Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)


Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type



The purpose of this research was to study my effectiveness as a high school physics teacher using a traditional approach to instruction compared to a Modeling approach. The study was conducted at a high school near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Both groups consisted of 1 section of honors physics and 1 section of regular physics each. Conceptual understanding and problems solving gains were measured using pre/post Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and the Mechanics Baseline Test (MBT) results, respectively. Students’ level of science reasoning was also measured at the beginning of the school year only, using the Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (CTSR). The Modeling instruction group had significantly higher conceptual learning normalized gains as compared to the traditional instruction group. The data show no significant difference in the normalized gains in problem solving ability measured by the MBT. A gender bias was seen, with males having higher gains than females. The data showed that honors students had higher normalized learning gains compared to regular students. Students having higher scientific reasoning scores outperformed their peers in conceptual understanding and problem solving.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Browne, Dana