Experimental evaluations of elementary science programs: A best-evidence synthesis

Robert E. Slavin, Cynthia Lake, Pam Hanley, Allen Thurston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article presents a systematic review of research on the achievement outcomes of all types of approaches to teaching science in elementary schools. Study inclusion criteria included use of randomized or matched control groups, a study duration of at least 4 weeks, and use of achievement measures independent of the experimental treatment. A total of 23 studies met these criteria. Among studies evaluating inquiry-based teaching approaches, programs that used science kits did not show positive outcomes on science achievement measures (weighted ES=+0.02 in 7 studies), but inquiry-based programs that emphasized professional development but not kits did show positive outcomes (weighted ES=+0.36 in 10 studies). Technological approaches integrating video and computer resources with teaching and cooperative learning showed positive outcomes in a few small, matched studies (ES=+0.42 in 6 studies). The review concludes that science teaching methods focused on enhancing teachers’ classroom instruction throughout the year, such as cooperative learning and science-reading integration, as well as approaches that give teachers technology tools to enhance instruction, have significant potential to improve science learning.
LanguageEnglish
Pages870-901
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Volume51
Issue number7
Early online date29 Apr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

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science
evaluation
evidence
cooperative learning
Teaching
duration of studies
instruction
teacher
teaching method
elementary school
video
inclusion
classroom
resources
learning
Group

Cite this

Slavin, Robert E. ; Lake, Cynthia ; Hanley, Pam ; Thurston, Allen. / Experimental evaluations of elementary science programs : A best-evidence synthesis. In: Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 2014 ; Vol. 51, No. 7. pp. 870-901.
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Experimental evaluations of elementary science programs : A best-evidence synthesis. / Slavin, Robert E.; Lake, Cynthia; Hanley, Pam; Thurston, Allen.

In: Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Vol. 51, No. 7, 09.2014, p. 870-901.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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