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ERIC Number: ED423282
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Differential Item Functioning by Gender on a Large-Scale Science Performance Assessment: A Comparison across Grade Levels.
Holweger, Nancy; Taylor, Grace
The fifth-grade and eighth-grade science items on a state performance assessment were compared for differential item functioning (DIF) due to gender. The grade 5 sample consisted of 8,539 females and 8,029 males and the grade 8 sample consisted of 7,477 females and 7,891 males. A total of 30 fifth grade items and 26 eighth grade items were examined for DIF using the Multilog software package. There was substantial DIF on certain items: in the grade 5 data, four items exhibited the largest DIF. Females performed better on these items, none of which involved using an algorithm. Interestingly three of the four items with large DIF were in the section on salinity, a topic that perhaps is differentially interesting to males and females. In addition, these four items were embedded in real contexts, and each involved considerable writing. Results also show that there is considerably less DIF in the grade 5 science items than in the grade 8 science items. DIF indices for grade 8 range from 0.02 to 0.56, while for grade 5 they range from 0.02 to 0.33. Adolescence, which affects eighth graders more strongly than fifth graders, may emphasize gender differences because of the development of secondary sex characteristics. Implications of these findings are discussed. (Contains 32 references, two tables, and four figures.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A