Cornell University researchers have found that increasing class size has the largest negative impact on female participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms.
The researchers used data from 44 science courses across multiple institutions, including Cornell, the University of Minnesota, Bethel University, and American University in Cairo, Egypt. The team used this data to calculate female participation from more than 5,300 interactions between instructors and students over a two-year period.
They found classes begin to negatively affect students when they exceed enrollments of 120 students.
Said former Cornell researcher Cissy Ballen (now a researcher at Auburn University), “We show that class size has the largest impact on female participation, with smaller classes leading to more equitable participation.”
From Cornell Chronicle (NY)
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