Science IDEAS Research Base for NSF/IERI Project
The research base for Science IDEAS consisted of a series of school research studies conducted over a four-year period. Unlike the NSF/IERI project implementations which are schoolwide, the majority of initial studies worked with classroom teachers at the upper elementary level.
The results of the initial studies were surprising. In them, the daily instructional time (2 hrs./day) originally allocated reading/language arts instruction was re-allocated for Science IDEAS instruction. In effect, traditional reading/language arts instruction was eliminated.
With the dramatic increase in science instruction, the substantial increases in student achievement in science (vs. demographically similar comparision students) anticipated by the researchers were found. However, what was not expected, was the result that the Science IDEAS students also had substantially higher achievement in reading comprehension.
These initial studies, reported in Romance and Vitale (1992, 2001), served as the basis for the effectiveness of the Science IDEAS model for the NSF/IERI project (see references for details of these studies).