Target

Assimilation of information in science class

Participants

202 seventh grade students, 30 of whom had learning disabilities

Technique

The text used in the class was Experiences in Physical Science. Two different tests were administered before and after the students were instructed on each chapter. The first test consisted of multiple choice, matching, and an extra credit section. The second test consisted of writing on three main topics of the chapter including as many facts about the topics as possible within two minutes. The students were told to ask for help if they could not read a particular part of the test. The students in the resource room were given instruction on general study habits which they could use for their other subjects, but were given specific instruction on the adaptive science material they received. In the regular classroom, the teachers divided their time between several tasks. They spent time doing framed outlines, vocabulary exercises, lab work, lecturing, giving written assignments, showing films, filmstrips, and collecting and distributing papers. In the framed outlines the students were given paragraphs that had key words missing . This allowed the teachers to go over and help the sudents to identify the chapters main ideas.

Evaluation

Students' scores from the tests given over material from three chapters taught in a traditional manner were compared with their scores from three other chapters which used the adaptive method.

Source

Lovitt, T., Rudsit, J., Jenkins, J., Pious, C., & Benedetti, D. (1986). Adapting science materials for regular and learning disabled seventh graders. Journal of Remedial and Special Education, 7, 31-39.

Developer

Michael Wilson, ETSU


Target

To increase science content knowledge

Participants

Junior high students with learning disabilities

Technique

Students were assigned to 2 different teaching conditions, activity-based condition and text-book condition, to learn science material. The Activity-Based Condition included 5 to 10 minutes of whole-class daily review, 35 to 40 minutes performing activities in small groups of 3 to 5, and 5-10 minutes concluding the lesson with a whole-class summary session, in which the activity(s) undertaken during that class period were summarized and discussed. This time also was used to review any vocabulary covered in the lesson for that day or from other activities performed that week. The Textbook Condition included 5-10 minutes of daily review, 30-35 minutes of teacher presentation and textbook reading, and 10-15 minutes of guided and independent practice activities, which consisted of worksheets on the previously read selections and a brief summary of the day's lesson. Information was presented by using printed text materials, with supplemental information presented by the instructor using an overhead projector in the front of the room.

Evaluation

Students preferred the activity-based instructional condition. They concluded it prompted them to try harder, learn more, and preferred to do the activity-based activity again. The results suggest that activity-based, when appropriately structured, may facilitate the acquisition of content knowledge of students with LD.

Source

Scruggs, T., & Mastropieri, M. (1993). Reading versus doing: The relative effects of textbook-based and inquiry-oriented approaches to students with learning disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 27, 1-15.

Developer

Julie Bridwell, ETSU


Target

improving science achievement

Participant

210 eighth grade students from six randomly selected Nigerian schools (105 experimental, 105 control)

Technique

This study was designed as a two-group, pretest, treatment, posttest format. The experimental group was taught by a laboratory-based method with experimentation, manipulation, and collection of data being used. The students in the experimental classes interacted with materials--setting up apparatus, experimenting, observing, recording what was observed, etc. At the same time, the control group was taught by the chalk-and-talk or lecture method and never interacted with scientific apparatus. The researchers taught the experimental group while the classroom teachers taught the control group. Teaching units used were Your Body at Work, Health and Diseases, and The Earth and its Resources of the first edition of the Nigerian Integrated Science Project. The units were chosen because they appear near the end of the curriculum and the study was done near the beginning of the session.

Evaluation

Students from both groups were given a posttest, the Achievement Test for Integrated Science Students after ten weeks of treatment. The 60-item achievement test instrument was constructed to measure the following objectives of the cognitive domain: a) recall of information-5 items, b) comprehension-16 items, c) application-22 items, d) analysis-8 items, e) synthesis-9 items. The laboratory method was more effective for average and low-ability students. Students with high ability had identical achievement with both methods, but students with low ability performed better in the laboratory method of teaching than their counterparts in the lecture method of teaching.

Source

Odubunmi, O. & Balogun, T.A., (1991). The effect of laboratory and lecture teaching methods on cognitive achievement in integrated science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,28, (3), 213-223.

Developer

Jama Rodefer, ETSU


Target

improving achievement in science and reducing anxiety

Participant

51 biology students: 30 boys and 21 girls in the tenth grade

Technique

There was six weeks of teaching selected concepts from units on Nutrition in Green Plants with sub-concepts anabolism, autotrophs, photosynthesis, heterotrophs, mineral nutrients, and micro/macro nutrients and Respiration in Cells with the subconcepts being cellular, aerobic, and anaerobie respiration and energy release. The experimental group was given a familiarization program of three weeks where lecture-discussions on mapping and practice sessions on how concept maps are made. They were required to master the major concepts of a lesson and to list the key subordinate concepts, words, and phrases that were used during class discussions about the central concept. They were expected to arrange the concepts in a hierarchical manner beginning with most inclusive to least inclusive, most concrete to more specific. The control group familiarization period was lecture/expository approach to teaching minus any cognitive strategy or concept mapping.

Evaluation

Both the groups were then given pretests and posttests: Affect Adjective Checklist (anxiety) and Biology Achievement test. The results seem to suggest that the concept mapping strategy improved learning in biology more effectively than traditional teaching and reduced students' anxiety towards learning biology. There was a tendency for concept mapping to greatly reduce anxiety towards biology achievement in males more than in females. Females were more anxious than males in the pretest as well as the posttest. Concept mapping seems to be a good way to reduce the gap between the genders in learning science.

