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Abstract

To assess the impact of the innovative precollege science curricula of the past twenty years on learning, a search was conducted using the computer-assisted Bibliographic Retrieval System (BRS), the ERIC Annual Summaries of Research in Science Education, and Dissertation Abstracts International. A total of 151 effect sizes were obtained from 33 studies representing 19,149 junior and senior high school students in the United States, Great Britain, and Israel. Study-weighted analysis yielded an overall mean effect size of 0.31 significantly favorable to the innovative curricula [t(25) = 2.183, p < 0.05] on all outcomes. Student performance in innovative curricula averaged in the 62nd percentile relative to the control norm. Tabulation of signed comparisons indicated that sixty-four out of eighty-one unweighted outcomes were favorable to the innovative curricula. Separate analyses for test content bias, methodological rigor, type of learning, and student characteristics showed no significant differences across these categories.