Date of Award

7-2017

Type

Dissertation

Major

Doctor of Education

Department

Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if the usage of Thinking Maps® influenced the achievement scores of middle grades students in science on the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) over a period of two years. Science test scores for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years were analyzed by grade level and usage in SPSS and SAS, and after transformations were completed, non-parametric ANOVAs were conducted based on non-normal distributions. Science teachers were surveyed regarding their perceptions and usage of Thinking Maps®. The scores and surveys were then analyzed for simultaneous effects.

The results of the study for the 2012-2013 data indicated grade level was significant and did influence a variation in scores, with seventh grade having a greater frequency of scores above 850. Usage of Thinking Maps® was not significant and did not influence a variation in scores. Friedman’s non-parametric ANOVA showed 9.11% of the variance in scores was influenced by grade level and usage. The 2013-2014 data indicated grade level was significant and did influence a variation in scores, with seventh grade having a greater frequency of scores above 825. Usage of Thinking Maps® was significant and did influence a variation in scores. Friedman’s non-parametric ANOVA revealed 23.2% of the variance in scores was influenced by grade level and usage. An interaction effect for either year could not be determined because of non-normal distributions and sample origination differences. Therefore, a comparison of means for grade level and usage was conducted. Teachers who used Thinking Maps® had higher mean scores than those who did not. Based on the findings, it may be concluded there appears to be a relationship between the perceptions of teachers and consistent usage of Thinking Maps® in middle grades science and the increase in achievement score means of the students who used them regularly and with fidelity.

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