Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Science for the societally liabiled : the effect of a preliminary language-technique course upon academic success Public Deposited

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  • The study was undertaken to determine if a university-level preliminary class concentrating upon the formalism and techniques germane to success in science would serve to improve minority academic performance, minority here being defined to include certain Asian Americans, Black Americans, Native Americans, Spanish surnamed Americans, and those white Americans who do not qualify for inclusion in the society of the white majority. Three hypotheses were investigated; namely: Ho ₁ There is no significant difference in academic performance in a typical university biology class between those societally liabiled freshmen who are exposed to preclass treatment and those who are not. Ho ₂ There is no significant difference between the academic performances exhibited in a typical university biology class by societally liabiled freshmen and societally liabiled sophomores who have had identical preclass treatment. Ho ₃ No significant difference in academic performance in a typical university biology class will be noted between societally liabiled sophomores who have been exposed to preclass treatment and societally liabiled freshmen who have not. Though some mortality later developed, a random selection of 64 students--24 freshman experimental, 24 freshman control, 16 sophomore experimental--had administered to them the pretest, Science Form 2A of Sequential Tests of Educational Progress-II. The converted scores were used as a measure of student background preparation in the sciences and as the covariant for a quantitative analysis. Treatment for the experimental groups was provided through Selected Topics-Science Education 199X. Utilizing a composite curriculum involving concepts and techniques from Science Curriculum Irrprovement Study, Elementary Science Study, Experiences in Science, and the more traditional secondary and post-secondary curricula, the class focused upon seven major areas: Science as a Way of Knowing; Assumptions upon which Science is Based; Unification of the Sciences; Formalization of the Sciences; The Role of Science in a Technocracy; The Role of Science in One's Private Life; The Psychology of Science. Treatment was effected for one entire school term during which the class met three times a week for 11 weeks. Major emphasis in the course was upon the development and intensification of skills necessary to successful verbalization, laboratory testing, and hypothesis formation in science. Conducted in an informal manner, the class utilized exploration and discovery as incentives for invention, the more cognitive element in the curricular model. Following the term of experimental group treatment, all sample subjects were enrolled in General Science-Biology 102 which served as the second source of data for the empirical analysis. The curricular model for the class included traditional lecture sessions, informal recitation- problem sessions, laboratories, and staggered television presentations. Because of the routine randomization of students into general science classes, the sample populations were exposed to several different lecture instructors, class sections, and laboratories which afforded contact, in many cases, with instructors other than those who handled the lecture sessions. Academic evaluation of the students was based on points obtained from recitations, examinations, and laboratories. These points were used in the study as data for analysis. For a comparative investigation of the effect of the preliminary class, covariance analysis with the F test as a statistic was employed. The functional relationship involving adjustment means and variances in conjunction with the t test as a statistic was the model for a test of significant differences among groups. Findings 1. Students who are exposed to a preliminary science languagetechnique class exhibit academic performances in a subsequent typical university-level science class which are superior to those of students who have not been so exposed. Significant differences were obtained with each of the four test parameters: recitations, laboratories, examinations, and the total scores. 2. Freshmen and sophomores who have had identical preclass treatment do not differ significantly in academic performance in a subsequent typical university-level science class though some slight difference was observable in the area of examinations.
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