Is the STEM Gender Gap Closing?
Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Volume 5, Issue 1, January 2022, pp. 47-68
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 291 DOWNLOADS: 141 Publication date: 15 Jan 2022
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 291 DOWNLOADS: 141 Publication date: 15 Jan 2022
The Networking for Science Advancement (NSA) team's institutions consist of nine universities located in one large southwestern US state. This study evaluated students enrolled from Spring 2017 to Fall 2019 in firstand second-semester general chemistry. Over 90% of the students (n = 6,694) have been exposed to a secondary school isomorphic curriculum. The population studied, Chem I (n = 4,619) and Chem II (n = 2,075), met entry-level criteria and are therefore expected to succeed (i.e., earn grades of A, B or C). This study's focus is to disaggregate data based on binary gender (M/F) in hopes of revealing patterns that might remain hidden when studying an undivided population. In Chem I, the female population was 59.6% and increased to 64.5% for Chem II. The 15- min., diagnostic Math-Up Skills Test’s (MUST) scores identified about half of all students who were unsuccessful (grades of D and F). Results from the study support that males enter Chem I and II with better automaticity skills (what can be done without using a calculator) than females. However, females outperformed males on course averages in Chem I but not Chem II. Our data provide supporting evidence that the gender gap may be closing.
Arithmetic Automaticity Skills, Diagnostic Assessment, Diversity Issues, Gender, General Chemistry.
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