Source

Jegede, O.J., Alaiyemola, F.F., & Okebukola, P.A., (1990). The effect of concept mapping on students' anxiety and achievement in biology. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,27, (10), 951-958.

Developer

Jama Rodefer, ETSU


Target

improving science achievement

Participants

43 eighth grade General Science students from 2 classes of a secondary school in Turkey (20 experimental, 23 control group)

Technique

Both groups were treated for about five weeks. The Science Subjects Achievement Test was given as pre- and posttest for the students. The Logical Thinking Ability Test was given as a pretest for all students to determine the intellectual abilities of all students before the treatment The classroom instruction for both groups was done by the same classroom teacher. The instruction for both groups had four 40- minute periods per week. The same topics were taught using lecture and discussion methods with the use of textbooks, audio, slides, etc. The topics were related to the topics of density and height, the Pascal principle, hydraulic balance and buoyancy (pressure of liquids) and pressure, volume and temperature, and relationships between them (gases). The experimental and control groups had supplementary instruction: the experimental group through investigative-oriented activities and the control group through worksheet study.

The experimental group was able to participate in five laboratory activities of 120 minutes each. A laboratory sheet was provided for each experiment. The students had to propose their own hypotheses and present a procedure for solving a given problem. They had to design and carry out experiments on their own with materials and equipment provided and instructor help as needed. They gathered data, recorded observations, interpreted related data, drew conclusions, and made generalizations.

The control group was taught after the classroom sessions for a total of nine hours using the worksheet method. The worksheets were used as practice activities requiring written responses which reinforced the concepts and skills presented in the classroom sessions. The teacher circulated and provided help if needed. Also, the instructor went over complex questions with the entire class in discussion so that each student had an opportunity to learn the correct answer after completing the worksheet.

Evaluation

The Science Subjects Achievement Test was given as pre- and posttest for the students. The Logical Thinking Ability Test was given as a pretest for all students to determine the intellectual abilities of all students before the treatment It was concluded by the comparison of the pre-test and posttest that the subjects had identical performance related to logical thinking ability at the beginning of treatment. The students taught by the investigative-oriented laboratory activities earned higher science achievement scores than those taught by the worksheet method. It seems that the investigative-oriented laboratory (hands-on) method is more suited for teaching science than the abstract (worksheet) method.

Source

Ertepinar, H. & Geban, O., (1996). Effect of instruction supplied with the investigative-oriented laboratory approach on achievement in a science course. Educational Research,38, (3), 333-340.

Developer

Jama Rodefer, ETSU


Target

science achievement and peer acceptance

Participants

34 high-ability fourth grade students

Technique

The 34 students were divided into cooperative or individualistic learning conditions. A cooperative learning condition involves students working together as a group, ensuring everyone words hard, masters the material, and each member supplements ideas and suggestions. Listening to one another, sharing ideas/materials, and praising and assisting each other as needed. The teacher praises and rewards the cooperative group as a whole. Individualistic learning is characterized as working independently towards an individualized goal. Often teachers ask students to work quietly, not to disturb others, and to ask for teacher assistance versus a peers'. The teacher praises and rewards each student individually. The students studied the unit titled "The Interdependence of Living Things". Two teachers taught the unit, were given scripts to follow, and spent half the time teaching in each learning environment.

Evaluation

The researchers measured student achievement and attitude. A typical recall question test was administered following the unit of study and four attitude scales using student response forms. Researchers compared the recall test results with each learning condition. The results of achievement show high-ability students in cooperative environments perform better than those similar working in individualistic environments and the use of higher level reasoning can be accomplished in a cooperative learning situation. Researchers calculated the student response forms using a 5-point type scale. The results show self-esteem and academic attitude appearing higher for those learning cooperatively. The results of this study show cooperative grouping is beneficial for high-achieving students.

Source

Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Taylor, B. (1993). Impact of cooperative and individualistic learning on high-ability students' achievement, self-esteem, and social acceptance. The Journal of Social Psychology, 133, 839-44.

Developer

Jill C. Manske, ETSU


Target

science achievement and attitude

Participants

47 ninth grade physical science students

Technique

Three units covering heat, sound/light, and nuclear energy were taught in a six week period by three male teachers. The teachers used a team-teaching method. This approach entitles one teacher to teach the same unit to all classes of students. For example, the first teacher taught all of the heat units, the second teacher taught the sound/light units, and the third teacher taught the nuclear energy units to all classes. The following teaching techniques were used: cooperative education, competitive education, and individualistic education. Cooperative education entitles students to make group decisions, complete assignments together, and make sure all group members contribute. All rewards are given as a whole to all team members. The second, competitive education, consists of students working towards an individual goal. A daily chart visually presented each students progress while a teacher encouraged individual effort and praised those who "won". The final technique asked students to avoid interaction with others and work on their own. The students' performance was compared to a preset criterion and praise was given in comparison to it.

Evaluation

Two tests were administrated to all students as well as student attendance documented. The researchers compared test scores with each learning environment (cooperative, comparative, individualistic).The results show students in the cooperative environment to have higher scores than competitive or individualistic conditions over all post-test scores. Two student questionnaires measured the students attitudes towards each teacher and/or teaching technique that was demonstrated. The results were similar. Students learning in cooperative environments learned more positively and were more interested in learning cooperatively. Finally, researchers compared attendance with learning environments. There were 23 absences in the cooperative condition, 34 in competitive, and 33 in the individualistic condition a large difference that needs to be mentioned. The results of this study show students prefer to learn science cooperatively.

Source

Humphreys, B., Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1982). Effects of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning on students' achievement in science class. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 19, 351-356.

Developer

Jill C. Manske, ETSU