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American Journal Of Physics


We investigate if the gender gap in conceptual understanding in an introductory university physics course can be reduced by using 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 understanding for both males and females, but also reduces the gender gap. In the most interactively taught courses, the pre-instruction gender gap was gone by the end of the semester. (c) 2006 American Association of Physics Teachers.


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

An erratum for this article was published in October 2006: M. Lorenzo, Catherine Hirshfeld Crouch, and E. Mazur. (2006). "Erratum: 'Reducing The Gender Gap In The Physics Classroom' [Am. J. Phys.74 (2), 118–122 (2006)]". American Journal Of Physics. Volume 74, Issue 10. 940-940.

The erratum is appended to this version of the article.

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