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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1936. Department of Secondary Education.


Copyright 1936, the author. Used by permission.


This study focuses on three main areas, first, to improve the 1934-35, Lincoln, Nebraska ninth grade science course of study by the addition of specific objectives, outlines of needed subject matter, teacher demonstration procedures, and individual pupil activities; second, to determine the relative values of the improved course of study and the 1934-35 course of study to teachers of ninth grade science in Lincoln; and third, to measure relative pupil achievements in learning facts and gaining understandings when taught by the help of first one and then the other of the two courses of study.

The specific objectives and the subject matter outlines were obtained by an analysis of the teaching problems stated in the Lincoln course of study.The teacher demonstration procedures and individual pupil activities were compiled from recent representative textbooks, from the material in the Lincoln Board of Education Library, and from the author’s experience. All these materials were organized into what were expected and hoped would be an improved course of study and then put into the hands of the ninth grade science teachers in the Lincoln schools for evaluation.

There were two outcomes to this evaluation: First it gave a basis for the revision of the improved course. Second, it showed that the teachers who used it found it much more helpful than the Lincoln 1934-35 course of study.

Portions of the improved course of study were revised in the light of its evaluation by teachers. The revised course of study was tested experimentally by the use of equated groups of pupils. In the first part of the experiment these groups were taught, one with the aid of the improved course of study as revised, and the other with the aid of the Lincoln course of study for the 1934-35. In the second part of the experiment this procedure was reversed. The results of this testing showed that pupils made significantly better final scores on the tests used and mastered a proportionately greater amount of the subject matter intended to be so mastered when taught with the aid of the improved course of study than when taught by the help of the Lincoln course of study, 1934-35.

Advisor: Harold E. Wise and George W. Rosenlof