Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Kim S. MacGregor

Abstract

As a result of science reform efforts in the United States numerous shortcomings of the predominant curricula have been identified. The following study evaluates a modular, environmental science curriculum entitled Wild Louisiana, which attempts to address these shortcomings. Wild Louisiana is Science-Technology-Society (STS) oriented and infuses regionally based instructional videos and simulation-gaming activities into the secondary science curriculum. The videos and activities depict the confluence of regional biological, technical, and social phenomena to illustrate universal environmental concepts. The multimedia, modular approach is intended to address the varied learning styles of different students. Following random selection, teachers were randomly assigned to one of four conditions of study. Group A teachers lectured from their assigned textbooks, supplemented with the regionally based background information that was provided; Group B teachers used the background information and the simulation-gaming activities for infusion into their classes; Group C teachers used the background information together with the instructional videos; and Group D teachers used the background information, infusing both the activities and videos into their classes. Over 600 secondary science students, representing 11 parishes in Louisiana, took part in the 16-week study. After the treatment, students were evaluated on their environmental knowledge and attitudes using analysis of covariance. Students were also grouped by locus of control to determine whether there were any aptitude-treatment interaction effects caused by their learner styles. The instruments that were used included the Louisiana Environmental Knowledge Test to measure students' environmental knowledge, the New Environmental Paradigm Scale to measure students' environmental attitudes, and the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale to measure students' locus of control orientation. The results of the study suggest that STS-oriented infusion materials can be more effective in increasing students' environmental knowledge. In addition, the results indicate that certain types of instructional materials may be more effective when students' aptitudes are considered. Students in the videos-only group and the activities-with-videos group had significantly higher knowledge scores than the lecture group. Internally oriented students in the activities group had significantly higher knowledge scores than similar students in the lecture group.

Pages

169

Share

COinS