Any deficit in science education programs would hinder the progress of the country, yet national and international science achievement data show that the United States of America’s students lag behind other nations’ students in their understanding of science once they enter high school (National Science Board, 1977). The science curricula in the nation’s middle schools have been considered one of the weaker links to the advancement of a scientifically literate society (Forgione, 1999). Science education and scientific literacy are essential to the success of the nation. A scientifically literate nation can help assure a free and democratic society, an economically viable society, and a healthy society. The study of the effects of an experimental micro spiral physics curriculum is embedded within the backdrop of some of the political influences on science education in the United States and shows the importance that recent presidents and government agencies have placed on science education and science education standards. The purpose of the complete study was to compare the effectiveness of using an experimental micro-spiral physics curriculum and traditional linear physics curriculum with sixth graders only; seventh and eighth graders were dropped in the complete study. The study also surveyed students’ parents, teachers, and principals about students/ academic history and background as well as identified resilient children’s attributes for academic success. Both the experimental micro-spiral physics curriculum and the traditional linear physics curriculum increased physics achievement; however it is important to note that the majority of the subgroups studied did show statistically significant differences in effectiveness for the experimental micro-spiral physics curriculum compared to the traditional linear physics curriculum. The Grounded Theory analysis of resilient student characteristics resulted in categories for future studies including the empathy factor (“E” factor), the tenacity factor (“T” factor), the relational factor (“R” factor) and the spiritual factor (“S” factor).
|Keywords:||Experimental, Spiral Physics Curriculum, Solomon Four Group Design, Grounded Theory, Grounded Theory Analysis of Resilient Student Characteristics, Categories|
Assistant Professor, Secondary & Foundations, Science Education, College of Education, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA