The impact of integrated programming on student attitude and achievement in grade 9 academic mathematics and science
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This research studioo the effect of integrated instruction in mathematics and~ science on student achievement in and attitude towards both mathematics and science. A group of grade 9 academic students received instruction in both science and mathematics in an integrated program specifically developed for the purposes of the research. This group was compared to a control group that had received science and mathematics instruction in a traditional, nonintegrated program. The findings showed that in all measures of attitude, there was no significant difference between the students who participated in the integrated science and mathematics program and those who participated in a traditional science and mathematics program. The findings also revealed that integration did improve achievement on some of the measures used. The performance on mathematics open-ended problem-solving tasks improved after participation in the integrated program, suggesting that the integrated students were better able to apply their understanding of mathematics in a real-life context. The performance on the final science exam was also improved for the integrated group. Improvement was not noted on the other measures, which included EQAO scores and laboratory practical tasks. These results raise the issue of the suitability of the instruments used to gauge both achievement and attitude. The accuracy and suitability of traditional measures of achievement are considered. It is argued that they should not necessarily be used as the measure of the value of integrated instruction in a science and mathematics classroom.