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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Grade placement of an experimental unit in secondary school physics Boldt, Walter Bernard


This study was designed to determine the relative effectiveness of teaching a unit on wave-motion and sound at the grade nine and ten levels, using two different methods of instruction. One hundred twenty students enrolled in the grade nine and ten General Science courses at the Balmoral Junior Secondary School in School District No. 44 (North Vancouver), took part in the investigation. The students were grouped into three levels of scholastic aptitude within each grade, and also, into two methods sections. Two questions were investigated in this study. First, do significant differences exist between the mean scores on the final test of the various grade and methods groups? Secondly, for which of these groups is the unit suitable? In order to answer the first question, the final scores were studied by an analysis of covariance with scholastic aptitude, knowledge of General Science, and prior knowledge of the material in the unit being the variables controlled. The second question was investigated by first adjusting the final scores of all the subjects for differences between them on the three factors assumed to influence their performance in this study. The performance of each group was then compared with the criterion that 75 per cent of the students in a group should make a mark of 50 per cent or better on the final test in order for the unit to be judged suitable for that group. All the differences between the means of the two grade groups, and the three levels of scholastic aptitude within these two grades, were found to be non-significant at the one per cent level of significance. On the other hand, the differences between the means of the methods groups, demonstration-experiment and student-experiment, were found to be significant at the one per cent level. Of the two methods groups, the highest adjusted mean score was obtained by the demonstration-experiment group. All the groups satisfied the requirement of suitability that 75 per cent should obtain a mark of 50 per cent or better on the final test.

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