Improving learning environment and student outcomes in biology in North Carolina
MetadataShow full item record
This study involved using a classroom environment questionnaire in North Carolina to assess and improve biology classroom environments and to relate classroom environment to the student outcomes of achievement and attitudes. Part 1 of the study involved 364 Grade 9 and 10 students in Biology 1 at a large comprehensive urban high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. These students completed preferred and actual forms of a modified version of the What Is Happening In this Class? learning environment questionnaire assessing student cohesiveness, teacher support, involvement, investigation, task orientation, cooperation, and equity. Also an eight-item scale from the Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA) was included to measure students' attitudes towards science. Finally, student achievement in biology was assessed using the results of a districtwide achievement test. Analyses of data collected in Part 1 of the study supported the WIHIC's a priori factor structure, internal consistency reliability, discriminant validity and ability to differentiate between the perceptions of students in different classrooms. Investigation of gender and ethnic (black vs non-black) differences in classroom environment revealed no ethnic differences, but there were gender differences for several scales (with boys perceiving more involvement and investigation and less cooperation than girls).Various analyses of outcome-environment relationships suggested that student achievement is higher in more cohesive classes, whereas student attitudes to science are particularly favourable in investigative, task-oriented and equitable classes. Part 2 involved one class in intervention aimed at improving both classroom environment and student achievement by giving greater emphasis to those features of the learning environment found to be empirically linked to achievement in Part 1. The students involved in the intervention were chosen because they were `at risk' of failing at school. It was found that this intervention involving a cooperative action research plan led to improvement in both classroom environment and achievement for these `at risk' students. Because the methods used in the intervention are lowcost and available to most teachers, they are of wide potential interest to others.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Evaluation of anthropometry activities for high school science: student outcomes and classroom environmentLightburn, Millard E. (2002)The study involved the evaluation of anthropometric activities for high school science. The activities actively engaged students in the process of gathering, processing and analyzing data derived from human body measurements, ...
Investigating the effectiveness of mathematics games on students' attitudes and learning environmentAfari, Ernest (2012)The primary focus of the present study was an evaluation of the effectiveness of games when used in college-level mathematics classes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A mixed-method approach involved surveys, interviews, ...
An evaluation of elementary school science kits in terms of classroom environment and student attitudesScott, Linda F (2006)The purpose of this evaluation study was to compare students' perceptions of their science classroom environment when using science kits, textbooks or a combination of science kits, textbooks and teacher-created materials. ...