A study of the effects of an experimental spiral physics curriculum taught to sixth grade girls and boys.

Publication Year:
2007
Usage 12910
Downloads 12642
Abstract Views 268
Repository URL:
http://hdl.handle.net/2104/5125
Author(s):
Davis, Edith G.
Tags:
Physics -- Study and teaching (Middle school).; Curriculum evaluation --- United States - Case studies.
thesis / dissertation description
The pilot study compared the effectiveness of using an experimental spiral physics curriculum to a traditional linear physics curriculum for sixth through eighth grades. The study also surveyed students' parents and principals about students' academic history and background as well as identified resilient children's attributes for academic success. The pilot study was used to help validate the testing instrument as well as help refine the complete study. The purpose of the complete study was to compare the effectiveness of using an experimental spiral physics curriculum and a traditional linear curriculum with sixth graders only; seventh and eighth graders were dropped in the complete study. The study also surveyed students' parents, teachers, and principals about students' academic history and background as well as identified resilient children's attributes for academic success. Both the experimental spiral physics curriculum and the traditional linear physics curriculum increased physics achievement; however, there was no statistically significant difference in effectiveness of teaching experimental spiral physics curriculum in the aggregated sixth grade group compared to the traditional linear physics curriculum. It is important to note that the majority of the subgroups studied did show statistically significant differences in effectiveness for the experimental spiral physics curriculum compared to the traditional linear physics curriculum. The Grounded Theory analysis of resilient student characteristics resulted in categories for future studies including the empathy factor ("E" factor), the tenacity factor ("T" factor),the relational factor ("R" factor),and the spiritual factor ("S" factor).