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The impact of the inclusion of ASEP materials on some cognitive outcomes in Tasmanian schools.


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Fisher, Darrell L 1979 , 'The impact of the inclusion of ASEP materials on some cognitive outcomes in Tasmanian schools.', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The Australian Science Education Project (ASEP) was the first
national curriculum project to exist in Australia, and was sponsored
jointly by the Commonwealth government and the six State governments.
The initial funding was $1.2 million for a period of 44 years, and
the charter of the project was to develop instructional materials in
science for grades 7 to 10 in secondary schools throughout Australia.
At the beginning of 1974 the materials developed by the project
were available for inclusion in the science curriculum of Tasmanian
schools. This study examines the influence of the inclusion of
ASEP materials on some cognitive outcomes, for the science curriculum
of grade 7 classes in Tasmanian schools.
The cognitive outcomes chosen are considered to be important
by experts in science education. Three outcomes selected were contained
in the Test of Understanding Science (TOUS) and are named 'philosophical',
'historic-social', and 'normality of scientists'. In addition four
outcomes were selected from the Test of Enquiry Skills (TOES) and are
named 'library usage', 'scales', 'charts and tables' and 'comprehension
of science reading'.
Other student variables chosen for investigation were the students'
sex, their socio-economic status and the type of school they attended. All secondary schools in Tasmania were invited to participate
and the response rate was 57%. The final sample contained 2373 students.
Following a pre and post-test of both TOUS and TOES, the data
was interpreted by means of a multiple regression model which used a
full regression analysis for each of the seven scales. By this method,
the amount of variance in each of the seven post-tests, due to each
of the main effect variables (curriculum, sex, socio-economic status
and school type) was estimated over and above that due to the pretest
and the other main effect variables. In addition, two way interactions
between the independent variables and their relations to the learning
outcomes were investigated. The test data were analyzed using the
computer program Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS),
sub-program Anova which provides a choice of multiple regression methods.
The .01 level of significance was chosen. The precise reason
for the selection of this level of significance is provided in the
Only one significant effect for curriculum emerged. This was
on the 'comprehension of science reading' scale where the non-ASEP
group performed better than the ASEP group.
There was a significant difference in the performance of the sexes
in that girls scored significantly better than boys on six of the
seven scales. For socio-economic status the only significant difference to
emerge was on the 'library usage' scale where the higher socioeconomic
group performed better than the middle and low socio-economic
There was a significant difference in the performance of the
different school types on all seven scales.with students from
district schools scoring significantly below students from independent
or high schools.
Significant two way interactions were observed between
curriculum and school type on the 'charts and tables' and 'comprehension
of science reading' scale. In particular the students of district
schools performed better when ASEP materials were included in the
curriculum. Another significant two way interaction between sex and
school type emerged on the 'philosophical' scale. In particular
on this scale the performance of girls was comparable, irrespective
of whether they attended high school or independent school. However
the boys from independent schools were superior to the boys from high

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Fisher, Darrell L
Keywords: Australian Science Education Project, Education
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1979 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis - (M.Ed.) - University of Tasmania, 1979

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