ERIC Number: ED396916
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr-2
The Effects of Grouping and Instructional Strategies on Conceptual Understanding and Critical Thinking Skills in the Secondary Biology Classroom.
Duffy, Maryellen; Zeidler, Dana L.
The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe selected instructional strategies (traditional and constructivist) and grouping practices (homogeneous and heterogeneous) on conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills in biology classrooms in three high schools. The context of the study was the teaching and learning of plant nutrition in the secondary biology classroom. Conceptual understanding was assessed through a two-tiered multiple choice test developed by Haslam and Treagust (1987). The test was used as a pretest and a posttest. The plant nutrition portion of The Critical Thinking in Biology Test was used to assess the critical thinking skills of the students. Classroom observational data was compiled using the Science Classroom Rubric (Burry, Sunal, Turner, and Pittman, 1993). Analysis of covariance and paired T-test results indicated that the grouping climate alone had a significant effect on conceptual change. The classes that were grouped heterogeneously scored significantly higher on the conceptual change test than those classes that were grouped homogeneously. No significant effects were found for critical thinking. Contains 63 references. (Author/MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (69th, St. Louis, MO, April 2, 1996).