|Abstract or Summary
- The purpose of this study was to statistically evaluate one kind
of new elementary science curriculum materials. The materials;
(1) are written at five reading levels to partially meet the reading
ability spread found in the intermediate grades, (2) provide ways to
stimulate class discussion, and (3) provide three levels of sophistication
for student experimentation on both an individual and a class
basis. The significance of each of these parts was evaluated by an
analysis of variance.
The materials were used with 29 fifth grade classes in three
school districts within a radius of 60 miles of Portland. The classes
were divided into six different treatment groups which were distributed among the schools.
The six treatment groups were composed as follows:
Treatment 1. Students read only the middle (C) level of the five
reading levels provided in a full set of the materials. They discussed
the materials and also carried out the experiments provided with the
(C) level materials.
Treatment 2. Students read, according to ability, at three
levels; A (the lowest), C (average) and E (the highest). Students discussed
the materials and worked the experiments provided with these
three reading levels.
Treatment 3. Students read, according to ability, the materials at five reading levels; A, B, C, D, E. They discussed the
materials and worked the experiments provided in the full set of materials.
Treatment 4. Students used the materials as in Treatment 3
except they did not discuss any of the materials with their teacher or
Treatment 5. Students used the materials as in Treatment 3
except they did not work any of the experiments.
Treatment 6. Students did not use any of the materials. Null Hypotheses Tested:
There are no greater differences in achievement on criterion
test items about atmosphere, among classes of fifth grade students
who: (1) study materials written at one, three or five reading levels,
(2) do, or do not interact in classroom discussion, or (3) do, or do
not perform both individual and group science experiments, than
would be expected to result from the vagaries of random sampling
frorn a single, normally distributed, infinite population.
1. There were no significant differences on achievement gain
scores among the first three treatment groups.
2. There were no significant differences on achievement gain
scores among any of the first three treatment groups and treatment
3. There was a significant difference on achievement gain
scores between treatment group five and any of the other treatment
Based on the results of this
1. There are no advantages
investigation it can be stated that:
in achievement for students who respectively read these materials written at their reading ability level.
2. There are no achievement advantages to students who discuss
these materials with other members of their class.
3. There are significant achievement advantages to students
who work the science experiments provided in these materials.
The results indicate to the researcher that science experiments
which involve active participation on the part of the learner provide
significant advantage to him and that they might well be made the central
part of elementary science curriculum materials. Although the
provisions for reading ability levels and class discussion did not show
significant influence on achievement, further investigation needs to be
carried out to evaluate their effectiveness on other objectives; (1)
arousing curiosity in science, (2) stimulating creativeness, and (3)
developing skills of inquiry.