Education

Labs, lectures, and gender differences

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Science  12 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6372, pp. 173-174
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6372.173-d

Gendered performance differences (GPDs) remain an issue in ensuring equitable access in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Matz et al. systematically measured performance gaps across STEM courses to further investigate the contribution of GPDs to performance and/or persistence in STEM. This report is the first wide-ranging, multi-institution assessment of GPDs, encompassing more than a million student enrollments at five universities. Controlling for factors relating to academic performance, the team found evidence that GPDs in many courses were statistically significant and consistent from term to term. GPDs in STEM lecture courses tended to favor men, although these differences were not seen in the corresponding laboratory courses, suggesting further research is needed on the structure and evaluative schemes of STEM lecture courses.

AERA Open 10.1177/2332858417743754 (2017).

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