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ERIC Number: ED535532
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 211
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-9701-4
Expanding Geographic Understanding in Grade 8 Social Studies Classes through Integration of Geography, Music, and History: A Quasi-Experimental Study
Richardson, Ronald Craig
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine and University of California, Los Angeles
This study took place in a high-achieving, suburban middle school and compared learning as a result of nine Grade 8 social studies workshops. Three classes (N=84) were the control group and four classes (N=131) were the treatment. As much as possible, classes were balanced in terms of gender, ethnicity, and proficiency in English. The key question is whether treatment workshops that include music, hands-on geography activities, and cultural studies could result in greater understanding of physical and cultural geography and more positive geography-related attitudes for students in the workshops, as compared to the control group who studied the standard curricula. Quantitative analyses compared baseline and follow-up results on a multiple-choice geography exam and an attitude survey. Four research questions asked if control or treatment workshops led to greater: (1) geographic understanding, measured by the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) Intermediate Standards-Based Geography Test; (2) improvement in geography-related attitudes, measured by the Test of Geography-Related Attitudes (ToGRA); (3) success on the NCGE or the ToGRA, when controlling for sub-groups (English learners, gender, low-achieving, ethnicity); and (4) understanding of connections between geography, history, and culture, as measured by qualitative observations, quick-writes, and focus group interviews. Analysis of Questions 1, 2, and 3 suggested statistically significant results. Question 1 analysis was performed on NCGE exam results, including tests for assumption of equal variance, parametric t-tests and the Wilcoxon non-parametric tests. Question 2 analyzed ToGRA results and suggested that treatment workshops resulted in greater improvement in geography-related attitudes. Group comparisons of change scores indicated statistically significant mean differences between control and treatment groups. Question 3 focused on regression results and suggested that the treatment intervention was more successful. For the NCGE follow-up, the effect size was large (0.854) and for the ToGRA, effect sizes were medium. For Question 4, qualitative measures included classroom observations, comparisons of quick-writes by students with similar characteristics, and focus group interviews. Qualitative data supported the quantitative results. An unanticipated outcome was greater writing fluency for treatment group students. This study also considered the possible impact of interest, motivation and affect on student learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A