Construction, implementation, and evaluation of Piagetian concrete operational learning strategies to facilitate student attainment of basic concepts in human genetics
In this study, an experimental group of college honors students were given instruction via researcher-developed Piagetian concrete operational learning strategies for the purpose of assessing: (1) the effectiveness of the strategies on concept acquisition in human genetics, and (2) growth in intellectual development as a result of the students' being instructed by concrete operational learning strategies rather than lecture.Evaluation of the effectiveness of the learning strategies on human genetics concept acquisition required the construction of comprehensive and unit pre/post-tests and administration of these tests to both experimental and control group populations. A Piagetian Task Instrument was administered as a pre/post-test to selected experimental group members to assess their growth, if any, in intellectual development. In addition, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was used as a diagnostic instrument in an attempt to identify students preferring to learn via a concrete operational mode of instruction regardless of their Piagetian level of intellectual development.The comprehensive and unit pre/post-tests and the MBTI were administered for the purpose of testing the following null hypotheses: Null Hypothesis 1. There are no significant differences between themeans of the comprehensive pretest results and the comprehensive post-test results for either the experimental or control groups.NullHypothesis2.There is no significant difference between the experimental and the control groups with respect to the means of the comprehensive pre/post-test results.Null Hyothesis 3. There are no significant differences between the means of the results on the unit pretests and the unit posttests for either the experimental group or the control group.Null Hypothesis, 4. There are no significant differences between the means of the unit pre/post-test results when comparing the experimental and control groups.Null Hypothesis 5. There is no significant correlation between students preference, as indicated by a Likert scale item, for instructional method with any one or more of the indices on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.Results of the study led to the rejection of null hypotheses 1 and 3 at less than the .001 level. These data indicate that both concrete operational learning strategies and lecture were effective instructional methods in facilitating long-term and short-term human genetics concept acquisition.