Presentations

    Factors affecting gender disparity in introductory physics, at APS Centennial Meeting 1999 (Atlanta, GA), Tuesday, March 23, 1999:
    In America, the disparity between the performance of women and men in physics is a matter of common concern; however, it is poorly understood. Is this disparity observed among physics majors at elite institutions as well as non-majors in one-year introductory courses? Does this disparity depend on the pedagogical approach used to teach the class? The high school physics or mathematics background of the students? The gender of the instructor?
    Gender, Educational Reform, and Instructional Assessment: Part I, at Winter Meeting, American Association of Physics Teachers (Philadelphia, PA), Tuesday, January 22, 2002:
    Why study issues of gender and physics education? It is well-known that women continue to be significantly underrepresented in careers in physics and engineering, even as representation of women improves in chemistry and the biological sciences. While many factors contribute to this state of affairs, one important area for physics educators to examine is the experiences of women in physics classes. This talk will review the current status of women in physics, the importance of studying how instruction affects the women in our classrooms, and the need for assessment instruments that do not... Read more about Gender, Educational Reform, and Instructional Assessment: Part I
    Gender, Educational Reform, and Instructional Assessment: Part II, at Winter Meeting, American Association of Physics Teachers (Philadelphia, PA), Tuesday, January 22, 2002:
    Will current educational reform efforts serve to improve the learning experience of women in physics? To do so, assessment of instructional effectiveness must examine results for male and female students separately as well as for the entire class . We present an analysis of gender differences in performance in introductory physics at eight different colleges and universities; half of the courses were taught using a variety of interactive-engagement methods and half were taught with traditional lectures. We examine the effect of pedagogy and class size on the gender gap in both Force Concept... Read more about Gender, Educational Reform, and Instructional Assessment: Part II
    Gender and student achievement with Peer Instruction, at Physics Education Research Conference, AAPT Summer Meeting, University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), Thursday, July 24, 2008:
    We investigated the effect of physics education research-based teaching methods on the gender gap in conceptual understanding in introductory physics. We analyzed data from the introductory calculus-based mechanics course for non-majors at Harvard University taught traditionally and taught with different degrees of interactive engagement. On average, female students have lower Force Concept Inventory (FCI) pretest scores than males. Teaching with Peer Instruction not only yields significantly greater FCI posttest scores for both males and females but also reduces the FCI posttest gender gap.... Read more about Gender and student achievement with Peer Instruction
    Gender, interactive teaching, and barriers to change, at Women in Science and Engineering Workshop, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Newport News, VA), Monday, November 16, 2009:
    Can pedagogy alleviate the well-known "gender gap" in performance and representation in the physical sciences? I will show that women can succeed on par with male students in introductory classes that are taught cooperatively, rather than competitively. At the same time we found that the level of perceived confusion increases in classes that challenge every student to think about and respond to questions asked during class. This increase is a potential barrier to reform even though we have shown it to anti-correlate with performance.
    Gender, mental rotations, and introductory physics, at Portland, OR, Thursday, July 22, 2010
    In this talk we examine an often-cited claim for gender differences in STEM participation: cognitive differences on tests of spatial ability explain achievement differences in physics. We specifically investigate the role of mental rotations in physics achievement and problem-solving, viewing mental rotations as a tool that students can use on physics problems. We first look at student survey results for lower-level introductory students, finding a small, but significant correlation between performance on a mental rotations test and course achievement. In contrast, we find no such... Read more about Gender, mental rotations, and introductory physics
    Promise and pitfalls of reformed instruction for female students, part II, at Physics Teacher Education Coalition 2007 Conference, American Physical Society PTEC (Boulder, CO), Saturday, March 3, 2007:
    In this workshop, we will examine how reformed instruction can both help and potentially hinder female students, depending on exactly how it is implemented. In the first segment of the workshop, the workshop leaders will review pertinent research on the origins of the underrepresentation of women in the physical sciences and factors promoting the success of female students in science and mathematics classrooms. In the second portion of this workshop, participants will discuss how to structure learning in their classrooms based on insights from existing research, and will also identify... Read more about Promise and pitfalls of reformed instruction for female students, part II
    Reducing the gender gap in introductory physics, at American Physical Society March meeting (Denver, CO), Monday, March 5, 2007:
    We investigated whether the gender gap in conceptual understanding in an introductory university physics course can be reduced by teaching with interactive engagement methods that promote in-class interaction, reduce competition, foster collaboration, and emphasize conceptual understanding. To this end, we analyzed data from the introductory calculus-based physics course for non-majors at Harvard University taught traditionally or using different degrees of interactive engagement. Our results show that teaching with certain interactive strategies not only yields significantly increased... Read more about Reducing the gender gap in introductory physics