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A Study of the Effects of the Thematic Integrated Instruction on Creativity, Problem Solving Abilities and Academic Achievements for Elementary Students
thematic integrated instruction
problem solving ability
The goal of this study is to research the effects of the thematic integrated instruction on creativity, problem solving abilities and academic achievements for elementary students. Based on Palmer’s curricular connection model, a series of teaching activities for fourth graders were designed to merge the thematic integrated instruction with creativity and problem solving abilities ,and proceeded the experimental teaching for twenty four times. The purposes of this study were as the following: (1) to investigate the effects of the thematic integrated instruction upon students’ creativity abilities. (2) to investigate the effects of the thematic integrated instruction upon students’ problem-solving abilities. (3) to investigate the effects of the thematic integrated instruction upon students’ academic achievements. (4) to investigate the students’ responses toward the thematic integrated instruction. A nonequivalent pretest-posttest experimental design was employed. There were total 64 students from an elementary school in Taipei county participating in this study. 33 students were assigned to the experimental group and 31 students were assigned to the control group. Students in the experimental group were proceeded with the thematic integrated instruction training course for 12 weeks, 48 periods in total. The control group was proceeded with the general instruction. The tools of the study were Creativity Assessment Packet（CAP）, Test of Problem Solving（TOPS）and Test of Academic Achievements. The data was analyzed by one- way ANCOVA. According to the statistical analysis, the main findings can be summarized as follows: 1. In the assessment results of Creativity Assessment Packet（CAP）: （a）In Creativity Assessment Packet, the students in the experimental group got significantly higher scores than the students in the control group. （b）In Creativity Assessment Packet, the students in the experimental group got significantly higher scores on fluency, opening, flexibility, elaboration and heading than those in the control group. However, there were no notable differences in originality.The results indicated that the thematic integrated instruction might enhance the creativity abilities for elementary students. 2. In the assessment results of Test of Problem Solving（TOPS）: （a）In Test of Problem Solving, the students in the experimental group got significantly higher scores than the students in the control group. （b）In Test of Problem Solving, the students in the experimental group got significantly higher scores on explaining inferences, guess factor, reverse guess factor and determining solutions than those in the control group. However, there were no obvious differences in avoiding problems.The results also indicated that the thematic integrated instruction might promote the problem solving abilities for elementary students. 3. The assessment results of Test of Academic Achievements （a）In Test of Academic Achievements, the students in the experimental group got markedly higher total scores than another group. （b）In Test of Academic Achievements, the students in the experimental group got higher scores in the subjects of Chinese, mathematics and social studies than those in the control group. The results indicated that the thematic integrated instructions might greatly enhance the academic achievements for elementary students. 4. In the aspects of the questionnaires of students’ attitudes toward the thematic integrated instruction, teachers’teaching diaries and students’ self-evaluation and feedback sheets, the assessment results showed that students enjoyed the training course. Finally, the researcher proposed some suggestions for educational authorities, teachers, and future research.
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