Benefits derived from providing an aerospace enriched curriculum to an experimental and control group of fifth and sixth graders
Ienatsch, Grant Peter
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It was the purpose of this study to attempt to identify some benefits derived from providing an aerospace enriched curriculum by using an experimental and control group of fifth and sixth graders in public schools of District #350, Carpentersville, Illinois. The literature was examined for five types of information: the necessity of an aerospace enriched curriculum, techniques of aerospace curriculum enrichment, the pupil and the aerospace enriched curriculum, the teacher and administrator and the aerospace enriched curriculum, and information concerning aerospace in standard subject texts and standard works on curriculum. In order to determine the benefits of an aerospace enriched curriculum, a two-group experiment was selected to gather the data. The study was initiated by biting an especially constructed aerospace concept test to both groups of students, but none of the teachers knew the content of the teat. After giving the preliminary test, a list of free and inexpensive aerospace materials was distributed to all fifth and sixth grades in the district. The teachers of the experimental group than used these materials to enrich all areas of the curriculum for a two month period. The control group teachers could have used the enrichment materials if they desired, but as far as could be determined, they made no such special effort. After completion of the two-month period, a second similar test was administered to both groups. The scores were tabulated, and moan scores wore found. Mean comparisons for the entire control group and the entire experimental group were found, the data Indicated that the enriched experimental group made a gain of 8.3 more correct answers than the unenriched control group on the forty item test. This concluded that in this study enrichment advanced the experimental group substantially more than the control groups. Such comparisons were also made for the component grades of each group and for both sexes of each group. An item analysis of each question on the test was done also. In examining the component means of the experimental and control group, it was seen that the fifth grade gained more during the two-month period than the sixth grade in both groups. The analysis of the experimental and control groups by sex indicated the girls gained more during the two month study than the boys, but the girls' overall knowledge of aerospace was less than that of the boys. From study of the number of pupils making gains or losses of correct responses on particular questions, it was seen that the experimental group gained knowledge on all test questions but one, indicating that the enrichment did strengthen knowledge of aerospace concepts. The control group exhibited inconsistency in gain or loss of correct responses between test 1 and test 2. Implications for further research that evolved from this study were (1) to study different ways of using in-service training for teachers (2) to examine comparative curriculums (3) to determine if aerospace is more appealing to a particular age group (4) to find if socio-economic background is a factor in aerospace appeal (5) to perform a supervisory follow up to written directives to classroom teachers which might increase teacher response to such stimuli.