This project employs a combination of comparative, correlational and pre-post experimental designs. The comparative and correlational components of the study are designed to answer the question of whether the instructional styles and other demographic factors (e.g., achievement scores, SES, family backgrounds,etc) are associated with students’ values for an ideal science student. The pre-post experimental design is used to investigate whether informing the science teachers of the gaps between their own values and students’ values can improve teaching and learning in science classrooms.
The project includes a classroom intervention, which is that we mediated the discussions between teachers and their students about the gaps between how they envision an ideal science student should do. For instance, say that teachers envision that the ideal science student ought to work hard, complete a science project and research one’s own questions without being asked. Yet, the students do not think that this is an important characteristic for an ideal science student. We would then ask them to identify situations where such value gap would be problematic and develop solutions so that such problems can be resolved. The students and teachers then can generate a plan for what each will do in order to resolve the problems caused by the gap.
We created various measures: (1) Design an Ideal Science Student; (2) Assessment of Classroom Inquiry Levels; (3) Perceptions of Science Classrooms; (4) Assesment of Areas for Classroom Improvement (video-based); and (5) classroom observations. A variety of classical psychometric analyses were carried out, such as factor analysis, correlational analysis, regressions, MANOVA, T-test, ANOVA, etc. We also developed coding schemes for open-ended responses and conducted various reliability tests.