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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of teaching-learning strategies on achievement in grade nine science Jordan, Elizabeth Anne


Using Information-Processing as a theoretical base this study sought to determine whether or not specific cognitive strategies could be taught and learned. These strategies dealt with memory skills which have been shown to occur naturally in mature learners. However, it has been shown that even some university students lack these basic skills and resort to ineffective memory techniques. This results in failure to recall information and an inability to resolve problem solving tasks. Four tasks were designed: Summarizing a Reading, Self-Testing Vocabulary, Writing Questions and Answers and Diagramming. Seven volunteer Grade 9 Science teachers, with 311 students, were assigned to an experimental and a comparison group. Both groups were asked to follow an outline based on the Provincial Curriculum for Grade 9 Science. One group was assigned predetermined tasks from the text while the experimental group utilized the tasks above. In the analysis, the Recall part and the Problem Solving part of the Posttest constituted measures on the variables of the Dependent Variable Set while the Pretest, Scores in Grade 8 Science and the Arlin Test of Formal Reasoning constituted the measures on the variables for the Independent Variable Set. An initial Canonical Analysis determined the relationship between the two sets of variables. An Analysis of Covariance was performed using Previous Achievement and the Pretest. A Post-Hoc Scheffe Test analyzed contrasts between groups regarding developmental level. The results showed a statistically significant difference, α=0.05, for the comparison group on recall; while the experimental group showed a statistically significant difference on Problem Solving. No interactions-were found between the variables and the grouping. Further analysis indicated that while the results were statistically significant, mean score differences were very small. The observation was made that while results might be statistically significant they may be educationally questionable. Arguments were presented which suggested that the unit taught was incorrectly assumed by teachers, curriculum developers and this researcher to be new material. It was further suggested that this information had become "common knowledge". Although the teachers found the materials useful, the prior knowledge prevented clear answers to the questions asked.

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