Impact of interactive engagement on reducing the gender gap in quantum physics learning outcomes among senior secondary school students
Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
In this study, the author examines the extent to which an interactive engagement approach can reduce the gender gap in senior secondary school (SSS) (age 16-18 years) students' learning outcomes in quantum physics. One hundred and twenty one (male = 65; female = 56) SSS 3 students participated in this study. They were randomly selected from two senior secondary schools from the Ibadan North Local Government Area, Oyo State, Nigeria. There were two groups: the experimental group (interactive engagement) and the control group (traditional lecture method). Prior to the commencement of the experiment, students' scores in a previous examination conducted by their schools were collected and analysed. This was to determine the extent to which gender disparity had been narrowed after the experiment. Three hypotheses were tested. The data collected were analysed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The results show that, generally, the students in the interactive engagement group had higher mean scores in the quantum physics achievement test than their colleagues in the control group. Among the participants in the interactive engagement group, female students had a slightly higher mean score than their male counterparts. These results show that with interactive engagement, gender disparity in quantum physics learning outcomes among students can be narrowed. The author recommends that physics teachers should adopt an interactive engagement approach in physics classes. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.