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Title: Group Work in the Science Classroom: How Gender Composition May Affect Individual Performance
Authors: Gnesdilow, Dana
Evenstone, Amanda
Rutledge, Julia
Sullivan, Sarah
Puntambekar, Sadhana
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Gnesdilow, D., Evenstone, A., Rutledge, J., Sullivan, S., & Puntambekar, S. (2013). Group Work in the Science Classroom: How Gender Composition May Affect Individual Performance. In Rummel, N., Kapur, M., Nathan, M., & Puntambekar, S. (Eds.), To See the World and a Grain of Sand: Learning across Levels of Space, Time, and Scale: CSCL 2013 Conference Proceedings Volume 2 — Short Papers, Panels, Posters, Demos & Community Events (pp. 34-37). Madison, WI: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Current research on how gender composition within groups influences individual outcomes is both sparse and conflicting. We examined how gender composition within groups affects learning outcomes. Students from sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes from three US Midwestern public school districts with diverse demographic compositions (N=637, 314 boys and 323 girls) participated in this study as a part of their regular science class during a 12-week design-based physics curriculum, CoMPASS. We conducted two 5 x 2 analyses of covariance to evaluate the effect of group gender ratio and gender on students' physics learning and science practice outcomes. Results indicate that group gender ratio does influence students' science learning and practices as measured by posttest differences. Students in mixed-gender groups performed significantly better than students in same-gender groups. Having at least one group member of the opposite gender increased individual students' posttest performance. Limitations and implications for practice are discussed.
Appears in Collections:CSCL 2013

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