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Topic: Help with a school project, a statistical survey on education
Replies: 15   Last Post: Jul 13, 2013 4:14 PM

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Posts: 17
Registered: 4/25/06
Re: Help with a school project, a statistical survey on education
Posted: Jul 22, 2007 2:11 PM
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On Jul 22, 11:04 pm, loom91 <> wrote:
> On Jul 20, 7:55 pm, loom91 <> wrote:

> > Hi,
> > The students of statistics in my high-school have to do a project. The
> > topic we have chosen is Educational Performance in Kolkata Schools and
> > Its Relation to Gender and Gender Interactions. I outline our goals
> > below:

> > 1)Collect data about Madhyamik results (a centralised exam organised
> > by the state education board to pass the 10th grade). We will sample
> > marks from all-boys schools, all-girls schools and co-educational
> > schools. We have selected the schools to be of similar average
> > educational performance. The average socio-economic condition of the
> > students is also approximately the same, hopefully eliminating that
> > variable.

> > 2)We will examine various parameters of the marks, with emphasis on
> > the difference between the boys schools and the girls schools. These
> > include central tendencies, standard deviations, skewness etc. We will
> > also examine the myth that girls are relatively stronger at humanities
> > subjects while boys are stronger at science subjects. We may also
> > examine if the population is heterogeneous (that is, whether 'good
> > students' and 'bad students' form two distinctly distributed
> > populations).

> > 3)We will then analyse the data obtained from the co-educational
> > schools and try to determine if the co-educational environment lessens
> > the difference between boys and girls.

> > Now, we are all grossly inexperienced and this is the first time we
> > will attempt a statistical study instead of working in out classrooms
> > with provided data. I'm eagerly seeking suggestions from experienced
> > persons about possible pitfalls and how to make our results
> > statistically meaningful.

> > I'm also looking for specific help on the following topics:
> > i)What is a suitable measure of whether girls are stronger at some
> > subjects while boys at other subjects? I'm thinking of comparing the
> > percentage of total marks obtained in one subject, standardised
> > against the whole population. For example, consider the variable X =
> > percentage of total marks earned in History+Geography. Next, we define
> > the standardised (wrt the entire population) variate corresponding to
> > X, let it be Z. Now we compute the mean of Z over the girls schools
> > ([itex]E_1(Z)[/itex]) and the mean over the boys schools ([itex]E_2(Z)
> > [/itex]).

> > If the first value is larger than the second value (it seems one will
> > have to be positive and the other negative), then we may say that
> > girls prefer humanities more over other subjects than boys. Next we
> > can do the same analysis on the boys vs girls population in coed
> > schools and see if the difference is less. By using the absolute marks
> > instead of expressing it as percentage of total marks, we can also
> > compare the relative performance (as opposed to preference) of boys
> > and girls in humanities. The same can be done for languages and
> > sciences. Is this a statistically sound measure (unlikely, since I
> > just made it up)? What are the alternatives?

> > ii) What is a good way of identifying whether the population in a
> > school indeed consists of discreet stratas? This could be good
> > students/bad students (there is indication from previous results that
> > this may be the case) or in coed schools boys/girls (very likely the
> > case). In case of coed schools, there may even be four stratas: good
> > boys, good girls, bad boys, bad girls. It will be interesting to study
> > whether bad boys vs girls show more difference than good boys vs
> > girls. All this sounds very pretty, but I don't know how to separate
> > the population into stratas.

> > iii)Is there some easily available (preferably free) software that
> > will let me do all this analysis (brownie points for fitting
> > probability distributions and graphing)? It would be a nightmare to do
> > this by hand since we usually work with less than 50 data points
> > instead of several hundred.

> > iv)As it stand right now, we will sample two boys schools, two girls
> > schools and one coed school. Is this enough to be statistically
> > significant? How many data points should we sample from each school?
> > Should this be a constant or proportional to the total number of
> > students?

> > v)Finally, is the whole proposition so glaringly ridiculous that all
> > serious statisticians will simply laugh at it? I hope not :redface:

> > I hope you will help out. We have in all probability bitten off more
> > than we can chew. But we are hoping to do some meaningful work
> > publishable in a journal, so we need all the help we can get. I will
> > also be very grateful if you give me the email of someone who may be
> > able and willing to help. We will be marked for this in our school-
> > finishing (and career determining) central exams, so this is very
> > important to our whole class. Thanks a lot.

> > Molu
> No one to help? :-(- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

Sorry, I posted this by mistake.

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