Doctor of Education Project Reports: The Use of Teaching Aids in Biology Textbooks
by Francis James St. Lawrence - 1950
The central purpose of this investigation was to determine the extent and method of use of certain textbook teaching aids by Connecticut high school biology teachers.
The central purpose of this investigation was to determine the extent and method of use of certain textbook teaching aids by Connecticut high school biology teachers.1 In addition to working out this central problem, answers to the following subsidiary questions were sought: (1) What is the extent of use of a basic textbook? (2) What is the extent of use of reference textbooks? (3) Which teaching aids are used for making homework assignments, providing for individual differences, providing an extended range of experiences, stimulation and motivation, and marking or testing? (4) What is the value of textbook teaching aids to the teacher?
The introduction to the project traces the development of the tendency on the part of textbook authors to include teaching aids in their textbooks. The opinions of certain leading educators who fostered such a movement are voiced.
Chapter I states the problem of the project and outlines the limitations thereof. Chapter II presents as background material pertinent aspects of the setting of the problem. The schools, teachers, and textbooks in use are discussed with the intention of providing proper orientation. Chapter III indicates the methods of investigation employed in the study. The five phases were: study of teaching aids per se, study of the pertinent educational literature, construction and trial use of the interview sheet, collection of data, and treatment of data.
Chapter IV reveals the extent to which the 14 teaching aids under investigation were used. In addition, the method of using these materials, as determined by five specific questions put to the teachers, is shown. Chapter V discusses certain factors commonly thought to influence the method and extent of use of teaching aids. These factors (teacher training, teaching experience, and school size) are analyzed.
Chapter VI outlines the conclusions and implications which are drawn from the study. Within the restrictions or limitations noted earlier, certain generalizations are derived. It was found that textbook teaching aids were not generally conceded by teachers to be of educational value, as determined by the extent of use. The textbook authors' reasons for the inclusion of these aids did not appear to have much relationship to the facts of use. The factors of teacher training, teaching experience, and school size had little influence upon the extent and method of use of teaching aids.
The two reasons most commonly assigned by the teachers for not using textbook teaching aids were that the teachers provided their own materials, and that similar and more appropriate aids were otherwise available.
1 The manuscripts of the Doctor of Education Project Reports reviewed in The Record are on file in the Library of Teachers College, Columbia University.