A new high school science program and its effect on student achievement in mathematics and science
Student achievement in mathematics and science is a high educational priority worldwide. The American educational system is not meeting its objectives for these subjects: our students are performing below international standards. The problem is endemic, leading to the conclusion that it is structural.
During the last seven years, I have led the creation and implementation of a program whose aim is to address this problem. The structure of this program stresses horizontal and vertical curriculum articulations in order to increase curriculum efficiency and meaningfulness to students.
My first aim, in conducting this study, was to determine the program's effectiveness. Since this was a long term program created in a real world environment it would be difficult to use experimental or quasi-experimental analysis. However, I was able to develop a plausible argument for the effectiveness of the program by using two measures to create a baseline for student aptitude and three measures to determine student achievement.
Together these showed that the school's students, while typical of those in New Jersey, achieved very positive results in mathematic and science. The likelihood that the new program was responsible for this was enhanced by the fact that the verbal and mathematical aptitudes of the students were comparable, but their achievement in areas outside mathematic and science were not exceptional.
My second aim was to provide documentation so that the program could be replicated at other schools. This included the scope and sequence of the mathematics and science courses; the curricula of the physics courses; an explanation the pedagogical approach used in the physics courses, and sample chapters of a textbook being written to support the first year physic course.
Whiles those documents supply a snapshot of the current state of the program; they are probably insufficient to replicate it. This would also require an understanding of the program's rationale. Towards this end, I have explained its theoretical framework in depth.
Schools throughout the United States have been charged with increasing student achievement in mathematics and science. This study documents a program that may well be achieving that goal. It could provide an answer.
0714: Science education
0998: Educational theory