An Experimental Study Of The Effectiveness Of Manipulative Use In Planetarium Astronomy Lessons For Fifth And Eighth Grade Students
The resultant problem of the study was to conduct an
experimental comparison among fifth and eighth grade students employing a planetarium unit of study which included direct manipulation and one which excluded direct manipulation of an instructional object. The unit included three major topics with students making three instructional visits to the planetarium. Criterion measures were student performance on three immediate topic post-tests, a delayed unit post-test, and pre-post measurements of attitude. The variables of previous experience, manipulative opportunity, grade, and gender were examined.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the following question: In an educational planetarium are fifth and eighth grade lessons incorporating student manipulation
of a concept object or lessons without concept model manipulation the most effective method for increased achievement and attitude change?
Measurement of achievement included the ability to answer questions which required recall of information or application of knowledge of observation of positions. The measurement of attitude was suggested because of research by Ridky (1974), Ortell (1977), and others which has indicated that planetarium teaching may be in the affective domain.
""It can be concluded that the effectiveness of the planetarium appears not to lie in facilitating content achievement but rather in effecting attitudinal change"" (Ridky 1974, p. 93).
A ""mystique effect” eluded to by many planetarium operators and investigated by Ridky (1975) and Bishop (1980) suggested analysis of the variable of previous planetarium experience affecting student concept attainment. Grade and gender were also studied as possible influences. The following six questions represent the research basis for measuring the effectiveness of manipulative use in planetarium lessons:
1. Is retention, as shown through unit post-test results, different for students using a manipulative than for those not using a manipulative?
2. Does the use or non-use of a manipulative within a planetarium unit of study effect a student's attitude toward astronomy education?
3. Does previous planetarium experience effect the immediate post-test scores of students using or not using the manipulative?
4. Is the manipulative more effective for one of the three types of lessons?
5. Does grade level or sex influence the effectiveness of manipulative use?
6. Is the ability to correctly answer recall, application, or observation questions effected by manipulative use?
Type of Publication
Edoff, James Dwight
Wayne State University
Number of Pages
Nation(s) of Study
United States of America