ERIC Number: ED244797
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of Concrete and Formal Science Instruction upon Science Achievement and Reasoning Ability of Sixth Grade Students.
Saunders, Walter L.; Shepardson, Daniel
This study examined the effect of formal and concrete instruction upon science achievement and intellectual development of sixth grade students. Formal instruction, which emphasized oral and written language, included lecture, discussion, oral quizzes, written assignments, reading assignments, films, film strips, written tests, and quizzes. Students receiving formal instruction did not perform any laboratory investigations and did not manipulate science apparatus. Concrete instruction was organized around the three-phase learning cycle approach (exploration, conceptual invention, and discovery) and emphasized hands-on activities. Although the two treatment groups seemed not to differ in science achievement or cognitive development at the onset of the study, after a 9-month period, the concrete instruction group (N=57) scored higher in science achievement, delayed science, and cognitive development than the formal instruction group (N=58). Also, the percentage of students advancing from concrete to "transitional reasoning" was greater in the concrete instruction group than in the formal instruction group. These results are consistent with previous studies and add to the increasing body of evidence which points out the importance of hands-on science instructional activities in promoting intellectual development and science achievement. (JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (57th, New Orleans, LA, April 28, 1984).