Date of Conferral

1-1-2009

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Ina Delahoussaye

Abstract

Minority students lag Caucasian students in science performance and are underrepresented in the fields of science and technology. It is therefore pivotal for minorities, African American and Hispanic students, to show improved performance in science education. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of cooperative learning strategy on physics achievement by high school minority students. Constructivism formed the theoretical framework for the study. Independent learning, the traditional strategy, and cooperative learning dyads, the novel intervention, were the independent variables, and the dependent variable was achievement in physics. A repeated measures design and a convenient sample group of students were used in this study. Difference of scores obtained from the performances of the group as independent and cooperative learners was subjected to a repeated measures t test. A significant relationship between cooperative learning dyads and physics achievement by high school minority students was found. By learning in small groups, students were able to help each other construct meaning and make sense of their learning. Further study was recommended to foster cooperative learning strategy in minority classes and among science teachers of high schools with a majority of minorities. Social change is embedded in the study as increased achievement in science by minority students could possibly lead to advancement in science and technology careers for minorities and possibly close the gap that exists in science performance between minority and Caucasian students. This change could lead to a better social status for minorities.