University of Tasmania
whole_FisherDarrellL1979_thesis.pdf (5.34 MB)

The impact of the inclusion of ASEP materials on some cognitive outcomes in Tasmanian schools.

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posted on 2023-05-26, 23:31 authored by Fisher, Darrell L
The Australian Science Education Project (ASEP) was the first national curriculum project to exist in Australia, and was sponsored jointly by the Commonwealth government and the six State governments. The initial funding was $1.2 million for a period of 44 years, and the charter of the project was to develop instructional materials in science for grades 7 to 10 in secondary schools throughout Australia. At the beginning of 1974 the materials developed by the project were available for inclusion in the science curriculum of Tasmanian schools. This study examines the influence of the inclusion of ASEP materials on some cognitive outcomes, for the science curriculum of grade 7 classes in Tasmanian schools. The cognitive outcomes chosen are considered to be important by experts in science education. Three outcomes selected were contained in the Test of Understanding Science (TOUS) and are named 'philosophical', 'historic-social', and 'normality of scientists'. In addition four outcomes were selected from the Test of Enquiry Skills (TOES) and are named 'library usage', 'scales', 'charts and tables' and 'comprehension of science reading'. Other student variables chosen for investigation were the students' sex, their socio-economic status and the type of school they attended. All secondary schools in Tasmania were invited to participate and the response rate was 57%. The final sample contained 2373 students. Following a pre and post-test of both TOUS and TOES, the data was interpreted by means of a multiple regression model which used a full regression analysis for each of the seven scales. By this method, the amount of variance in each of the seven post-tests, due to each of the main effect variables (curriculum, sex, socio-economic status and school type) was estimated over and above that due to the pretest and the other main effect variables. In addition, two way interactions between the independent variables and their relations to the learning outcomes were investigated. The test data were analyzed using the computer program Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), sub-program Anova which provides a choice of multiple regression methods. The .01 level of significance was chosen. The precise reason for the selection of this level of significance is provided in the thesis. Only one significant effect for curriculum emerged. This was on the 'comprehension of science reading' scale where the non-ASEP group performed better than the ASEP group. There was a significant difference in the performance of the sexes in that girls scored significantly better than boys on six of the seven scales. For socio-economic status the only significant difference to emerge was on the 'library usage' scale where the higher socioeconomic group performed better than the middle and low socio-economic groups. There was a significant difference in the performance of the different school types on all seven scales.with students from district schools scoring significantly below students from independent or high schools. Significant two way interactions were observed between curriculum and school type on the 'charts and tables' and 'comprehension of science reading' scale. In particular the students of district schools performed better when ASEP materials were included in the curriculum. Another significant two way interaction between sex and school type emerged on the 'philosophical' scale. In particular on this scale the performance of girls was comparable, irrespective of whether they attended high school or independent school. However the boys from independent schools were superior to the boys from high schools.


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Copyright 1979 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis - (M.Ed.) - University of Tasmania, 1979

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