ERIC Number: ED400231
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jun
An Investigation into the Effectiveness of Science Reform Strategies in Teaching Earth Science at the University Level.
Rieck, William A.; And Others
This study investigates the effectiveness of traditional and reform approaches in teaching earth science to future elementary school teachers. The research team was interested in whether reform strategies produce more content knowledge and a more positive change in attitude toward earth science among elementary education students when compared to students receiving traditional instruction. Study participants were 49 students at the University of Southwestern Louisiana enrolled in an introductory earth science course for elementary school teachers, half in a traditional section and half in an experimental section taught using reform strategies, including small class size, integrated lecture and laboratory activities, and increased emphasis on group work and problem solving skills. Findings indicated that while there was not a statistically significant difference in actual content learning, students in the experimental section did tend to score slightly higher on the content test. Also, students in the experimental section showed a significant positive change in attitude. Data from student interviews indicated that additional project work outside of class would strengthen the overall course. If it is not possible to use the reform approach exclusively due to financial or other constraints, it is recommended that every effort be made to incorporate as many reform strategies as possible within the traditional organizational pattern. The survey instrument and the earth science content test are appended. (Contains 20 references.) (ND)
Descriptors: College Science, Earth Science, Educational Change, Elementary Education, Elementary School Science, Elementary School Teachers, Higher Education, Instructional Innovation, Knowledge Level, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Preservice Teacher Education, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Funded jointly by the Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund and the National Science Foundation.