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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Matthew Mears
The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) is widely used to investigate the effect of education level on conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics but has only recently been scrutinized for gender effects and retention. This study examines both the gender gap in first year physics undergraduates compared to the gap for nonphysicists and the FCI retention after three months. All participants were either studying or working at the University of Sheffield in the UK and had completed a similar compulsory level of secondary education. As expected the results show that a greater level of education in physics is associated with a larger average FCI score. However, further analysis shows that there exists a gender gap at all levels of education. The size of the effect of gender is quantified using Cohen's d and ranges from 0.84 to 1.17 which indicates a large effect due to gender for all levels of education. Despite the FCI having been used as a tool to measure learning gains immediately following instruction in Newtonian mechanics there has been little work to investigate whether this increase in FCI score remains after some time has elapsed. Here the increase in FCI scores is found to remain increased after a three month absence of mechanics-related teaching, and that this retention of FCI scores is independent of gender. Despite this, the gender gap still remains large and statistically significant after the three month delay.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 020135
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- General
Education - Basic Research
- Achievement
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
- Research Design & Methodology
= Evaluation
= Statistics
- Sample Population
= Gender
- Societal Issues
= Gender Issues
= International Issues
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
= Skills
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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- Administrators
- Researchers
- Educators
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020135
Keywords:
FCI gender gap, diversity, gender imbalance, physics identity
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created October 24, 2019 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
May 31, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 8, 2019
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AIP Format
M. Mears, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (2), 020135 (2019), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020135).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Mears, Gender differences in the Force Concept Inventory for different educational levels in the United Kingdom, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (2), 020135 (2019), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020135>.
APA Format
Mears, M. (2019, October 8). Gender differences in the Force Concept Inventory for different educational levels in the United Kingdom. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 15(2), 020135. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020135
Chicago Format
Mears, Matthew. "Gender differences in the Force Concept Inventory for different educational levels in the United Kingdom." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15, no. 2, (October 8, 2019): 020135, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020135 (accessed 17 April 2024).
MLA Format
Mears, Matthew. "Gender differences in the Force Concept Inventory for different educational levels in the United Kingdom." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15.2 (2019): 020135. 17 Apr. 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020135>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Matthew Mears", Title = {Gender differences in the Force Concept Inventory for different educational levels in the United Kingdom}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {15}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020135}, Month = {October}, Year = {2019} }
Refer Export Format

%A Matthew Mears %T Gender differences in the Force Concept Inventory for different educational levels in the United Kingdom %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 2 %D October 8, 2019 %P 020135 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020135 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Mears, Matthew %D October 8, 2019 %T Gender differences in the Force Concept Inventory for different educational levels in the United Kingdom %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 2 %P 020135 %8 October 8, 2019 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020135


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