A meta-analysis of instructional systems applied in science teaching



This article is a report of a meta-analysis on the question: “What are the effects of different instructional systems used in science teaching?” The studies utilized in this meta-analysis were identified by a process that included a systematic screening of all dissertations completed in the field of science education since 1950, an ERIC search of the literature, a systematic screening of selected research journals, and the standard procedure of identifying potentially relevant studies through examination of the bibliographies of the studies reviewed. In all, the 130 studies coded gave rise to 341 effect sizes. The mean effect size produced over all systems was 0.10 with a standard deviation of 0.41, indicating that, on the average, an innovative teaching system in this sample produced one-tenth of a standard deviation better performance than traditional science teaching. Particular kinds of teaching systems, however, produced results that varied from this overall result. Mean effect sizes were also computed by year of publication, form of publication, grade level, and subject matter.