Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

A.M. Cvancara


The purpose of this study is to compare the learning and attitudinal changes that took place in a college introductory physical geology class between a self-paced method of instruction called the Keller Plan and the conventional lecture-laboratory method.

The sample population was 56 students enrolled in Earth Science 120, an introductory physical geology course at Minot State College ·~ during the fall quarter, 1973. An experimental section of 20 students experienced the Keller Plan treatment and two control groups consisting of 18 students each received the conventional method of instruction.

Four specific areas of investigation were tested: (1) knowledge of geology, (2) changes in attitude toward science, (3) improvement in self-concept, and (4) possible correlations between these dependent variables and a student's college class level, sex, college career plans, scholastic standing, high school size, curriculum taken in high school, and the number of science courses taken in high school.

The test instruments used are a locally prepared geology test, the. Berger Acceptance of Self Scale, the Silance and Remmers Attitude Toward any School Subject Scale, and an autobiographical student back ground list. Data obtained from the above instruments were analyzed using computer regression analysis and the t-test.

There were no significant differences in pretest and posttest means between experimental or control groups in achievement or self-concept. There was a significant difference in attitude toward science. in the Keller Plan group (.05 level). Pretest means of the Keller Plan group were consistently lower than those of the two control groups. Achievement gains in all groups were unusually low suggesting insufficient control of the homogeneity of the groups or low validity of the geology test. When posttest-only means were compared among all three groups, no significant differences were found between experimental or control groups in achievement, attitude toward science, or self-concept. There were no significant correlations between the Keller Plan group or either control group when comparing items of student background information with achievement attitude toward science, or self-concept.

Implications for further research are (1) additional research on the use of the Keller Plan in geology teaching, (2) development of a more adequate geology content test, (3) better randomization other than by normal registration procedures, and (4) additional controls to be added to the geology content taught in all groups.

Included in

Geology Commons