ERIC Number: ED138456
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Aug-31
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of Instructional Approaches to Teaching the International System of Weights and Measures to Elementary School Children with Varying Mental Ability. Final Report.
Downs, W. A.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of two instructional approaches upon the attitude, achievement, and retention of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders studying a 3-week unit on the metric system. A laboratory approach, in which students measured three-dimensional objects with tools scaled in metric units, was compared to a simulation approach, in which students identified measurements of two-dimensional objects from pictures containing metric tools superimposed near the picture of the object to be measured. In both of these approaches, students first saw a slide/tape presentation prepared by the investigator. Then, self-instructional packages (following either the laboratory or the simulation approach) were given to students. A total of twelve intact classes from three elementary schools participated in the study. Schools were assigned at random to one of the two teaching approaches. Three investigator-constructed instruments were used: a student attitude questionnaire, a test of student knowledge, and a test of student ability to measure accurately using SI units (both laboratory and simulated items were on the test). The achievement test was used as an immediate posttest and again three weeks later as a retention test. When the data were analyzed, findings showed a significant difference in attitude of sixth graders, favoring the laboratory approach. On both the achievement posttest and retention test, no differences were found between scores of students in the laboratory group compared to those in the simulated activities group, at any grade level. Students in both groups scored significantly higher on the simulated items of the achievement and retention tests than on the laboratory items on the test. (DT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Missouri State Dept. of Education, Jefferson City. Research Coordinating Unit.
Note: Contains occasional light type