Performance Based Education vs. Traditional Education: The Effects on Achievement and Attitude in Ninth Grade Biology
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Three simple words, Performance Based Education (PBE), will elicit a broad spectrum of feelings within a school and its community. Some say PBE is an educational method that should be immediately implemented, others say its just a fad, and will pass. Our educational system is under much scrutiny regarding student achievement. We have must find ways to increase achievement of our students, and PBE is a teaching strategy designed to accomplish this goal. PBE is not new. It has been called an age-old commonsense approach to education. PBE focuses on what must be learned (the outcome). Outcomes are demonstrations of learning that the teacher believes all students need to know. PBE requires the teacher to keep working with the student until he or she reaches each outcome. By doing this, educators feel that they can begin to guarantee that students will be successful in todays ever changing technological society. PBE has been implemented by a group of teachers at a high school in the Northern Midwest. Approximately 7 5% of teachers at the high school use some form of PBE in their classrooms. This study looks at the effects of PBE on the achievement and attitude of students in a ninth grade biology class. Data on achievement was collected from a PBE class and compared to a class that was taught in a more traditional approach. Surveys were also given to both classes to determine their attitudes toward Biology. The literature indicates that PBE should result in increased achievement and improved attitude of the students toward school. The results of this study indicate that there is significant difference in achievement, but not in attitude when PBE and traditional instruction are compared.
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