The impact of an integrated curriculum on student success in science
George, Janelle LaRae
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The impact of an integrated science curriculum was studied in a sixth grade classroom. Prior to the treatment, students attended three different classes at different times. Each class had its own specific content that was not connected to any other class. At the sound of the bell, students had to stop learning about what they had previously spent ninety minutes on and begin learning something completely different. The purpose of this study was to identify what impact integrated teaching had on students. Rather than stopping their learning at the sound of the bell, students use the knowledge, they just learned in a new way to continue learning about that topic. According to observations I have made, students often struggle to transfer or connect information from one content area to another. During this research, I taught two different science units to two different sixth grade classes. One science unit was not integrated with other subjects and one science unit was integrated with other subjects. The treatment science unit was integrated with math and language arts content. Students studied about the weather or the water cycle and continued to use those topics to learn in their math class and their language arts class. Students in the control group learned math and language arts skills that did not have a science topic connected to them. Students' achievement on pre and post tests did not show observable growth. Their attitudes about science, according to a survey, also did not show an observable difference after the units. However, their ability to transfer, connect, and learn was affected, as demonstrated by their responses, which were recorded in their science notebooks about their own learning during the course of those units.