A Comparison Of The Effectiveness Of Two Instructional Techniques In A Planetarium Setting
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two instructional techniques employed in a planetarium setting. One treatment group received a fifty-minute program using the lecture-demonstration technique; a second treatment group received a fifty-minute program using the guided-discovery technique. The sample population involved twelve classes of fifth-grade students in a planetarium setting during regular school hours. The study was conducted to investigate (1) the effect of the treatments on the subjects' attainment of selected astronomy concepts; and (2) the self-evaluated attitudes of the subjects toward themselves, the school, the planetarium environment, and astronomy. A pre-test, post-test design with non-randomized groups was used for the study. Pre- and post-treatment data was collected on self, school, planetarium, and astronomy attitudes using researcher-developed semantic differential scales. Pre- and post-treatment data was collected on content attainment employing a researcher-modified test using 35mm slides in lieu of the observational format of the planetarium. The classes' t-ratios were used to test for significant differences between means of the treatment groups. Analysis of covariance was used for testing hypotheses about differences in attitude and in achievement, with the pre-test scores serving as the covariates. Results of the study did not lead to rejection of any of the null hypotheses that were tested. Supplemental findings revealed no significant interactions as a result of the treatment, or of sex and race classifications.