Date of Award
Master of Science
William S. Woolcott
A hands-on assessment tool for testing second-grade students' ability to discriminate physical attributes (size, shape, color, texture, pattern, edge, part-to-whole, and type) of mollusk shells was developed, pretested, and administered to 48 second-grade students at Maybeury Elementary School, Henrico County, Virginia. Treatment group students (n = 24) attended five afterschool, activitybased classes in which close observation of object a~tributes was taught. The classes included the same discriminations as did the assessment test but used different materials. Control and test group students were retested. Neither paired t test nor question-by-question analysis showed a significant improvement in the test group's score. Presence of uncontrolled variables, problems related to learning and generalizing process skills, and children's developmental level may have contributed to the fact that enrichment classes did not enhance test scores. These results suggest that a much greater commitment of time and resources is necessary to achieve measurable gains in students' understanding of science.
Rogers, Lydia, "An evaluation of hands-on instruction as a method to improve observation skills in second grade students" (1993). Master's Theses. 849.