Date Approved

8-10-2005

Embargo Period

4-10-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Subject Matter Teaching: Physical Science

Department

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Yang, Catherine

Subject(s)

Academic achievement; Science--Study and teaching

Disciplines

Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to (a) determine if the use of formative assessment in the science classroom improved academic achievement in a group of ninth grade honors level students; and (b) determine the effect of formative assessment on the attitudes these students have toward science. Data was collected from two control groups (N=24 and N=26) and the experimental, comparison group (N=28). Students were administered two Likert-type surveys, an attitude survey and a causal attribution survey. Each survey was given at the start of the experiment and again at the end of the experiment. Summative test scores were also collected over the course of the investigation. The mean and standard deviation for summative test scores were compared. Analysis of the attitude surveys was done using an independent-sample t-test and a Bonferroni One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). While the analysis of summative test scores did not show an overall increase in scores, there was a narrowing of the gap between high and low achievers which may demonstrate a relationship between achievement and formative assessment. Most results of the attitude and causal attribution surveys were not statistically significant. The attitude survey showed a possible relationship between the use of formative assessment and improved attitudes toward the usefulness of science. Results of the causal attribution survey showed a possible relationship between the use of formative assessment and the attribution of success in science to ability and effort. These attributions are associated with facilitated learning experiences.

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