A meta-analysis of national research: Effects of teaching strategies on student achievement in science in the United States



This project consisted of a meta-analysis of U.S. research published from 1980 to 2004 on the effect of specific science teaching strategies on student achievement. The six phases of the project included study acquisition, study coding, determination of intercoder objectivity, establishing criteria for inclusion of studies, computation of effect sizes for statistical analysis, and conducting the analyses. Studies were required to have been carried out in the United States, been experimental or quasi-experimental, and must have included effect size or the statistics necessary to calculate effect size. Sixty-one studies met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The following eight categories of teaching strategies were revealed during analysis of the studies (effect sizes in parentheses): Questioning Strategies (0.74); Manipulation Strategies (0.57); Enhanced Material Strategies (0.29); Assessment Strategies (0.51); Inquiry Strategies (0.65); Enhanced Context Strategies (1.48); Instructional Technology (IT) Strategies (0.48); and Collaborative Learning Strategies (0.95). All these effect sizes were judged to be significant. Regression analysis revealed that internal validity was influenced by Publication Type, Type of Study, and Test Type. External validity was not influenced by Publication Year, Grade Level, Test Content, or Treatment Categories. The major implication of this research is that we have generated empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of alternative teaching strategies in science. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 1436–1460, 2007