Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


James Miller

Committee Member

Shery Bennett

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham


chemistry, discrimination, ethnicity, gender disparity, learning styles, self-efficacy


This applied dissertation was designed to determine if there is a difference between students’ gender, ethnicity, and age and their performance in General Chemistry I at a Christian University in Florida. Many scientific studies reveal the existence of a gender performance gap in chemistry: women mostly underperform men. Certain factors reported by researchers and cited in this study that might contribute to this gap include self-efficacy, math ability, prior conceptual knowledge in chemistry, attitude toward chemistry, spatial ability, discrimination, learning styles, and exam types.

This quantitative research study used retrospective data from 113 students from eight sections (2016-2019) of a General Chemistry I course. Each participant was enrolled in one of the eight sections and was taught by the same instructor. The final course grade was the dependent numeric variable, and gender, ethnicity, and age were the independent categorical variables. For all statistical analyses, student's t-test and the analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used.

Data analysis revealed a significant difference in the final course grade between gender who study General Chemistry 1 in higher education. There was no significant difference in final course grades between the ages categories: younger than 21 years old and 21 years old and older. Additionally, there was no significant difference in final course grades between ethnicities. The findings suggest that female students underperformed their male counterparts in general chemistry I in higher education, and the final course grade in General Chemistry I was not affected by students’ age and ethnicities.