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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Rachel Henderson, Gay Stewart, John Stewart, Lynnette Michaluk, and Adrienne L. Traxler
The "gender gap" on various physics conceptual evaluations has been extensively studied. Men's average pretest scores on the Force Concept Inventory and Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation are 13% higher than women's, and post-test scores are on average 12% higher than women's. This study analyzed the gender differences within the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) in which the gender gap has been less well studied and is less consistent. In the current study, data collected from 1407 students (77% men, 23% women) in a calculus-based physics course over ten semesters showed that male students outperformed female students on the CSEM pretest (5%) and post-test (6%). Separate analyses were conducted for qualitative and quantitative problems on lab quizzes and course exams and showed that male students outperformed female students by 3% on qualitative quiz and exam problems. Male and female students performed equally on the quantitative course exam problems. The gender gaps within CSEM post-test scores, qualitative lab quiz scores, and qualitative exam scores were insignificant for students with a CSEM pretest score of 25% or less but grew as pretest scores increased. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that a latent variable, called Conceptual Physics Performance/Non-Quantitative (CPP/NonQnt), orthogonal to quantitative test performance was useful in explaining the differences observed in qualitative performance; this variable was most strongly related to CSEM post-test scores. The CPP/NonQnt of male students was 0.44 standard deviations higher than female students. The CSEM pretest measured CPP/NonQnt much less accurately for women (R2 = 4%) than for men (R2 = 17%). The failure to find a performance difference in quantitative test performance while detecting a gap in qualitative performance suggests the qualitative differences do not result from psychological factors such as science anxiety or stereotype threat.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 020114
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
- Research Design & Methodology
= Data
= Validity
- Sample Population
= Gender
- Societal Issues
= Gender Issues
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
= Skills
Electricity & Magnetism
- General
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Reference Material
= Research study
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020114
NSF Numbers:
PHY-0108787
DUE-0535928
Keywords:
CSEM validation, CSEM validity
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created September 9, 2017 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
May 29, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 6, 2017
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AIP Format
R. Henderson, G. Stewart, J. Stewart, L. Michaluk, and A. Traxler, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (2), 020114 (2017), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020114).
AJP/PRST-PER
R. Henderson, G. Stewart, J. Stewart, L. Michaluk, and A. Traxler, Exploring the gender gap in the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (2), 020114 (2017), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020114>.
APA Format
Henderson, R., Stewart, G., Stewart, J., Michaluk, L., & Traxler, A. (2017, September 6). Exploring the gender gap in the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 13(2), 020114. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020114
Chicago Format
Henderson, R, G. Stewart, J. Stewart, L. Michaluk, and A. Traxler. "Exploring the gender gap in the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13, no. 2, (September 6, 2017): 020114, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020114 (accessed 30 May 2024).
MLA Format
Henderson, Rachel, Gay Stewart, John Stewart, Lynnette Michaluk, and Adrienne Traxler. "Exploring the gender gap in the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13.2 (2017): 020114. 30 May 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020114>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Rachel Henderson and Gay Stewart and John Stewart and Lynnette Michaluk and Adrienne Traxler", Title = {Exploring the gender gap in the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {13}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020114}, Month = {September}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Rachel Henderson %A Gay Stewart %A John Stewart %A Lynnette Michaluk %A Adrienne Traxler %T Exploring the gender gap in the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 13 %N 2 %D September 6, 2017 %P 020114 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020114 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Henderson, Rachel %A Stewart, Gay %A Stewart, John %A Michaluk, Lynnette %A Traxler, Adrienne %D September 6, 2017 %T Exploring the gender gap in the conceptual survey of electricity and magnetism %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 13 %N 2 %P 020114 %8 September 6, 2017 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020114


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