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Abstract Title: The Persistence of the Gender Gap in Introductory Physics
Abstract: We previously showed [1] that despite teaching with interactive engagement techniques, the gap in performance between males and females on conceptual learning surveys persisted from pre- to posttest, at our institution.  Such findings were counter to previously published work [2].  Subsequent work [3] suggested the gender gap may be attributable to differences in physics background. Our current work analyzes factors that may influence the observed gender gap in our courses.  We find that there are significant differences (p<0.05) between males and females on several measures of math and physics preparation, as well as attitudes about physics. Posttest conceptual assessment data are modeled using both multiple regression and logistic regression to estimate the gender gap in posttest scores after controlling for these prior factors. We find that at our institution the gender gap persists in interactive physics classes, but is largely due to differences in physics and math preparation and attitudes.

[1] Pollock, et al, Phys Rev: ST: PER 3, 010107. [2] Lorenzo, et al, Am J Phys 74, 118. [3] Kost, et al, PERC Proceedings 2007, 137.
Abstract Type: Targeted Poster
Targeted Session: Does PER-Based Instruction Help Underrepresented Groups Succeed, and How Can It Do So Better?

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Steven Pollock
University of Colorado
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Lauren Kost
Physics Department, University of Colorado
Lauren.Kost -at- colorado.edu