The Effects Of Three Types Of Pre- And Post- Planetarium/ Starlab-Visit Instruction Methods On Astronomy Concepts And Attitudes Of Sixth Grade Students
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of three different pre- and post- Planetarium/Starlab visit- instructional methodologies on astronomy concepts and attitudes for sixth grade students. The three instructional methods applied were: (a) a hands on approach, (b) an audio visual enhanced model, and (c) a text-centered method. All three instructional models are steeped in curriculum design theory: the hands on instructional approach endorses an experiential and behavioralist curriculum design and applied dynamic modeling; the audio visual instructional model was augmented with video and computer technology and also promotes a modified experiential curriculum design; and the text-centered method was instructed from a more traditional curriculum design perspective, focusing on pencil-and-paper and chalkboard work. One hundred and eighty-one sixth grade students received pre- and post- Starlab instruction in basic sixth grade curriculum astronomy content. Three types of tests were administered: 1. a pre- and post- treatment cognitive test that is designed to measure students' learning of astronomy concepts, 2. a pre- and post- attitudinal test that is intended to ascertain student attitude shifts toward astronomy, and 3. a "How I Feel About the Lesson” questionnaire aimed at identifying students' instructional methodology preference. In analyzing the data, a one-way analysis of variance was employed. Mest statistics were also employed to determine differences between means of different groups. No statistically significant differences were found between the three treatment groups, either in cognitive gains or change in attitude towards astronomy.