- Conference date: 29–30 July 2009
- Location: Ann Arbor (MI)
Hundreds of students are required to take introductory physics each year at our mid‐size Canadian university. These students enter the course with diverse educational histories and demographic characteristics that reflect the diversity of the large, metropolitan city that the university is located in. In this project, we investigate how students’ demographic and educational diversity is related to their conceptual learning in introductory university physics. Students’ learning outcomes in introductory sciences courses often impact their later learning in undergraduate science degree programs. As expected, we found that the completion of a senior high school physics course is positively related to students’ conceptual understanding of physics. The unexpected result was that gender remained a predictor of the students’ conceptual understanding, even when the completion of high school physics was accounted for. Interestingly, other demographic characteristics, such as students’ mother tongue and country of birth, seem not to matter. The results suggest that the impact of completing high school physics may extend far beyond the first year and that the gender gap continues to persist in SMET disciplines.
- Physics education
- Diversity in physics education
- K-12 education
- Learning theory and science teaching
Daniel Baumann, Mark G. Jackson, Peter Adshead, Alexandre Amblard, Amjad Ashoorioon, Nicola Bartolo, Rachel Bean, Maria Beltrán, Francesco de Bernardis, Simeon Bird, Xingang Chen, Daniel J. H. Chung, Loris Colombo, Asantha Cooray, Paolo Creminelli, Scott Dodelson, Joanna Dunkley, Cora Dvorkin, Richard Easther, Fabio Finelli, Raphael Flauger, Mark P. Hertzberg, Katherine Jones‐Smith, Shamit Kachru, Kenji Kadota, Justin Khoury, William H. Kinney, Eiichiro Komatsu, Lawrence M. Krauss, Julien Lesgourgues, Andrew Liddle, Michele Liguori, Eugene Lim, Andrei Linde, Sabino Matarrese, Harsh Mathur, Liam McAllister, Alessandro Melchiorri, Alberto Nicolis, Luca Pagano, Hiranya V. Peiris, Marco Peloso, Levon Pogosian, Elena Pierpaoli, Antonio Riotto, Uroš Seljak, Leonardo Senatore, Sarah Shandera, Eva Silverstein, Tristan Smith, Pascal Vaudrevange, Licia Verde, Ben Wandelt, David Wands, Scott Watson, Mark Wyman, Amit Yadav, Wessel Valkenburg and Matias Zaldarriaga
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