ERIC Number: ED418877
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-19
Reference Count: N/A
Do Students Really Notice? A Study of the Impact of a Local Systemic Reform.
Shymansky, James A.; Yore, Larry D.; Dunkhase, John A.; Hand, Brian M.
This paper describes a major reform effort of an elementary science curriculum called the Science: Parents, Activities, and Literature (Science PALs) Project. The goal of the project was to move teachers towards an interactive-constructivist model of teaching and learning that assumes a middle-of-the-road interpretation of constructivism where hands-on activities are used selectively and purposefully to challenge students' ideas, promote deep processing, and achieve conceptual change. The program also enriches the cross-curricular connections of the science units and promotes meaningful parental involvement. A broad question was raised as to whether or not students really notice. This study explored elementary school students' perceptions of and attitudes toward interactive-constructivist science teaching and learning occurring in classrooms of teachers who were or were not participating in the Science PALs project. The sample consisted of 664 females and 651 males in Grades 1 through 6. Students' perceptions and attitudes were generally higher for science teaching and learning in classrooms of teachers with two or more years of Science PALs experience than in the classrooms of teachers with little to no experience with PALs. A survey of parent participants in the project revealed overwhelming support. An appendix contains descriptive statistics and summary analysis of variance tables. (Contains 12 references.)(PVD)
Descriptors: Constructivism (Learning), Elementary Education, Elementary School Science, Instructional Innovation, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Learning Strategies, Misconceptions, Parent Participation, Science Course Improvement Projects, Student Attitudes, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Tables (Data), Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: National Science Education Standards; Systemic Educational Reform
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (71st, San Diego, CA, April 19-22, 1998).