Gendered Differences in Intro STEM Courses are Consistent Across Five Universities

Authors: 

Becky Matz, Ben Koester, Stefano Fiorini, Galina Grom, Linda Shepard, Chuck Stangor, Brad Weiner, Tim McKay

The success of females in higher education has improved over the past few decades, but gendered differences in participation and career progress persist in some STEM-related disciplines. The purpose of this study is to explore patterns of performance in gateway courses that introduce male and female students to STEM majors at five large research institutions. After controlling for factors known to relate to academic performance using optimal matching, we find evidence of gendered performance differences in some STEM lecture courses that largely favor men. These results highlight the importance of encouraging all STEM faculty, not just those who focus on teaching or education research, to adopt multimodal methods of instruction so that all courses can be equitable spaces for all students to learn.

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