Date of Award

5-1-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Ruby Thompson

Second Advisor

Dr. Fran Jackson

Third Advisor

Dr. Lucia Lu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine how selected science lessons accommodated the diverse learning style preferences of first graders in a culturally diverse classroom. The author examined lessons in the existing science textbook series. Harcourt Science Georgia Edition, to analyze to what extent each of the four dominant learning style preferences (visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic) and the one non-dominant approach. multisensory, were addressed through science activities. Using a content analysis research strategy, the author found the following: The majority of learning styles oriented activities across units focused on visual learning while auditory activities were among the least frequently noted across units. A summary of the frequency of learning styles oriented activities by chapters and lessons showed visual activities well represented in every chapter and lesson while auditory activities were limited in all chapters and lessons. Across the broad spread of the types of activities. several chapters and lessons included a preponderance of visual and tactile activities. Within each learning style category, the frequency of common types of learning styles activities varied significantly, mostly due to the nature of each activity. Conclusions based on these findings showed activities for visual learning styles as the most frequent type of activity noted in the text, multisensory activities using the non-dominant multisensory approach as the second most frequent type, activities for tactual learners as the third most frequent type of activity noted across the text, activities for auditory learners as the fourth most frequent type of activity, and activities for kinesthetic learners as the least noted type of activity. A major implication of the study was that teaching and learning science in first grade would be enhanced if science texts were to provide a more comprehensive and balanced array of activities to address the styles of learners in each preferred modality. Further. the study suggests that teachers collaborate with other educators to supplement existing text activities with teacher-made learning styles activities in areas where certain activities may be limited.

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