The purpose of this study was to evaluate the achievement outcomes of 5th-grade students following their enrollment in federally funded inquiry-based classrooms compared to same school traditional education program students to determine the feasibility of inquiry-based program sustainability. The study analyzed achievement data of students in the inquiry-based Charter Education Program compared to achievement data of students in the Traditional Education Program to determine pretest-posttest achievement gain for students in both research arms and posttest-posttest intervention effectiveness. The inquiry-based Charter Education Program required students to utilize laptop computers rather than textbooks to research, analyze, write, and complete reports. The Traditional Education Program required students to utilize textbooks and other printed source material to research, analyze, write, and complete reports. Pretest-Posttest results indicate that students who participated in the Charter Education Program (n = 11) significantly improved their Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, Spelling and Language Total Normal Curve Equivalent subtest scores while students who participated in the Traditional Education Program (n = 9) significantly improved their Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, Capitalization, Language Total, and Composite Normal Curve Equivalent subtest scores. The null hypothesis was not rejected for any of the Posttest-Posttest achievement inferential comparisons revealing statistical equipoise between the research arms. While the data and results of the study do not support the continuation of a separate charter program, inquiry-based learning activities could be considered worthwhile and beneficial to all students in the rural research school district. Moreover, the now routine use of computer-based, Internet, inquiry-based instruction may be sustained for all students without placing any additional financial stress on the school district.
|Advisor:||Hill, John W.|
|Commitee:||Dlugosh, Larry L., Grandgenett, Neal F., Keiser, Kay A.|
|School:||University of Nebraska at Omaha|
|Department:||Educational Administration and Supervision|
|School Location:||United States -- Nebraska|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Achievement, Charter school, Charter schools, Federally funded, Fifth-grade, Inquiry-based learning, Program sustainability, Traditional education program|
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