The utility of an evaluative model in judging the relationship between classroom verbal behavior and student achievement in three selected physics curricula



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The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the applicability of a curriculum evaluation model to investigate high school students' achievement in three physics courses (traditional physics, Physical Science Study Curriculum, and Harvard Project Physics). The model was based upon the premises that (a) evaluation should be viewed as a dual process of description and judgment, (b) evaluation should contain a description of instruction and its relationship to student outcomes, (c) teaching is a process of interaction, (d) learning is a consequence due to the effect of classroom verbal behavior intersecting with a curriculum, (e) knowledge and learning consist of both content and process, and (f) these attributes can be described quantitatively. The evaluation model was applied to a sample consisting of 954 students enrolled in 38 classes taught by 26 teachers. This sample was randomly selected from approximately 150 schools which offered one of the three selected courses during the 1968-1969 academic year, thus enabling inference to high school physics curricula in the southwestern, midwestern, and western United States. Formative experiences of the students--academic aptitude, age, curriculum, grade level, and sex--were assessed and necessary statistical controls applied. A battery of three tests were administered twice, once upon entry into the curriculum and once upon completion of the curriculum. The battery consisted of the following tests: the Dunning-Abeles Physics Achievement Test, Form E; the Wisconsin Inventory of Science Processes: and the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Form YM. The classroom verbal behavior of each class was recorded on audio tape four times throughout the 1968-1969 academic year, and subsequently quantified by application of Flanders' Verbal Interaction Analysis system. [...]



Academic achievement--Psychological aspects, Verbal behavior, Physics--Study and teaching (Higher)