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Journal of Research in Science Teaching
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The effects of advance organizer and prerequisite knowledge passages on the learning and retention of science concepts

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Abstract

Fifty‐five ninth‐grade science students participated in this study which compared the effects of two pretreatments, an advance organizer and a prerequisite knowledge passage, on learning and retention measured at low (knowledge and comprehension) and high (application and analysis) levels of the cognitive domain. The effectiveness of the pretreatments was measured by a framework test and a prerequisite knowledge test prior to the beginning of instruction. An analysis of covariance, with IQ as the covariate, was performed on the framework test and the prerequisite knowledge test. It was found that the advance organizer group performed significantly better than the prerequisite knowledge group (p < 0.001) on the first framework test, and the prerequisite knowledge group performed significantly better (p < 0.001) than the advance organizer group on the prerequisite knowledge test. These results provide evidence that both passages were read and understood by the students and that the passages had their intended effects as preinstructional treatments. An analysis of covariance, with IQ as the covariate, was performed on the low‐level questions, high‐level questions, and total score for the posttest and retention test. The group means for the two question levels and the total score were not found to be significantly different (p > 0.05) for either the posttest or retention test. The results of this study do not provide evidence that an advance organizer facilitates learning and retention more than a preinstructional treatment that concentrates on developing prerequisite knowledge. Copyright © 1989 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company

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Journal of Research in Science Teaching

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