
%D September 3, 2010
%T Gender disparities in second-semester college physics: The incremental effects of a "smog of bias"
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 6
%N 2
%P 020112
%8 September 3, 2010
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10752&DocID=2205


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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