Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Learning and Instruction


Learning & Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Busk

Second Advisor

Xornam Apedoe

Third Advisor

Walter Gmelch


This meta-analysis synthesized research on gender gap in the Force Concept Inventory (FCI). The main goal of the present meta-analysis was to identify the moderator variables that mediate effect size differences. Furthermore, the statistical significance of the average effect sizes was investigated. The inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis resulted in 22 empirical research articles that studied gender gap and reported the number of male and female students in the study. The included articles reported multiple studies; therefore, there were 34 studies on pretest and 43 studies on the posttest FCI. The average effect size for the pretests was 0.62 and for the posttest was 0.26. All effect sizes in pretest indicated that male students on average scored higher than female students; in posttest, however, two effect sizes indicated higher means for female than male students. School level (high-school versus college and university), teaching methods (traditional versus modeling instruction), culture of students (United States versus international countries), and contents of FCI (original or revised FCI) were investigated as moderator variables. The pretest effect sizes indicated that school level and content of FCI did not moderate the effect sizes, whereas effect size was moderated by teaching methods and culture. Students who enrolled in traditional teaching method had statistically significant gap that was wider than students enrolled in modeling instruction classes. Posttest effect sizes for teaching method were not statistically significant, whereas school level, culture, and content of the FCI indicating that these variables moderated the effect sizes. This meta-analysis studied the gender gap by analyzing the effect sizes instead of gain. Furthermore, unlike most studies gender gaps were compared between pretests and between posttests. Some results such as effect sizes in the teaching methods indicated relatively same gap for posttests in both traditional method as well as modeling instruction. It is important that further research to be conducted using effect size to investigate gender gap in different statistical methods than gain or normalized gain.

Included in

Education Commons