ERIC Number: EJ721302
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Reference Count: 34
The Effectiveness of the Learning-Cycle Method on Teaching DC Circuits to Prospective Female and Male Science Teachers
Research in Science & Technological Education, v23 n2 p213-227 Nov 2005
This study was undertaken to explore the effectiveness of the learning-cycle method when teaching direct current (DC) circuits to university students. Four Physics II classes participated in the study, which lasted approximately two and a half weeks in the middle of the spring semester of 2003. Participants were 120 freshmen (55 females and 65 males) from four intact classes. The intact classes were randomly assigned into one of the two treatment groups. The experimental group (n[sub 1] = 61, female =30, male = 31) completed a DC circuit unit with the learning-cycle method, while the control group (n[sub 2] = 59, female = 24, male = 35) completed a DC circuit unit with the traditional method. A pretest called Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric Circuits Concepts Test (DIRECT) was administered to measure students' pre-understanding of DC circuit concepts. Then students in both groups completed instruction designed for the groups. All students received the DIRECT again as a post-test. Finally, experimental group students completed a questionnaire about their perceptions of learning-cycle method. ANOVA techniques were used to determine if pre-DIRECT mean scores differed among the groups. The results revealed that the main effect due to treatment did not reach statistical significance, but there was significant difference between female and male students' pre-DIRECT mean scores, favoring males. The main effects of treatment and gender on post-DIRECT mean scores were examined by using ANCOVA techniques with pre-DIRECT scores used as a covariate. This analysis yielded a significant treatment effect and the effect of gender was eliminated. The learning-cycle method led to the better understanding of the DC circuit concepts than did traditional method. This finding supports the view that pre-knowledge mediate gender differences in learning about the DC circuits. The finding of this study suggests that the learning-cycle method is likely to be effective for both females and males. The findings of the present and previous studies are compared, and the possible effects of the present study's findings on teaching and learning are discussed.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, College Students, Higher Education, Physics, Learning Processes, Teaching Methods, Science Education, Gender Differences, Electronics, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Turkey