The Effects of Higher-Order Questioning Strategies on Conscience Majors' Achievement in an Introductory Environmental Science Course and Their Attitudes Toward the Environment
The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine the effect a higher-order questioning strategy (Bloom, 1956) had on undergraduate non-science majors' attitudes toward the environment and their achievement in an introductory environmental science course, EDS 1032, ""Survey of Science 2: Life Science,"" which was offered during the Spring 2000 term.
Students from both treatment and control groups (N = 63), which were determined using intact classes, participated in eight cooperative group activities based on the Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies (BSCS) 5E model (Bybee, 1993). The treatment group received a higher-order questioning method combined with the BSCS 5E model. The control group received a lower-order questioning method, combined with the BSCS 5E model. Two instruments were used to measure students' attitude and achievement changes. The Ecology Issue Attitude (EIA) survey (Schindler, 1995) and a comprehensive environmental science final exam. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (KLSI, 1985) was used to measure students' learning style type.
After a 15-week treatment period, results were analyzed using MANCOVA. The overall MANCOVA model used to test the statistical difference between the collective influences of the independent variables on the three dependent variables simultaneously was found to be not significant at α = .05. This differs from findings of previous studies in which higher-order questioning techniques had a significant effect on student achievement (King 1989 & 1992; Blosser, 1991; Redfield and Rousseau, 1981; Gall 1970). At the risk of inflated Type I and Type II error rates, separate univariate analyses were performed. However, none of the research factors, when examined collectively or separately, made any significant contribution to explaining the variability in EIA attitude, EIA achievement, and comprehensive environmental science final examination scores. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence from student's self-reported behavior changes indicated favorable responses to an increased awareness of and positive action toward the environment.