Lydia Rogers

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

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.

Included in

Biology Commons