The Persistence of the Gender Gap in Introductory Physics Documents

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The Persistence of the Gender Gap in Introductory Physics 

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

We previously showed 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. Our current work analyzes factors that may influence the observed gender gap in our courses. Posttest conceptual assessment data are modeled using both multiple regression and logistic regression analyses to estimate the gender gap in posttest scores after controlling for background factors that vary by gender. 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 incoming attitudes and beliefs.

Published October 20, 2008
Last Modified May 22, 2009

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