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Abstract

This study summarizes the results of a quantitative synthesis of the retrievable primary research dealing with the effects of new science curricula on student performance. This study synthesizes the results of 105 experimental studies involving more than 45,000 students and utilizes the quantitative synthesis perspective to research integration known as meta-analysis (Glass, 1976). A total of 27 different new science curricula involving one or more measures of student performance are included in this meta-analysis. Data were collected for 18 a priori selected student performance measures. The results of this meta-analysis reveal definite positive patterns of student performance in new science curricula. Across all new science curricula analyzed, students exposed to new science curricula performed better than students in traditional courses in general achievement, analytic skills, process skills, and related skills (reading, mathematics, social studies and communication), as well as developing a more positive attitude toward science. On a composite basis, the average student in new science curricula exceeded the performance of 63% of the students in traditional science courses.