M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)
Department of Educational Administration and Services
Science--Examinations; Science--Study and teaching (Secondary)
Comparison was made of achievement test scores before and after the introduction of a new inquiry/laboratory science teaching curriculum in a suburban Midwestern middle school. The same test, given by the writer as an independent tester, was given to students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at the beginning and end of the school years, the year before the new curriculum was introduced, and again in like manner the following year. Random samples of each set of scores were analyzed for statistical significance of differences. There was a significant increase in achievement in the sixth and eighth grades during the year previous to the new curriculum (P= <.05) and nearly so in the seventh grade of that year, but virtually no increase in the before and after scores during the year of the new curriculum. The expected progression from grade to higher grade was evident only in the year before the new curriculum. Thus, the hypothesis that students would show a higher score on science achievement tests designed to measure acquisition of science principles and concepts as well as science facts when taught by the new laboratory and inquiry method rather than by the traditional textbook-teacher-demonstration method was rejected as a result of the findings in this study. The results confirm the findings of numerous other studies of similar design, and have been interpreted to mean that either the new curriculum did not produce much learning as determined by the achievement test or that the test did not measure what was being learned.
Hiebert, Laura Franz, "Differences in middle school science achievement test scores before and after laboratory/inquiry method of instruction" (1972). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 2231.
Northern Illinois University
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