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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



loom91
Posts:
17
Registered:
4/25/06


Re: Help with a school project, a statistical survey on education
Posted:
Jul 26, 2007 7:32 AM


On Jul 20, 7:55 pm, loom91 <loo...@gmail.com> wrote: > Hi, > > The students of statistics in my highschool 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 allboys schools, allgirls schools and coeducational > schools. We have selected the schools to be of similar average > educational performance. The average socioeconomic 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 coeducational > schools and try to determine if the coeducational 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
Anyone else have any suggestions? Thanks.
Molu



