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: 874 DOWNLOADS: 340 Publication date: 15 Jan 2022
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 874 DOWNLOADS: 340 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.
Dubrovskiy, A. V., Broadway, S., Weber, R., Mason, D., Jang, B., Mamiya, B., Powell, C. B., Shelton, G. R., Walker, D. R., Williamson, V. M., & Villalta-Cerdas, A. (2022). Is the STEM Gender Gap Closing?. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 5(1), 47-68. https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.512
- Albaladejo, J. DP., Broadway, S., Mamiya, B., Petros, A., Powell, C. B., Shelton, G. R., Walker, D. R., Weber, R., Williamson, V. M., & Mason, D. (2018). ConfChem conference on mathematics in undergraduate chemistry instruction: MUST-Know pilot study—Math preparation ztudy from Texas. Journal of Chemical Education, 95(8), 1428-1429. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00096
- Blanc, R. A., DeBuhr, L. E., & Martin, D. C. (1983). Breaking the attrition cycle: The effects of supplemental instruction on undergraduate performance and attrition. Journal of Higher Education, 1, 80-90.
- Bloodhart, B., Balgopal, M. M., Casper, A. M. A., McMeeking, L. B. S., & Fischer, E. V. (2020). Outperforming yet undervalued: Undergraduate women in STEM. PLoS ONE 15 (6): e0234685.
- Carver, S. D., Van Sickle, J., Holcomb, J. P., Jackson, D. K., Resnick, A., Duffy, S. F., Sridhar, N., Marquard, A.,
- & Quinn, C. M. (2017). Operation STEM: Increasing success and improving retention among mathematically underprepared students in STEM, Journal of STEM Education, 18 (3), 30-39.
- Cohen, R., & Kelly, A. M. (2019). Community College chemistry coursetaking and STEM academic persistence.
- Journal of Chemical Education, 96, 3-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00586
- Cooper, M. M., & Snow, R. L. (2018). Chemistry education research – from personal empiricism to evidence, theory, and informed practice. Chemical Reviews, 118, 6053–6087.
- Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House.
- Fink, A., Cahill, M. J., McDaniel, M. A., Hoffman, A., & Frey, R. F. (2018). Improving general chemistry performance through a growth mindset intervention: Selective effects on underrepresented minorities. Chemical Education Research and Practice, 19, 783-806. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C7RP00244K
- Fink, A., Frey, R. F., & Solomon, E. D. (2020). Belonging in general chemistry predicts first-year undergraduates’ performance and attrition. Chemical Education Research and Practice, 21, 1042-1062.
- Fox, W. E. (1994). A comparative study of science achievement and science course-taking patterns of high school students. Master's Project.
- Habley, W. R., Bloom, J. L., & Robbins, S. (2012). Increasing persistence: Research-based strategies for college student success. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Halder, S., Saha, S., & Das, S. (2015). Computer based self-pacing instructional design approach in learning with respect to gender as a variable. In Information Systems Design and Intelligent Applications, part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 340). Publishing Company?? This reference is not correct – ask author to redo
- Harsh, J. A., Maltese, A. V., & Tai, R. H. (2012). A perspective of gender differences in chemistry and physics undergraduate research experiences, Journal of Chemical Education, 89, 1364−1370.
- Hartman J. R., & Nelson E. A. (2016). Automaticity in computation and student success in introductory physical science courses [online]. Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/abs/1608.05006, Quiz available at:
- Hartman, J. A, & Nelson, E. A. (n.d.). A paradigm shift: The implications of working memory limits for physics and chemistry instruction. Retrieved from www.ChemReview.Net/TheScienceOfLearningChemistry.pdf
- Mamiya, B., Powell, C. B., Shelton, G. R., Dubrovskiy, A., Villalta-Cerdas, A., Broadway, S., Weber, R., & Mason, D. (in press). Influence of environmental factors on success of at-risk hispanic students in first-semester general chemistry. Journal of College Science Teaching.
