Date of Award

4-1981

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Science Education, Mallinson Institute

First Advisor

Dr. Paul E. Holkeboer

Second Advisor

Dr. Clarence J. Goodnight

Third Advisor

Dr. James H. Griggs

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Charles Townsend

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to determine the similarities and disparities among the expected learning outcomes of three sets of performance objectives for science education: (1) the teacher-written science objectives of the Goals-Objectives-Test (GOT) Program for the seventh, eight, and ninth grades in the Kalamazoo Public School System; (2) the objectives prepared by the Department of Research and Development of the Kalamazoo Public School System from test items on Test 8: Science of the Metropolitan Achievement Tests (MAT) - Advanced Forms; and (3) the science objectives of the Michigan Department of Education (MDOE) for grades 7-9.

The methodology used in this study involved classifying the objectives contained in the three sets according to Klopfer's Table of Specifications for Science Education that describes (1) the behaviors that students are expected to exhibit when performance objectives are attained, and (2) the science subject-matter content with which the objectives are concerned. The numbers of objectives in each set that were classified in each subcategory of Klopfer's Table were tabulated. The expected student behaviors and subject-matter content of the objectives were compared next to determine the similarities and disparities in their expected learning outcomes.

It was found that almost all the objectives written by teachers at all three grade levels required the students to demonstrate a knowledge of subject-matter content. Few objectives were written on the processes of scientific inquiry, application of scientific knowlege and methods, or laboratory skills.

Teachers at the three grade levels identified a broad range of subject-matter content however. The majority of the objectives identified by seventh-grade science teachers were concerned with the biology of the organism, chemistry, physics, the scientific method and the metric system. Eighth-grade science objectives were concerned primarily with the biology of the organism and earth and space sciences, whereas the majority of ninth-grade science objectives were concerned with physics although a few were written on chemistry and the metric system.

A broad range of subject-matter content was also identified in the MAT objectives, the majority of which, were concerned with the biology of the organism, chemistry, physics and the earth and space sciences. A comparison of the classification of the GOT and MAT objectives indicates that there are similarities in their content since may objectives in the two sets were classified not only in the same general categories but the same subcategories of Klopfer's Table of Specifications for Science Education. A closer examination of the objectives, however, shows that there are some differences in the content of the objectives in the two sets. The content of the MAT objectives is more broadly stated than that of the GOT objectives. As such, many of the MAT objectives are better statements of goals than objectives.

Like the GOT objectives, a narrow range of expected student behaviors was identified by MAT objectives. All but three MAT objectives were concerned with the students' knowledge of subject-matter content.

The MDOE objectives are dissimilar to the GOT and MAT objectives with respect to both the expected student behaviors and subject-matter content. The MDOE objectives do not emphasize the learning or knowledge of subject-matter content as the GOT and MAT objectives do. Rather the MDOE objectives emphasize the learning of inquiry skills, an appreciation of science and an awareness of the role of science in our society. The MDOE objectives contain very little subject-matter content in the traditional sense.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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