Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assimilative domain proficiency and performance in chemistry coursework
by Byrnes, Scott WIlliam, Ed.D., Walden University, 2010, 202; 3397866
Abstract (Summary)

The assimilation and synthesis of knowledge is essential for students to be successful in chemistry, yet not all students synthesize knowledge as intended. The study used the Learning Preference Checklist to classify students into one of three learning modalities – visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (VAK). It also used the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (KLSI), which utilizes four learning domains - Converging, Accommodating, Diverging, and Assimilating - to explain the students' maturation process by showing shift from any domain towards the Assimilating domain. A shift approaching this domain was considered as improvement in the assimilation and synthesis of knowledge. This pre-experimental one-group pretest-posttest study was used to test the hypothesis that modifying a high school chemistry curriculum to accentuate a student's learning preference would result in a shift towards the Assimilative domain on the KLSI and if there was a correlation between the improvement in student learning and a shift towards the KLSI Assimilating domain. Forty-two high school students were issued the VAK and provided with differentiated instruction via homologous cooperative learning groups. Pre- and post-KLSI and chemistry concepts tests were administered. T test analyses showed no significant shift towards the Assimilating domain. Further Pearson's r analyses showed no significant correlation between the KLSI and exam scores. This study contributes to social change by providing empirical evidence related to the effectiveness infusing learning styles into the science curriculum and the integration of the KLSI to monitor cognitive development as tools in raising standardized test scores and enhancing academic achievement. Results from the study can also inform future research into learning styles through their incorporation into the science curriculum.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jolly, Anju
Commitee: Persky, Barry
School: Walden University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Chemistry, Science education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Chemistry, Developmental progression, Kolb Learning Style Inventory, Learning preferences, Learning styles, Learning theory
Publication Number: 3397866
ISBN: 978-1-109-70270-5
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