A comparison of structured and unstructured modes of teaching elementary science process activities : the influence of personality and socioeconomic status

Elliott, Harry G. (Harry Gerald) (1973) A comparison of structured and unstructured modes of teaching elementary science process activities : the influence of personality and socioeconomic status. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The study investigated the effects of two learning styles on the acquisition of science processes and on student preference for learning style. The study also investigated possible interactions of certain personality traits (Extraversion, Neuroticism, Dependency) and socioeconomic status with the treatments. -- Two sets of activities taken from the Elementary Science Curriculum Study (ESCS) course were arranged in a structured and an unstructured learning style and used in the study. The essential difference between these two styles involved the degree of teacher control and direction. -- Four grade six classes were selected for the main part of the study. This selection was done on the basis of no previous exposure to a process science course and a suitable range of socioeconomic status scores. All classes experienced both learning styles and were engaged in both sets of activities during the two week period of the experiment. -- Personality and socioeconomic status were assessed by means of standard instruments. Student achievement of science processes and preference for learning style were determined by investigator constructed instruments. -- The achievement scores were analyzed by multiple linear regression, controlling for the effects of I.Q. and pretest scores. The preference scores were treated by chi-square analysis. -- The results indicated a preference for and superior achievement in the structured style. However, caution must be expressed in drawing this conclusion. An interaction of class and treatments for both achievement and preference occurred, with one class producing superior achievement in and preference for the unstructured mode. It is suggested that this interaction involved a number of factors, some of which were not investigated in this study. The results indicated a significant interaction of neuroticism and treatment with respect to achievement. No other significant interactions of the personality variables or socioeconomic status with the learning styles occurred. It is suggested that the structured style favoring the more neurotic students may be the result of a greater need for teacher control by the students.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7316
Item ID: 7316
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 71-73.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1973
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Science--Study and teaching (Elementary); Personality; Students--Social conditions; Students--Economic conditions

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