- Mason, D., & Mittag, K. C. (2001). Evaluating success of Hispanic-surname students in first-semester general chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 78(2), 256-259. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed078p256 [Correction: Journal of Chemical Education 2001, 78(12), 1597. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed078p1597)
- Miller, M. (2006). Science self-efficacy in tenth grade Hispanic female high school students. Electronic Theses and
- Dissertations, 2004-2019. 1011. https://stars.library.ucf.edu/etd/1011
- Perry, M. J. (2019). Charts of the day: 2019 Advanced placement test results by subject and gender. https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/chart-of-the-day-2019-advanced-placement-test-results-by-subject-andgender/
- Perez-Felkner, L., Nix, S., & Thomas, K. (2017). Gendered pathways: How mathematics ability beliefs shape secondary and postsecondary course and degree field choices. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00386
- Perez-Felkner, L., Thomas, K., Nix, S., Hopkins, J., & D’Sa, M. (2019). Are 2-year colleges the key? Institutional variation and the gender gap in undergraduate STEM degrees, The Journal of Higher Education, 90(2),181-209, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2018.1486641
- Perry, M. J. (2019). Charts of the day: 2019 Advanced Placement test results by subject and gender. https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/chart-of-the-day-2019-advanced-placement-test-results-by-subject-andgender/
- Petros, A., Weber, R., Broadway, S., Ford R., Powell, C., Hunter, K., Williamson, V., Walker, D., Mamiya, B., Del
- Pilar, J., Shelton, G. R., & Mason, D. (2017). MUST-know pilot—Math preparation study from Texas, ACS DivCHED CCCE (Committee on Computers in Chemical Education) online conference organized by Cary Kilner and Eric Nelson [online] available at:
- https://confchem.ccce.divched.org/content/2017fallconfchemp2, accessed December 2019.
- Powell, C. M., Simpson, J., Williamson, V. M., Dubrovskiy, A., Walker, D. R., Jang, B., Shelton, G. R., & Mason,
- D. (2020). Impact of arithmetic automaticity on students’ success in second-semester general chemistry.
- Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 21, 1028-1041. https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/D0RP00006J Rowe, J. B. (1983). Getting chemistry off the killer course list. Journal of Chemical Education, 60, 954. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed060p954
- Rüschenpöhler, L., & Markic, S. (2020). Secondary school students’ chemistry self-concepts: gender and culture, and the impact of chemistry self-concept on learning behaviour. Chemical Education Research and Practice, 21, 209-219.
- Sax, L. J., Lehman, K. J., Jacobs, J. A., Kanny, J. A., Lim, G., Monje-Paulson, L., & Zimmerman, H. B. (2017). Anatomy of an enduring gender gap: The evolution of women's participation in computer science. The Journal of Higher Education, 88 (2), 258-293. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2016.1257306
- Shell, D. F., Brooks, D. W., Trainin; G., Wilson, K. M., Kauffman, D. F., & Herr, L. M. (2010). The unified learning model. Springer . http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-3215-7
- Sonnert, G., & Fox, M. F. (2012). Women, men, and academic performance in science and engineering: The gender difference in undergraduate grade point averages. The Journal of Higher Education, 83(1), 73-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2012.11777235
- Srinivasan, S. (2017). Persistence in STEM: Development of a persistence model integrating self-efficacy, Outcome expectations and performance in chemistry gateway courses [Doctoral Dissertation, University of WisconsinMilwaukee]. Theses and Dissertations. 1543. https://dc.uwm.edu/etd/1543
- Tai, R. H., Sadler, P. M., & Loehr, J. F. (2005). Factors influencing success in introductory college chemistry.
- Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42, 987-1012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20082
- THECB, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, (2019). Texas Public Higher Education Almanac.
- Villafañe-García, S. M., (2015). Use of assessments in college chemistry courses: Examining students’ prior conceptual knowledge, chemistry self-efficacy, and attitude [Doctoral Dissertation, University of South Florida]. Graduate Theses and Dissertations. https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/etd/5591
- Villalta-Cerdas, A., Dubrovskiy, A., Mamiya, B., Walker, D. R., Powell, C. B., Broadway, S., Weber, R., Shelton, G. R., & Mason, D. (in press). Personal characteristics influencing college readiness of Hispanic students in a STEM gateway course: First-semester general chemistry. Journal of College Science Teaching.
- Wagner, E. P., Sasser, H., & DiBiase, W. (2002). Predicting students at risk in general chemistry using presemester assessments and demographic information. Journal of Chemical Education, 79, 749-755.
- Weber, R., Powell, C. B., Williamson, V., Mamiya, B., Walker, D. R., Dubrovskiy, A., Shelton, G. R., VillaltaCerdas, A., Jang, B., Broadway, S., & Mason, D. (2020). Relationship between academic preparation in general chemistry and potential careers. Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research, 32(5),
- 25311-25323. http://dx.doi.org/10.26717/BJSTR.2020.32.005312
- Williamson, V. M.; Walker, D. R., Chuu, E., Broadway, S., Mamiya, B., Powell, C. M., Shelton, G. R., Weber, R., Dabney, A. R., & Mason, D. (2020). Impact of basic arithmetic skills on success in first-semester general chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 21, 51-61.
- Yezierski, E. J.; Birk, J. P. (2006). Misconceptions about the particulate nature of matter. Using animations to close the gender gap. Journal of Chemical Education, 83 (6), 954. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed083p954
- Yager, R. (1988). Relative success in college chemistry for students who experienced high school chemistry and those who had not. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 25, 387-396.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.