Change in critical thinking between students in laboratory-centered and lecture-demonstration-centered patterns of instruction in high school biology Public Deposited

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  • This investigation was designed to analyze change in critical . thinking between students in laboratory-centered and lecture-demonstration-centered patterns of instruction in high school biology. Twenty biology classes were randomly selected from the four senior high schools in the Salt Lake City School District. Class enrollment ranged from nine students in one class to thirty-six in another. Of the twenty classes selected, ten were randomly selected and taught by the lecture-demonstration-centered patterns of instruction; the remaining ten classes were taught by laboratory-centered patterns of instruction. Sixteen teachers taught the twenty classes. The students participated in a pre-testing program during the first two weeks of December 1964. The testing program provided statistical basis for general scholastic ability with a pre-test knowledge of the understanding of science; critical thinking; and attitudes of open and closed mindedness. Final testing was conducted during the first two weeks of May 1965, to determine the students' gains in these areas during the school year. Each group of ten classes used the same course of study. The course materials consisted of two Laboratory Blocks developed by the BSCS. Plant Growth and Development and Animal Growth and Development were the blocks used. The course materials were the same, the teaching methods were different. Data used in this study were obtained from five tests. They were: Otis Quick Scoring Mental Ability Test, Gamma: Form Am, Watson- Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Form Ym, Cornell Critical Thinking Test, Form X, Dogmatism Scale, Form E, Test on Understanding Science, Form W. The following conclusions were drawn from the data analyzed in this investigation. 1. The change in critical thinking and understanding of science of students in the laboratory-centered patterns of instruction was significant for all levels of intelligence at the 0.5 percent level. There was no significant change in critical thinking and understanding science of students in the lecture-demonstration-centered patterns of instruction. 2. Evidence was obtained indicating a moderate correlation, but substantial relationship between change in critical thinking and change in understanding science. 3. Evidence was obtained to indicate that there was no relationship between a student's mental ability and change in critical thinking. Students with high mental ability made higher scores on critical thinking tests than those with lower mental ability, but the amount of increase in test scores at the higher mental ability level was approximately equal to the amount of increase in test scores at all lower mental ability levels. Mental ability was not directly related to change in critical thinking. 4. Evidence was obtained to indicate that there was no relationship between a student's mental ability and change in understanding science. 5. Change in dogmatism of students in the laboratory-centered patterns of instruction was significant for all levels of intelligence at the 0.5 percent level. Students with high mental ability showed very little change in dogmatism. They scored low on the Dogmatism Scale when tested, thus they remained open-minded. The higher the mental ability of the student, the less dogmatic he was. Conversely, the lower the mental ability of the student the more dogmatic he was. The amount of change in dogmatism at each level of mental ability was approximately equal. The evidence to support the above statement pertains only to the laboratory-centered classes. There was no significant change of students in the lecture-demonstration classes.
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